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New Standards for Broadloom and Carpet Tile Purchased by the U.S. Government Print E-mail
Written by Greta Houlahan   
Thursday, 28 April 2011 07:39

U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Now Requires All Broadloom and Carpet Tile Purchased by the U.S. Government to Be Certified to NSF International's Sustainable Carpet Standard (NSF/ANSI 140) Gold Level

Current GSA carpet suppliers have until January 1, 2012 to certify their products to the NSF Sustainable Carpet Standard’s Gold Level in order for their carpet products to be considered for purchase

U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Now Requires All Broadloom and Carpet Tile Purchased by the U.S. Government to Be Certified to NSF International's Sustainable Carpet Standard (NSF/ANSI 140) Gold Level.

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), which serves as the purchasing arm of the U.S. government and oversees more than $60 billion in purchased goods and services annually1, now requires Gold Level certification to NSF/ANSI 140 Sustainability Assessment for Carpet for all broadloom (wall-to-wall) carpet and carpet tile purchased through the GSA. Current GSA carpet suppliers have until January 1, 2012 to certify their products to NSF/ANSI 140 Gold Level in order for their carpets to be considered for purchase through the GSA (http://bit.ly/g5Ifgo).

 

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NSF International, an independent organization committed to protecting human health and the environment, developed the official American National Standard for Sustainable Carpet (NSF/ANSI 140) in order to establish sustainability performance requirements for evaluating a carpet product’s life-cycle and supply chain. The criteria includes evaluating the product’s social and environmental performance, including labor practices, human rights, product life cycle assessment, energy efficiency, environmental management, reclamation and end-of-product-life management.  The standard was initially released in 2007 and updated in 2010.

GSA has required that broadloom carpet and carpet tile purchased by the government meet the Gold Level certification requirements of the NSF/ANSI 140 standard as part of the GSA’s overall Sustainable Acquisition Goals.  GSA has mandated that 95 percent of all purchases made through the agency meet sustainability requirements by the end of 2011. This includes products and services that are purchased for internal use such as building construction, repairs and alterations, as well as for maintenance. The GSA will further define their sustainability requirements for other products and phase them in by product category throughout the year2.

The GSA Sustainable Acquisition Goals are the result of an executive order issued in October 2009 and outlined in the GSA Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan, which requires federal agencies to buy environmentally-friendly products where possible. These initiatives leverage federal purchasing power to promote environmentally-responsible products and technologies and create a powerful driver to advance the development of more sustainable carpet and other products in the U.S.

“GSA recognition of NSF’s American National Standard for Sustainable Carpet in their purchasing specifications reflects positively on all the stakeholders who came together, from regulatory, industry and consumer organizations, to develop NSF/ANSI 140,” said Jane Wilson, Director of Standards for NSF International. “NSF is honored that this carpet standard has served as a model for use in developing other sustainability assessment standards such as resilient flooring and wallcoverings.”

“During the creation of NSF’s American National Sustainable Carpet standard, many groups worked together to answer the central question, ‘What attributes make a carpet sustainable?‘ That question has been addressed by NSF’s standard. It is comprehensive and thorough,” said Jeff Carrier, Sustainability and Indoor Air Quality Program Manager for The Carpet and Rug Institute, a key stakeholder in the development of NSF/ANSI 140.

To learn about having your carpet certified to the NSF/ANSI 140 Sustainable Carpet standard, contact Jeanette Halliday at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 734-827-3804.

About NSF International: NSF International has been testing and certifying products for safety, health and the environment for 66 years (www.nsf.org). As an independent, not-for-profit organization, NSF’s mission is to protect human health and the environment through standards development, and by providing inspection, testing and certification services for the food, water, build/construction, retail, food equipment, chemical, dietary supplements and pharmaceutical industries. Operating in more than 120 countries, NSF is committed to protecting public health worldwide and is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.

NSF Sustainability draws upon this expertise in standards development, product assurance and certification, advisory services and quality systems management to help companies green their products, operations, systems and supply chains. NSF also founded the National Center of Sustainability Standards, a national initiative to support the development of sustainability standard activities.

Additional NSF services include NSF Education and Training, safety audits for the food and water industries, dietary and nutritional supplement certification, organic certification provided by QAI (Quality Assurance International) and management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations (NSF-ISR).

About The Carpet and Rug Institute: The CRI is the leading industry source for science-based information and insight on how carpet and rugs create a better environment for living, working, learning and healing. The Institute's mission is to serve the carpet industry and public by providing facts that help people make informed choices. Its best practices promote a balance between social, economic and environmental responsibility for the long term. CRI does this for its industry, yet it strives to be a model corporate citizen for all industries.

1 Bluff Manufacturing, Inc., Bluff Manufacturing Named GSA Approved Vendor. PRWeb. 10 Mar. 2010. Web. 20 Apr. 2011.

2 U.S. General Services Administration. GSA Sustainable Acquisition Goals. Sec. 2.2.8. 23 Feb. 2011. Web. 20 Apr. 2011.


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