Sustainability is a crucial aspect of the furniture industry’s future. The industry is increasingly focusing on reducing its environmental impact and creating sustainable products. Here are some key aspects of sustainability in the furniture industry:
- Use of Sustainable Materials: Furniture made from recycled materials, renewable resources such as sustainably sourced wood, and other environmentally friendly materials helps reduce the industry’s negative impact on the environment.
- Energy Efficiency: Manufacturing furniture with reduced energy consumption and utilizing renewable energy sources contributes to lowering the industry’s carbon footprint.
- Longevity: Designing and manufacturing furniture with high quality, durable materials, and thoughtful construction allows for longer product lifespans. This reduces the need for replacement and disposal, thus reducing waste.
- Repair and Recycling: Promoting repair and recycling practices for furniture can reduce waste and foster a circular economy within the industry.
- Logistics and Packaging: Optimizing transportation, using recycled packaging, and reducing waste throughout the supply chain contribute to furniture sustainability.
- Responsible Supply Chain: Ensuring responsible sourcing practices, ethical labor conditions, and transparency in the supply chain are important for promoting sustainability in the furniture industry.
- Certification and Standards: Adhering to recognized sustainability certifications and standards, such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for wood sourcing, can demonstrate a commitment to sustainable practices.
- Consumer Education: Educating consumers about sustainable furniture choices and the importance of responsible consumption can drive demand for sustainable products and influence purchasing decisions.
Sustainable practices in the furniture industry are essential for reducing environmental impacts and meeting the expectations of consumers who are increasingly aware of the importance of sustainability.
STEP is one of the partners of the project INFURI– INnovation in the FURniture Industry in the era of circular economy. The project’s goals are:
- to equip furniture employees with relevant skills related to circularity;
- to spread innovative and sustainable circular business models in the furniture industry contributing to enhance its competitiveness;
- to increase SMEs ability to analyse their business under a “circular” point of view;
- to promote synergies and cooperation among businesses, universities, research centres and other relevant stakeholders operating in the furniture sector following a circular approach;
- to spread circular procurement principles with benefits in term of corporate social responsibility.
Last week we attended the final conference of the project in Milan. The conference was part of the Mind Milano Innovation Week. We presented the 5 intellectual outputs we created within the project:
IO1 – Living Labs and “Circularity matters: gaps, limits and constraints in the EU furniture industry” paper;
IO2 – MOOC “Managing a furniture company in the era of circular economy”;
IO3 – Book of lectures “Integrated competencies and systemic approach in the era of circular economy”;
IO4 – Multi-actor circular network;
IO5 – Circular Procurement Guidelines for Office Furniture.
A Roundtable was also part of the conference, where we were able to have a conversation with several stakeholders: Maria Porro (President of Salone Del Mobile), Meggie Feng (WUAS), Davide Barzgahi (Biosofa) and Anna Pellizzari (Materially).