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Furniture Sustainability

In the process of selecting sustainable furniture, you must consider all stages of the product’s lifecycle. Our expert team of designers and furniture specialists can help you to select, supply and install furniture to suit your sustainability goals.

3 min read

Deciding on the right office furniture for your workspace can be a complex process with many factors to take into account. Some considerations include aesthetic, comfort, cost etc. With more companies incorporating ESG practices into their workplace, sustainability is becoming another increasingly important factor when choosing your workplace furniture.

Furniture from virgin resources contributes to 30% of the carbon footprint of a commercial building over its’ life. So to help you achieve your ESG and sustainability targets our furniture specialists make the process simple. Whether it be creating a strategy to incorporate reuse, considering material composition or recyclability our specialists can help you to select, supply and install furniture in a way that is truly sustainable.

Establishing a sustainability strategy is the start of the process. Our expert team of designers and furniture specialists will work with you to tailor this to suit your sustainability goals and budget.

We can…

  • Survey your furniture and advise how it can be reused
  • Redistribute items to charitable causes
  • Recycle or responsibly dispose any damaged items
  • Evaluate our supply chain to ensure furniture procurement is in line with sustainability goals
  • Provide reporting detailing CO2 and cost savings

Achieve sustainability throughout all furniture lifecycle stages


Furniture should be designed for longevity, reuse, recyclability, and re-purposing and this must be factored in from the beginning.

A lot of the time this comes down to the materials the products are made from. So with the demand for sustainable furniture and design increasing, companies must meet these demands. This means designing in a more environmentally conscious way with materials that are minimally damaging to the planet. This can be through using reused items, recycled materials, choosing natural materials or limiting the amount of chemicals used.

Materials and manufacturing

Material selection, vernacular sourcing and energy efficient processing all play an important part in the overall environmental impact of furniture.

Preference is given to suppliers that use materials that are readily available and renewable. Natural materials such as certified timbers, wool and bamboo are great solutions for a sustainable design. Therefore, using recycled materials is key to reducing carbon emissions.

All materials used should be free of formaldehyde and other flame-retardants. And instead use low VOC or water-based foams, glues, and finishes. These can also have a damaging effect on workers health.

Using a short supply chain is fundamental in sustainable manufacture, reducing carbon emissions and production costs.

Packing and transport

Once made, how a piece of furniture gets to you can have a big environmental impact. Products designed for on-site assembly can be packed more densely for transportation. Therefore this requires fewer vehicles and reducing carbon emissions.

Wherever possible, recyclable and recycled packaging and biodegradable materials should be used to reduce energy waste in transportation and natural waste at the end of use. A great way to reduce environmental damage is to check that packaging is comprised of cardboard or recyclable plastic as opposed to variants like Styrofoam. Now, more brands and suppliers are making this possible.

Aim to source locally produced furniture with locally sourced materials whenever possible to minimise its carbon footprint. When importing furniture look for companies that transport their goods efficiently

End of life

Understanding your end-of-life options is essential to contributing to the circular economy. These can come in the form of reselling, re-purposing, or recycling.

The longer a piece of furniture can remain in the workplace, the more sustainable it is. In order to reduce the likelihood of furniture being thrown away it’s important to select furniture that’s built to last and can be repaired and re-purposed. Checking that the manufacturer guarantees a long service life as well as offering spare parts or refurbishment programs is a great way to extend a products life even more.

When an item comes to the end of its life it should be easy to disassemble with parts clearly labelled for sorting and recycling.

Sustainability first

In the process of selecting sustainable furniture, you must consider all stages of the product’s lifecycle. This starts with the initial design through to its end of life.

We’ve broken this down and put together a simple criteria that can help understand how sustainable a piece of furniture is:

  • Designed and built to last
  • Have less components
  • Use sustainable materials
  • Manufactured from a short supply chain
  • Packed densely for shipping using recycled packaging
  • Easily re-purposed or recycled
  • Come from certified or accredited manufacturers

Get in touch today with our in-house furniture specialists – or learn more about our sustainability journey here.