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If your organization is looking for greener furniture choices, you’ll be interested in a new resource to identify and evaluate Environmentally Preferable Product (EPP) selections on Statewide Contract OFF38 for Office, School, and Library Furniture, Accessories & Services.

Over the last several months, the EPP Procurement Program at OSD teamed up with the Center for Environmental Health (CEH)* to create a resource that helps buyers make environmentally informed choices when purchasing furniture on Statewide Contract OFF38. Thanks to the work with CEH, buyers are able to easily identify furniture that is free of certain chemicals of concern, enabling choices that contribute to a healthier indoor environment.

“Chemicals such as formaldehyde, antimicrobials, and flame retardants have long been shown to have adverse effects on indoor air quality,” states Julia Wolfe, Director of the Environmentally Preferred Products Procurement Program at OSD. “We’re pleased to offer buyers more than 350 lines of furniture that meet environmentally preferred attributes on Statewide Contract OFF38. Our work with the CEH enables EPP product transparency and gives buyers the information they need to guide productive discussions with vendors.”

The EPP Furniture Table summarizes the environmental attributes met by various manufacturers and product lines offered on OFF38. Product selections are classified as an EPP choice or identified as meeting additional EPP attributes and assigned an EPP Plus designation. Additional EPP attribute data is offered for buyer consideration. Buyers may link to this resource on the OSD website by selecting Find EPP Furniture. Information about the chemicals referenced in the Table and their health and environmental effects are published in the EPP Furniture Guidance document, also available on the OSD website.

Updates to Boston’s Fire Code Expand Furniture Choices

The availability of these new OFF38 resources coincides with a City of Boston regulation that took effect on July 7, 2016. This new bill amends Boston’s Fire Prevention Code, allowing offices and residential areas to use furniture free of toxic flame retardant chemicals. Other public buildings or assembly areas that are fully sprinklered – including healthcare facilities, dormitories, and schools – also may observe the new code, though all organizations should check with their Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) to ensure compliance. With the passage of this Boston regulation, organizations throughout the Commonwealth may opt for flame retardant free furniture and an array of EPP choices on Statewide Contract OFF38.

If you have additional questions about EPPs on OFF38 or the EPP Procurement Program, contact Julia Wolfe at julia.wolfe@state.ma.us. Learn more about all OFF38 choices by clicking here to view our contract flyer.

*The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) is a nationwide organization focused on identifying and eliminating the use of toxic chemicals that pose a risk to human health.

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