US EPA Includes SCS Global Services’ Standards, Ecolabels and Certifications in its Recommendations to Federal Purchasers

SCS Global Services‘ suite of indoor air quality certification standards for the built environment are now recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its Recommendations of Specifications, Standards and Ecolabels to federal purchasers. SCS has provided leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for more than thirty years.

SCS Indoor Advantage and Indoor Advantage Gold were included among the standards recommended for certification for a wide range of low-emitting furniture and building materials, including adhesives, carpet, acoustical ceiling tile, fiberboard, gypsum panels, wallboard, flooring products, insulation, and interior latex paint. In addition, the FloorScore® standard, developed by SCS for the Resilient Floor Covering Institute, was among the standards recommended for certification for low-emitting flooring and carpet.

During the pilot phase, which focused on three categories – paints and coatings, furniture, and flooring – product-focused stakeholder panels and the Governance Committee grappled with a wide range of issues related to environmental standards setting processes, effectiveness of standards in protecting human and environmental health, conformity assessment approaches, and ecolabel program management. In addition to earning the recommendation for its indoor air quality standards, SCS was found to meet the EPA’s guidelines for conformity assessment bodies for services provided in connection with the following standards:

  • level®, ANSI/BIFMA e3 – 2014, Certification for Sustainable Furniture
  • Green Squared®, ANSI A138.1 – 2011 v2, Certification for Sustainable Ceramic Tiles, Glass Tiles and Tile Installation Materials
  • facts®, NSF/ANSI 336 – 2011, Certification for Sustainable Commercial Furnishings Fabric
  • NSF/ANSI 140 – 2015 Sustainability Assessment for Carpet
  • NSF/ANSI 332 – 2015 Sustainability Assessment for Resilient Floor Coverings.

With expertise spanning a wide-range of industries, SCS is one of the few certification bodies with the ability to assess companies, domestic and international, for several multi-attribute and indoor air quality standards recommended so far by the EPA.

The pilot project was an outgrowth of U.S. Presidential Executive Order 13963, Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade, which directed the EPA to provide federal purchasers with recommendations of specifications, standards, and ecolabels to use in identifying and procuring environmentally preferable products and services. The EPA’s goal was to develop a transparent, fair and consistent approach to using private sector standards and conformity assessment programs to support sustainable acquisition within the federal government, resulting in greater marketplace clarity overall.

We are working closely with SCS and can help German and European customers meet US market requirements and successfully launch their products in North America. SCS has been a global leader in third-party quality, environmental and sustainability verification, certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for more than three decades. Its programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in the product manufacturing, green building, food and agriculture, natural resource management, carbon offset, and energy markets. SCS is a chartered benefit corporation, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practice.