ANSI / BIFMA e3

Meeting room people smiling - ANSI / BIFMA e3 Certificaitons

What is ANSI / BIFMA e3

LEVEL® is the third-party certification program for the furniture industry’s multi-attribute, sustainability standard. The ANSI/BIFMA e3 Furniture Sustainability Standard was created to deliver an open and holistic means of evaluating and communicating the environmental and social impacts of furniture products in the built environment.

Taking into account a product’s environmental impacts (materials selected, energy usage, etc.), health and wellness impacts, and a company’s social actions among numerous other impacts, LEVEL addresses how a product is sustainable from multiple perspectives.

Why Work with Orion on this standard?

Orion is a recognized level certification audit firm and can assist your company with obtaining certification to this standard.

The level certification involves greater transparency over proprietary furniture eco-certifications, and is conducted by an independent third-party certifier, providing increased confidence for environmentally conscious consumers with products bearing a level mark. A further advantage to level certification is that the standard is in use in international markets, including Europe and Asia.

Orion can combine the e3 audit with other important standards certifications such as ISO 9001, 14001, and OHSAS 18001. This provides a more strategic approach that considers your business’s requirements and goals, while also offering significant cost savings and reducing internal time required for audits.

Breakdown of the Standard

The level standard works on a points-based system, allowing applicants to achieve a standing of level 1, 2, or 3. Each level represents a higher degree of sustainability compliance. It also uses more approachable terminology to make its benefits more easily understood by all parties, from manufacturers to consumers.

The level standard for furniture is unique in that it goes beyond the manufacturing process and product requirements and ensures companies also look at the facility that manufactures the product. In the accreditation process, the sustainability of the company and its processes are measured against 4 elements of review:

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Energy & Atmosphere

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Human & Ecosystem Health

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Social Responsibility

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Materials

Overview of the Audit Process

Orion Assessment Service can assist your organization in achieving certification from the initial application request, and through to the required stages which include:

Sign the Agreement

1

Sign the Agreement

Orion must provide a quote for all ISO standards. The terms and conditions must be signed and returned to Orion along with any required deposit.
1

Perform GAP Audit (optional)

2

Perform GAP Audit (optional)

Prior to your Stage 1 or Stage 2 audit, Orion can perform a gap audit to identify major gaps in meeting the requirements of the standard. This independent review will identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. Many companies prefer undergoing a preliminary gap audit to ensure they fully understand the standard’s requirements prior to their actual certification audits.
2

Certification Audit

3

Certification Audit

This onsite audit is conducted to ensure that the processes and documents examined during the Stage 1 Audit (Readiness Review) are in use and that the system is implemented according to the requirements of the standard.

The key deliverables from this stage include:

  • An audit report detailing positive aspects, issues for resolution (non-conformances), and areas for improvement.
  • A recommendation regarding your registration.
3

Finalize Audit Report
and Receive Certificate

4

Finalize Audit Report and Receive Certificate

The results from the Stage 1 and Stage 2 audits are reviewed to ensure that all Orion accreditation requirements have been met and a proper recommendation made. At this point, approval is given to either certify, seek clarification, or not certify.

4

Perform Surveillance
or Recertification Audit

5

Perform Surveillance or Recertification Audit

Registration is based on a 3-year cycle. To maintain your certification, your organization must participate in an onsite review each year. The first two are surveillance audits and only look at a portion of your system, whereas the third-year review (re-certification) is a more comprehensive audit and looks at your overall system for continued effectiveness.

5

Sign the Agreement

1

Sign the Agreement

Orion must provide a quote for all ISO standards. The terms and conditions must be signed and returned to Orion along with any required deposit.
1

Perform GAP Audit (optional)

2

Perform GAP Audit (optional)

Prior to your Stage 1 or Stage 2 audit, Orion can perform a gap audit to identify major gaps in meeting the requirements of the standard. This independent review will identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. Many companies prefer undergoing a preliminary gap audit to ensure they fully understand the standard’s requirements prior to their actual certification audits.
2

Perform Stage 2 Audit:
Certification Audit

3

Certification Audit

This onsite audit is conducted to ensure that the processes and documents examined during the Stage 1 Audit (Readiness Review) are in use and that the system is implemented according to the requirements of the standard.

The key deliverables from this stage include:

  • An audit report detailing positive aspects, issues for resolution (non-conformances), and areas for improvement.
  • A recommendation regarding your registration.
3

Finalize Audit Report
and Receive Certificate

4

Finalize Audit Report and Receive Certificate

The results from the Stage 1 and Stage 2 audits are reviewed to ensure that all Orion accreditation requirements have been met and a proper recommendation made. At this point, approval is given to either certify, seek clarification, or not certify.

4

Perform Surveillance
or Recertification Audit

5

Perform Surveillance or Recertification Audit

Registration is based on a 3-year cycle. To maintain your certification, your organization must participate in an onsite review each year. The first two are surveillance audits and only look at a portion of your system, whereas the third-year review (re-certification) is a more comprehensive audit and looks at your overall system for continued effectiveness.

5

Sign the Agreement

Orion must provide a quote for all ISO standards. The terms and conditions must be signed and returned to Orion along with any required deposit.
1

Perform GAP Audit (optional)

Prior to your Stage 1 or Stage 2 audit, Orion can perform a gap audit to identify major gaps in meeting the requirements of the standard. This independent review will identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. Many companies prefer undergoing a preliminary gap audit to ensure they fully understand the standard’s requirements prior to their actual certification audits.
2

Certification Audit

This onsite audit is conducted to ensure that the processes and documents examined during the Stage 1 Audit (Readiness Review) are in use and that the system is implemented according to the requirements of the standard.

The key deliverables from this stage include:

  • An audit report detailing positive aspects, issues for resolution (non-conformances), and areas for improvement.
  • A recommendation regarding your registration.
3

Finalize Audit Report
and Receive Certificate

The results from the Stage 1 and Stage 2 audits are reviewed to ensure that all Orion accreditation requirements have been met and a proper recommendation made. At this point, approval is given to either certify, seek clarification, or not certify.

4

Perform Surveillance
or Recertification Audit

Registration is based on a 3-year cycle. To maintain your certification, your organization must participate in an onsite review each year. The first two are surveillance audits and only look at a portion of your system, whereas the third-year review (re-certification) is a more comprehensive audit and looks at your overall system for continued effectiveness.

5

Schedule a Consultation

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