Tall and Wide Timber Bookshelf

What do our awards and certifications actually mean?

We’re incredibly proud of the environmental certifications and consumer awards we’ve earned over the years, but we also understand there’s a heap of logos and acronyms out there. 

Rather than throwing some letters and colours at you and hoping they stick, let’s explore what all those accolades actually mean, and, what they actually mean for you as a great-looking Koala customer.

Environmental certifications 

What does GECA certified mean?

Good Environmental Choice Australia (CEGA) ensures that products are as environmentally responsible as they claim to be. The GECA tick of certification is a trusted source to show that a product’s supply chain and all materials used meet the highest social, ethical, and environmental standards. So, It’s kind of a big deal!

Our Koala Mattress, Calm As Mattress and Soul Mate Mattress were GECA’s first-ever fully certified mattresses. Michelle Thomas, CEO of GECA explained “We are so proud to support [Koala] through their journey and welcome them to the GECA family of licensees and congratulate them for achieving GECA’s first fully certified mattresses!”. 

What does this mean for you, though? Our mattresses have been laboratory tested to ensure they don’t contain any VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds – we’ll be mentioning these a bit). 

These nasty toxins can cause a whole list of health problems such as headaches, respiratory issues, eye irritation, and long-term impacts such as kidney and nervous system damage. It’s safe to say that it’s best to stay away! 

With GECA’s certification, you know that your purchase has incredibly low, or in most cases, zero VOCs. We were also recognised for our positive environmental, social and human impact. Click here to learn all there is to know about Koala’s GECA-certified mattresses.

 

What does FSC® certified mean?

 A number of our products are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, meaning they are produced to FSC® standards. Acting as the world’s most trusted forest certification scheme, the FSC® encourage sustainability standards surrounding the production of wood and paper-based products. 

This means that Koala is ensuring the protection of animal habitats, the maintenance of biodiversity and zero deforestation. Additionally, FSC® certification ensures social and economic welfare, and supports local communities, fostering fair wages and safe working environments. Yes, please. 

Our Stunner Sofa Bed, Balmain Bed Base, Paddington Bed Base and Workmate Home Office Desk are produced with FSC® certified wood. Learn all about our partnership with FSC® here. 

 

What is a B-Corp?

Founded in the United States in 2006, B Lab is the brainchild of three mates with the goal of making business a force for good. By 2007 there were 82 Certified B-Corps, growing in leaps and bounds until present-day 2022 where there are over 4,000 B-Corps worldwide. 

What does it mean to be a B-Corp? We reckon the B-Corp Declaration of Interdependence says it all: That we must be the change we seek in the world, that all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered, that, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all, to do so requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon one another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.

How does a business become a B-Corp? Through a very stringent application process (can confirm!) which generally takes applicants 6-8 months to complete. Successful applicants prove high social and environmental performance by scoring 80 or above in a B Impact Assesment, make legal commitments by changing their corporate governance structure to be accountable to stakeholders (not just shareholders) and publish performance information on B Lab’s website.

We’re proud to be B-Corp certified, which means we stick to the highest social and environmental standards. Koala is stoked to be a part of a group of companies working together to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.


What is 1% for the Planet?

Now, this is a cool story. Back in 2002, the founders of Patagonia and Blue Ribbon Flies (BFR) bonded over their love of nature and pledged to donate 1% of their respective business’ annual sales to the environment; regardless of whether or not they were profitable that year. 

Over the years, both businesses and individual members (hello Jack Johnson!) have joined 1% for the Planet to, in the words of Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard “collectively be a more powerful source in solving the world’s problems.”

Koala is one of more than 5,000 businesses that put their money where their mouth is. We’re the only Australian mattress and furniture retailer that supports 1% for the Planet, meaning we give away one per cent of gross sales annually for the good of the planet, people and animals.

A Koala purchase is not just good for you, but good for the planet.

Consumer awards and certifications 

What is CertiPUR-US® certification? 

Have you ever considered what the foam inside your mattress is made of? The folks at CertiPUR-US have, and let us tell you – it’s often a “don’t ask how the sausage is made” situation. 

CertiPUR-US developed a foam certification program in 2008 to ensure consumers have a way of knowing what’s in the foam of their upholstered furniture and mattresses. Certified foams are made without formaldehyde, ozone depleters, heavy metals and flame retardants (PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP), and promote indoor air quality through low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). 

In layman’s terms, you can rest easy knowing a clever bunch of environmentalists,  academics and chemists have collaborated with foam manufacturers to ensure your mattress is free of nasty chemicals and, therefore, a-okay to sleep in. Of course, all our mattresses are CertiPUR-US® certified. 

 

What does it mean to be CHOICE® recommended? 

CHOICE® was born in 1959 out of a consumer need for clarity around product quality in what was a new and booming consumerist society. The first edition of Choice Magazine was circulated to 500 subscribers, growing and developing over the 60 years to now service over 185,000 members. Despite the mind-boggling longevity and growth, CHOICE remains independent, non-profit and non-partisan; which means their awards can not be bought. 

So how are CHOICE recommendations earned, you ask? CHOICE independently purchases products and puts them through rigorous category-based testing. Their recommendation of our Calm As Mattress is based on a series of tests, including out-of-the-box comfort and support, in addition to comfort after 8 years of simulated use. The organisation also tested for stabilisation, sagging, sweat repellence, and wear/tear after the simulated 8 years of use.

When it comes to the question of which mattress does CHOICE recommend, we’re very pleased to announce, that it’s ours! Passing with flying colours, our Calm As Mattresses was one of the very few to receive the CHOICE® recommendation in 2022.

 

What does it mean to win Product of the Year?

Now the world’s most significant consumer-voted award for product innovation, the Product of the Year Awards were launched over 30 years ago in France. Operating in over 40 countries in 2022, these awards represent the opinions of over 5,000 voters across several product categories and provide purchasers with a strong recommendation, saving them the hassle and headache of trialling a bunch of inferior products. 

Businesses submit their products created and launched within the previous year for consideration, and then a nationally representative online study is conducted by Nielsen research to crown one winner per category. 

We’re chuffed to have taken the 2022 Product of the Year category gongs for our insanely well-loved Cushy Sofa Bed and Calm As Mattress


What is Canstar Blue?

Canstar changed the game for consumers in 2010, arriving on the scene to compare, rate and review services such as energy, gas solar, phones and internet plans. 

Is Canstar Blue independent? Yes! They’ve since opened the floor to adult consumers, engaging survey company Qualtrics to ask over 70,000 Aussies about their experience with over 300 products and service categories, resulting in star ratings up to five stars. 

This rating is known as the Canstar Blue awards and, with four in five Aussies recognising the Canstar Blue logo, these awards have become pivotal to purchase behaviour around the country. 

The rated criteria vary depending on the category, but typically include overall satisfaction and value for money, while other criteria are included as appropriate to the research subject.

Our Koala Pillow is the winner of the 2022 Canstar Blue ‘Most Satisfied Customers’ Award, taking out the Pillow Category for the second year in a row! 

 

What does winning a Good Design Award mean?

Considered by the World Design Organisation as Australia’s leading design endorsement program, the Australian Good Design Awards have been promoting excellence in design and innovation since 1958. 

Showcasing 11 design disciplines including architecture, research, engineering, social impact, fashion and design; the Australian Good Design Awards are one of the longest-running international design awards and have earned a global audience. 

There are five Good Design Award accolades that signify an organisation’s good design principles and commitment to design excellence when awarded. 

Our Paddington Bed Base (Good Design Award 2021), WFH desk (Good Design Awards 2021), Timber Bookshelf (Good Design Award 2019) & Timber Bed Base (Good Design Award 2018) are all Good Design Award Winners. Winning the Good Design Award means that these products have satisfied the evaluation criteria for Good Design. There is no limit to the number of Good Design Award Winner accolades.

 

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