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SFC’s Susan Inglis Selected to Serve on Furniture Panel as EPA considers Guidelines for Ecolabels

SFC is proud to announce that Executive Director Susan Inglis has been selected by the Environmental Protection Agency to serve on the Furniture Panel for review of the Draft Guidelines for Product Environmental Performance Standards and Ecolabels for Voluntary Use in Federal Procurement pilot. 

The panel will work over a 9-month period, reviewing and contributing to documents that fulfill the pilot goal of contributing to improvements in human health and the environment, and of encouraging continuous improvement among standards and ecolabels.   Resolv, which is facilitating the process, describes on their website that EPA’s goal in developing the guidelines is to create a “transparent, fair, and consistent approach to selecting environmental performance standards and ecolabels to support the Agency’s mission and federal sustainable acquisition mandates.” The fundamental aim of the guidelines is to establish a cross-sector framework to be used in recognizing non-governmental environmental standards and ecolabels (and consequently, environmentally preferable products meeting these standards) for use in federal procurement. The guidelines provide a foundation for making these determinations, while providing flexibility to accommodate the variety of approaches to and types of standards and ecolabels that exist in the marketplace today.

The pilot aims to support sustainable purchasing at the federal level as described above by addressing remaining questions regarding both the finalization of the guidelines and the proposed approach to assessing standards and ecolabels.  Inglis and other Furniture Panel members will work collaboratively to develop product-category-specific criteria for assessing standards and ecolabels (based on the guidelines), and then review conformity assessment results before drafting panel recommendations. The panel will also receive input from and relay insight to the Governance Committee, both with respect to the purchase-category specific application of the guidelines and broader questions about the pilot’s value and potential scalability.  SFC expects that the process will also result in greater public understanding of labels and environmental claims, which is crucial for sustaining a healthy future.