Natural wooden office furniture with black chairs

Sustainable furniture options promote healthy living as well as encourage the reduction of waste and damage to the environment. The following certifications and standards can help guide sustainable procurement options:

Certifications and Standards

Certification Description Logo
Cradle to Cradle Certifications standards examine the health effects of construction materials, whether materials can be recycled and repurposed, and consumption of water and other resources, as well as, issues of social fairness. Cradle to cradle logo
Green Label Plus

CRI launched the Green Label Plus programs for carpet, adhesives, and cushion. These enhanced programs set higher standards for indoor air quality (IAQ) and ensure that customers are purchasing the very lowest emitting products available on the market.

Green Label Plus logo
UL LEVEL Certification LEVEL is the third-party certification program for the furniture industry's multi-attribute, sustainability standard UL LEVEL logo

Things to Consider:

Icon of a piece of paperBuy credibly certified products

  • Make sure to request options that are third party certified such as Cradle to Cradle, Green Label Plus, and UL LEVEL.
  • Is the product/service Fair Trade certified? This should be explicitly stated.

Icon of circular arrowsBuy circular

  • How long is the product and its components meant to last?
  • Does the product contain recycled components or materials? Have efforts been made to limit excess packaging and resulting waste? Does the product and/or packaging contain reusable/replaceable parts? 
  • Does the vendor offer an end-of-life takeback program? If no, can the product and/or packaging be disposed of through existing UW waste programs? Refer to the A-Z Sorting Guide if unsure.

Icon of a shopping cartMinimize unnecessary purchases

  • Check with Central Stores to see if they have the products you’re looking for. They also offer moving services.

Icon of a hand holding a blooming dollar signConsider lifecycle costs

  • Is the item durable and/or reconfigurable? Sustainable furniture purchases can ideally be repaired and/or restored.