The Sustainable Office European Association (SOFEA) is a new international not-for-profit association registered in Belgium. The objective of SOFEA is to design, implement and maintain a single and common system for the evaluation and rating of the environmental performance of the entire spectrum of office equipment and supplies products sold on the European market.

In September 2013 100 major players from the EU office products industry were invited to a meeting in Frankfurt to discuss how we can rationalise the plethora of multiple labels and green rating systems that are facing our industry. The manufacturers are incurring prohibitive costs without adding value to the supply chain and have to maintain multiple databases and fill in multiple product information requirements from different resellers.

The large resellers are confounded by the many eco labels presented to them and have no real knowledge of the environmental performance of products and therefore cannot select products based upon an independently verified environmental rating system.

Both the suppliers and the resellers are in agreement that we need to rationalise these processes and work with the EU Commission on a single verifiable and objective valuation system to evaluate the environmental performance of all products in the industry.

This is a massive task and will involve the collaboration of all parts of the supply chain but the benefits to both manufacturers and resellers are real tangible cost reductions over a period of time with poor environmentally rated products forced out of the industry.

Major players from both resellers and manufacturers were invited to join this new Association in January 2014, which will have a board of directors consisting of 18 members with 9 from manufacturing and 9 from resellers.

Other European Federations including BOSS were invited to be Associate Members in an advisory capacity.

fA provisional Board will be elected from founder members at a meeting on 4th March 2014 at the OPI conference in Amsterdam. The founding members may vote on site on the day of the election, or may do so by mail which must be received by a designated lawyer no later than 28th February.

All companies are invited to be founder members and to fill in the membership form to confirm their interest.

Additional information:

 For further information please contact Christophe Girardier at [email protected]


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