Okamura First Japanese Company to Achieve LEVEL® Certification
Okamura Furniture joins the growing number of companies who have LEVEL Certified furniture products. Okamura’s own sustainability criteria, GREEN WAVE, overlapped the LEVEL program conceptually in many ways, motivating the choice to have their products LEVEL Certified. Okamura stated, “we’ve decided to have our product become LEVEL certified so we can provide more integrity and credibility to our clients. The similarities between ESG and LEVEL also encouraged our decision.”
Influenced by both the US and Japanese markets to make sustainability a product priority, Okamura sought out SCS, a third-party certifier, who worked with Okamura and traveled to their location overseas to complete the certification process.
Although there were many conceptual overlaps between LEVEL by BIFMA and Okamura’s GREEN WAVE, the structure was different. Okamura was motivated to take the time to re-configure their own process to align with the LEVEL program. There were a few challenges in adapting the intent of the criteria to regional differences. However, SCS was integral to the learning process and both companies successfully worked through the procedure.
“Okamura has a rich history in addressing the sustainability – in 1997 we developed our own sustainability criteria, GREEN WAVE, for our products, to verify various sustainable actions properly. LEVEL certification was a great option to provide more integrity and credibility to our clients, not only just as a product but also as a company. Since it assesses the company’s sustainability broadly, it helps the manufacturer to design the ESG strategy as well.” —Kensuke Yoshida, Product Manager, Okamura.
About LEVEL by BIFMA
LEVEL mark attests that the product, the manufacturing facility, and the company responsible for the product brand, have been evaluated against the multi-attribute criteria of the ANSI/BIFMA e3 Furniture Sustainability Standard by independent, third-party certifiers.
BIFMA is the leading non-profit furniture trade association in North America with members from around the world. Founded from the call to define uniform product standards for the industry, BIFMA has served as the voice of the commercial furniture industry since 1973 and is now the recognized source for refining, managing, and developing furniture standards that embody safety, ergonomics, health, sustainability, and performance that support buyer and specifier communities in making informed furniture selection decisions.
BIFMA further supports the industry providing market data, thought leadership, and industry outreach celebrating design and innovation in recognition of the significance furnishings play in the places we learn, work, heal, and live through product registries, sustainability certification, statistics reporting, government relations, industry promotion, education, networking, and trade development programs.