The planet we live on deserves all our responsibility to take care of it and respect it. Our commitment is increasingly necessary, and fortunately, we are more aware and we are modifying processes, actions and attitudes, both at a personal and corporate level. The role of companies in respecting the environment is critical.
The commitment to responsible and sustainable behaviour in companies is no longer an option, but a necessity. They cannot turn their backs on a management model that integrates ethical codes and factors that take into account the social and environmental value of their activity.
In addition, sustainable companies reduce costs, are more competitive and efficient, and acquire business opportunities in new markets and key segments in the economy of the future.
Sustainable Furniture and Committed Manufacturers
The furniture industry is one of the sectors that is most committed to the environment. Sustainability applies not only to manufacturing materials but also to design, manufacturing processes, distribution and social commitment. In the case of materials, it takes into account not only the type of material used but also its origin and the process by which it is obtained.
To ensure that companies in the furniture sector are committed to reducing their impact on the environment, there are certain certifications. For the design process, there is the UNE-EN ISO 14006:2020 standard, which outlines environmental management systems and guidelines for incorporating ecodesign.
This standard provides guidelines to help organizations establish, implement, document, maintain and continuously improve their eco-design management as part of an environmental management system (EMS). You can view the content of the standard here.
Every year, almost 9 million hectares of forest disappear around the world. And today, 12% of greenhouse gases come from deforestation and related activities.
That is why wood certification is so vital. Certified wood offers guarantees that its procurement has had the least possible impact on the environment and also does not make inappropriate use of the people who contribute to the production and harvesting of the wood.
The FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certificate was created to ensure the care of large natural areas at risk of deforestation. This certificate wants to assure the consumer that the wood or any other forest product used in the manufacture of furniture comes from a forest managed in a responsible and sustainable way.
Another certificate for wood is the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification). As of today, PEFC is the largest forest certification system in the world. This certification, we quote, "works along the entire supply chain to promote good practices in the forest and ensure that forest products are produced in compliance with the highest environmental, social and ethical standards". PEFC certification certifies that companies that extract their raw material from forests do so in a responsible manner.
On the other hand, the use of alternative, natural, resistant and environmentally friendly materials is becoming more and more common in the furniture and decoration industry. For example, bamboo wood is usable between 1 and 3 years after planting, compared to 7 years for any tree.
It grows fast, and in a multitude of ecological environments and does not require fertilizers. Rattan, resistant and sustainable, is also increasingly used in furniture. Or banana fiber such as Bananatex, which is soft and anti-allergenic.
Sustainable innovation is not only focused on forest-based materials; the textile industry is increasingly working with 100% organic cotton such as GOTS certified cotton. And the plastics used tend to be recycled and recyclable, such as PET or PLA.
Examples of Certified Furniture Brands
Steelcase - Hitting Carbon Neutral
For the last 108 years, Steelcase has been helping businesses to create an idyllic work environment. The company offers versatile and comfortable office chairs, sturdy work desks, space dividers amongst several other products suitable for creating the perfect work space.
Protecting the environment is extremely important to the company, as they are FSC, Cradle to Cradle and PEFC Chain of Custody certified. The company has announced new science-based targets and has taken on the great feat to be carbon neutral by 2030. To do this, the company has invested in carbon offsets, reduced emissions and uses renewable energy sources.
Work From Home Desks - Versatile Work Desks
Work From Home Desks creates conveniently versatile workstations that are designed to maximise space. The company designs what is arguably the world’s most versatile desks, as they’re suited for dozens of accessories, creating the optimal environment for workflow.
Each desk is sustainably made in the United States with FSC certified birch plywood, resulting in strong, environmentally friendly desks. The desks come in various styles such as small, large, and corner standing as well as options for children.
Ergonomically designed, the desks are made for both sitting and standing and are easily set up and put away in five minutes without the use of any tools.