Steelcase cobi® Chair Receives BIFMA Level™ 3 Certification

CHICAGO – June 14, 2010 – The Steelcase cobi® chair with leather upholstery has received level™ 3 certification, the highest level of achievement possible in the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association (BIFMA) e3 certification program. The Steelcase Think® chair was the first product in the world to achieve level 3 certification and now Steelcase adds to this accomplishment with the cobi chair.

The e3 standard represents BIFMA’s first multi-attribute sustainability standard specifically for furniture. Manufacturers can only achieve level certification from a participating third party, such as Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), that meets rigorous criteria and assesses products against the specified BIFMA standard.

“Cobi’s level 3 certification is an outstanding achievement that builds on Steelcase’s longstanding commitment to sustainable product development,” said Jim Keane, president, Steelcase Group. “The Steelcase portfolio of furniture features over 65 BIFMA level certifications, and we’re continuing to pursue additional certifications to help our customers better understand the sustainable attributes of the products they choose.”

The BIFMA certification program was created by a diverse group of stakeholders to help distinguish environmentally-preferable business and institutional furniture. The standard has multiple conformance levels – levels 1, 2, or 3 with level 3 being the highest. Products are certified using a point system that encompasses both product and facility characteristics, as well as environmentally-sustainable corporate policies.

Highlights of the cobi level 3 certification include a complete lifecycle assessment evaluating the chair’s lifelong impact on the environment, efficient use of materials throughout the supply chain and detailed materials chemistry information for the chair’s components. The cobi chair is independently level certified by SCS and has also earned SCS Indoor Advantage™ Gold certification for indoor air quality.

Steelcase’s cobi caters to a collaborative work environment and combines aesthetics with performance. The chair’s design encourages users to move freely and minimizes fatigue by supporting a wide range of sitting postures with a weight-activated mechanism that automatically responds to a user’s movement. It also features an elastomeric top edge that gives way when users drape an arm over the back of the chair – common behavior when sitting in a chair for longer periods of time. Additionally, the seat pan flexes on three sides, allowing users to sit multiple ways in comfort. A unique, breathable knit material on the back adds to cobi’s cool, comfortable sit.

In addition to cobi, Steelcase introduced 48 new level certifications at this year’s NeoCon, for a total of 66 certifications, including Turnstone Campfire™ Collection, media:scape® lounge, Details Dash™ LED task light, multiple Coalesse products, and much more. Visit for full details.

About Steelcase Inc.
Steelcase Inc. helps create great experiences — wherever work happens. Our brands offer a comprehensive portfolio of workplace furnishings, products and services, inspired by nearly 100 years of insight gained serving the world’s leading organizations. We are globally accessible through a network of channels, including over 650 dealers. We design for social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Steelcase is a global, publicly traded company leading our industry with fiscal 2010 revenue of approximately $2.3 billion.

Sara Whitman