New GSA standards announced for carpeting

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), which serves as the purchasing arm of the U.S. government, has announced new standards for all broadloom (wall-to-wall) carpet and carpet tile purchased through the GSA. Current GSA carpet suppliers have until Jan. 1, 2012, to certify their products to NSF/ANSI 140 Gold Level in order for their carpets to be considered for purchase.

NSF International, an independent organization committed to protecting human health and the environment, developed the official American National Standard for Sustainable Carpet (NSF/ANSI 140) to establish sustainability performance requirements for evaluating a carpet product’s life cycle and supply chain. The criteria include evaluating the product’s social and environmental performance, including labor practices, human rights, product life cycle assessment, energy efficiency, environmental management, reclamation and end-of-product-life management.  The standard was initially released in 2007 and updated in 2010.

GSA has required that broadloom carpet and carpet tile purchased by the government meet the Gold Level certification requirements of the NSF/ANSI 140 standard as part of the GSA’s overall sustainable acquisition goals. GSA has mandated that 95% of all purchases made through the agency meet sustainability requirements by the end of 2011.This includes products and services that are purchased for internal use, such as building construction, repairs and alterations, as well as for maintenance. The GSA will further define its sustainability requirements for other products and phase them in by product category throughout the year.