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  Goods > Building & Maintenance > Furniture


The state buys furniture to meet the functional needs of state agencies. This typically includes modular systems furniture, desks, and chairs. Besides functionality, the state strives to procure furniture that has a reduced impact on the environment and human health. Furniture made with less chemical additives can have lower impact on indoor air quality. Higher recycled content used to manufacturer furniture can help reduce the depletion of natural resources. Energy efficient desk lights can have lower energy consumption which translates into lower greenhouse gas emission. Furthermore, furniture with third-party environmental certification may help State buildings obtain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

Green Contracts

California’s 2016 Modular Systems Furniture contract offers BIFMA level® 3 certified furniture that meets multiple Environmentally Preferable Purchasing or “green” requirements such as the indoor air quality standard and recycled content. It also offers occupancy sensing LED desk lights that reduce plug load. In addition to “green” requirements, the certified furniture meets sustainability requirements that help reduce the energy use and greenhouse gas emissions of the supply chain. The furniture offered in this contract can potentially contribute towards LEED certification for State buildings.

This contract may be open to Local Governmental Agencies as defined by Public Contract Code Section 10298. Click on “Buy Green Now” to view the Contract User Instructions for further details.

This contract offers SABRC compliant line items with post-consumer recycled content. View the contract for complete details.

The following Green Statewide Commodity Contract is available for state department use. For products other than those found on the Green Statewide Commodity Contract, use a DGS Purchasing Standard to buy green. The DGS Purchasing Standards are available below.

Contract Name:  Modular Systems Furniture
Contract ID/Number:  1-16-71-52

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The following technical and environmental specifications are incorporated in the state's contract(s) and are linked here for informational purposes only.

To Buy Green through the state's contract, click on the Green Contracts accordion and select "Buy Green Now."

Modular Systems Furniture

Laws, Regulations and Policy


  • Business and Professions Code Sections 19000 - 19221 Home Furnishings
  • Health and Safety Code Sections 44300 - 44394 - Air Toxics Hot Spots Information and Assessment Act
  • Health and Safety Code Section 108920 - Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers Requirements
  • Public Contract Code Sections 12200 - 12217 - State Agency Buy Recycle Campaign Requirements


  • California Code of Regulations, Title 4, Section 1374 - Flammability; Upholstered and Reupholstered Furniture
  • California Code of Regulations, Title 17, Sections 93120-93120.12 - Air Toxic Control Measure to Reduce Formaldehyde Emission from Composite Wood Products 
  • California Code of Regulations, Title 20, Sections 1601-1608 - Appliance Efficiency Regulations


  • Executive Order B-18-12 - Governor's Green Buildings Initiative
  • Management Memo 11-01 - Cost-Effective Reuse of Surplus Furniture
  • Management Memo 14-05 - Indoor Environmental Quality: New, Renovated, and Existing Buildings
  • Management Memo 14-07 - Standard Operating Procedures For Energy Management In State Buildings
  • Management Memo 15-05 - Policy and Procedures for Acquiring Modular Systems Furniture
  • State Administrative Manual 1321.17 - Modular Systems Furniture
  • State Administrative Manual 3505, 3672 - Prison Industry Authority
  • State Administrative Manual 3520 - Disposal of Surplus Personal Property

Certifications and Standards

  • American National Standard Institute / Business & Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (ANSI/BIFMA) e3-2014e – Furniture Sustainability Standard
  • ANSI/BIFMA X7.1 - Standard for Formaldehyde and TVOC Emissions of Low-emitting Office Furniture and Seating
  • Business Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) level® certification
  • California Department of Public Health / Environmental Health Laboratory Branch Standard Method for the Testing and Evaluation of Volatile Organic Chemical Emissions from Indoor Sources Using Environmental Chambers Version 1.1 (CDPH/EHLB Standard Method V1.1 – 2010)
  • Forest Stewardship Council®
  • State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign (SABRC) Compliant
  • SCS Indoor Advantage™ Gold

Buying Tips

  • Consider products that are certified to BIFMA level®, GREENGUARD Gold, or SCS Indoor Advantage Gold, especially when the products will be used in a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified building.
  • When purchasing certified products, ask for the certification(s) and verify the information.
  • Look for LED desk lights and include occupancy sensors when feasible.
  • Consider wood products that are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.
  • Seek assistance from space designer to maximize space use efficiency.
  • Purchase from environmentally responsible manufacturers who are ISO 14001 third-party certified.
  • Check for formaldehyde, phthalates, brominated flame retardants and polyvinyl chlorides.
  • Use No Added Formaldehyde (NAF) or Ultra Low-Emitting Formaldehyde (ULEF) or No Added Formaldehyde (NAF) CARB third-party certified composite wood products.
  • Upholstered furniture such as seating is required by law to meet flammability standard. Prior to purchase, determine the standard the seating must comply.

DGS Purchasing Standards

DGS Purchasing Standards provide the minimum criteria purchases must meet to be considered Environmentally Preferable (EPP), aka “green”, by the State of California. They establish a mechanism for incorporating performance and environmental requirements that meet the state’s environmentally preferable goals, into procurement and policy.

The State of California may offer purchasing mechanisms for these commodities. Ordering departments must adhere to all applicable laws, regulations and policies. These purchasing mechanisms may contain items that the supplier has identified as "green" in their catalog. Items may only qualify as green when purchased by the State of California if they adhere to the applicable DGS Purchasing Standard or other established EPP criteria. The applicable DGS Purchasing Standard is listed above. 

References and Resources