Sourcing Sustainable Furniture


24.03.20
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As far back as 2011, a global survey by McKinsey argued that there was a business case for sustainability that went beyond the benefit of positive market perception.

More companies are managing sustainability to improve processes, pursue growth, and add value to their companies rather than focusing on reputation alone.

McKinsey and Company

The Business Case for sustainability

UK businesses are under increasing pressure to demonstrate their eco-credentials, committing to improvements aligning with nationwide goals and the strength of public opinion. However, growing public awareness has also resulted in businesses setting their own goals and making sustainability an important part of their marketing and business decisions.

An HSBC report reveals that 50% of UK businesses are planning to increase spending on sustainability by summer 2021 to increase efficiency, keep up with competitors and comply with government regulations.

Furniture Manufacturing

From being part of the problem to becoming part of the solution, forward thinking furniture manufacturers are examining their supply chain, raw materials and recyclability of products to improve their offer.

But it can be difficult to separate out those that are really practising what they preach rather than merely aligning themselves with the trend by making unsubstantiated claims to reduce waste and recycle - known as ‘greenwashing’.

Sustainable best practice

Sourcing sustainable commercial furniture solutions for workplace and hospitality projects, these are some of the key indicators of good practice that we have identified: -

  • Furniture which is built to last and can be restored or repaired so that the lifespan can be extended even beyond its guarantee
  • Products which have few components and can be easily disassembled for recycling
  • Recycling of waste material from the production process
  • Use of waste plastic materials such as discarded plastic bottles
  • Using good quality raw materials which come from a sustainable source (with appropriate accreditation e.g. FSC for Timber)
  • Recycling materials for production that can then be recycled again at the end of the products lifetime
  • Local sourcing and transparency in the supply chain- Reduce and recycling of waste packaging used for delivery
  • Membership of FISP the furniture industry’s independently certified sustainability programme
  • ISO 20400 standard which provides guideance to organisations on integrating sustainability into their procurement practice and which will become an integral part of ISO 14001 on Environmental management systems

Download our Bureau Green Report 2020 e-book, or access via our e-reader, to find out more about the innovative manufacturers and suppliers that are driving the change in sustainable contract furniture.