GREENGUARD Expands International Reach

Feb. 5, 2008

ATLANTA /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ - GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) announced its first certification of Japanese manufactured furniture products by Okamura Corp. This marks an important step for GREENGUARD as it continues to broaden its global reach as an international ecolabel.

Okamura joins a growing list of international manufacturers with GREENGUARD-certified products, including BASF (Germany), Cosentino, S.A. (Spain), Freudenberg (Germany), Knauf Insulation (Germany), and Saint-Gobain (France).

"We applaud Okamura for being the first Japanese company to attain GREENGUARD certification for their furniture products," says Carl Smith, CEO with GEI. "As a recognized world leader and one of the largest furniture manufacturers in the world, Okamura's participation in the GREENGUARD Certification Program demonstrates true environmental leadership in their market." In addition to the Contessa Task Chair, which was certified in 2003, Okamura added three seating series (Baron/Okamura CP, Grata, Visconte) to its GREENGUARD-certified product range, which were introduced at the Eco Products Fair in Japan in December 2007.

"As a leading Japanese furniture manufacturer with globally diverse operations, Okamura believes that focus toward sustainability and product safety are essential for success on a global scale," says Hiroki Iwashita, director of Okamura's marketing division. "Okamura chose GREENGUARD because of its stringent testing level and superior certification method, which we believe will be accepted worldwide." In addition to the GREENGUARD certification, Okamura products feature high recycled content and recyclability, and are developed, manufactured and distributed in accordance with its ISO14001 certified environmental management system.

A member of the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN), GEI believes that promoting impartial, third-party certification through recognized ecolabelling programs is critical for verifying the environmental attributes of products in a global economy. The GREENGUARD Certification Program measures chemical offgassing of indoor products and processes during recommended use and application, and then compares the measured emission levels against established health standards. GEI is the world's largest resource for selecting low-emitting products, with more than 125 manufacturers and more than 150,000 products listed in the organization's online product guide ( Access to the product guide is available without charge as a public service to architects, designers, healthcare providers, building owners, construction specifiers and consumers.

About GREENGUARD Environmental Institute
GEI is an industry independent, nonprofit organization that oversees the GREENGUARD Certification Program. GEI's mission is to improve human health and quality of life through programs that improve indoor air that people breathe. As an ANSI Accredited Standards Developer, GEI establishes acceptable standards for building materials, interior products, electronic equipment, environments and buildings. Products that are GREENGUARD-certified must meet stringent, third-party standards for low chemical emissions based on established health standards and undergo rigorous testing and verification processes on a regular basis.

About Okamura Corp.
For more than 60 years, Okamura has been Japan's leading office furniture manufacturer and a benchmark for the industry. Okamura is recognized for its high quality products achieved by excellence in design and engineering. Okamura products are now distributed to more than 50 countries. Visit Okamura at to learn more.

Source: GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (

For additional information, contact Laura Spriggs, communications manager of GEI: [email protected].

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