October 26, 2022
On Aug. 8, 2022, the new Italian Minimum Environmental Criteria (CAM) for the supply, rental service and service for extending the useful life of interior furnishings have been published on the Official Gazette n. 184.
The annex to the Ministerial Decree of June 23, 2022, n. 254 establishes the new criteria, which update and replace those in force since 2017. The new decree enters into force 120 days after publication, which is on Dec. 6, 2022.
The new CAM for interior furnishings regulate the following assignments:
- Supply of new interior furnishings;
- Rental service for interior furnishings;
- Service for extending the useful life of interior furniture, or the repair and reuse of furniture that allows to extend its life cycle.
The annex to the decree clearly identifies the furnishings, including custom-made ones, to which the CAM must be applied, e.g., work benches and laboratory furniture, coat hangers, chairs and stools and specifies that the internal movable walls (internal non-load-bearing partition systems) are also included as defined in the UNI 10700 standard.
Electrical equipment and components compliant with the RoHS Directive are excluded, forming part of the furniture and furnishings classified as medical devices, supports or technical aids for disabled people.
The CAM promotes the eco-design of furnishings through the use of renewable or recycled materials, modularity and Nondestructive disassembly to allow the recovery of parts to be used as spare parts or the recycling of materials. The use of wood from sustainably managed forests is required.
With regard to eco-design, the new CAM specifies an appendix to support economic operators consisting of tables with compilation examples. A second appendix deals with physical quality requirements and hazardous substances.
To highlight, the new CAM introduces the assignment of the service to extend the useful life of the furniture which involves the repair or donation of used furniture and, ultimately, the Nondestructive disassembly to recycle the recovered material, to encourage tenders, innovative and circular audiences.
Among the awarding criteria for the supply, a rewarding score is attributed to the economic operator who demonstrates they supply furnishings with environmental certifications, including UL GREENGUARD Certification for VOC low-emitting products.
UL GREENGUARD Certification emissions limits were first used as purchasing specifications for the U.S. EPA and the state of Washington for furniture and commercial building products. UL GREENGUARD Certification criteria have been the basis for the LEED credit for low-emitting furniture since 2002. Office furniture products that are UL GREENGUARD Certified are also compliant with the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) X7.1 standard and BIFMA e3 credit 7.6.1.
The GREENGUARD Gold Certification standard includes health-based criteria for additional chemicals and also requires lower total VOC emissions levels to help ensure that products are acceptable for use in environments like schools and healthcare facilities. In addition to limiting emissions of more than 360 VOCs and total chemical emissions, GREENGUARD Gold Certified products must also comply with requirements of the state of California’s Department of Public Health (CDPH) “Standard Method for the Testing and Evaluation of Volatile Organic Chemical Emissions from Indoor Sources Using Environmental Chambers, Version 1.2 (2017)” (also known as California Section 01350). Office furniture products that are UL GREENGUARD Gold Certified are also compliant with the BIFMA X7.1 standard and BIFMA e3 credits 7.6.1, 7.6.2, and 7.6.3.