What is Sustainable Furniture?
Ensuring the products we buy are sustainable is one of the key strategies that organisations and individuals alike can do to play a role in helping to mitigate climate change.
There are a number of factors involved in making furniture sustainable, including the materials that are used to create the products, how the pieces are manufactured, and how they are transported and delivered.
Wood is one of the most naturally renewable energy sources, it has less of an impact on the environment than most other construction materials. In fact when wood is used in place of other materials it can have a net carbon benefit.
Wood production is rooted in sustainability. Contemporary wood production is predicated on sustainable ecology principles, which emphasises increasing forest areas and a committed opposition to deforestation. In fact, a robust wood market has led to more forests being planted, not fewer.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifies wood as sustainably harvested. This is the ‘gold standard’ designation for wood that is harvested from forests that are responsibly managed, socially beneficial, environmentally conscious, and economically viable. The FSC certified Baltic Birch plywood we use is sourced from sustainably managed Northern European forests. Birch species are relatively fast growing and support a myriad of varied wildlife, and where managed as a sustainable forest resource, do not impinge on the natural biodiversity
“Wood is the only truly sustainable building material and for every cubic metre of wood used in construction, approximately one tonne of carbon dioxide is saved. Choosing wood can really make a difference when considering carbon storage. For example, through research conducted by the Wood Window Alliance, we know that 160kg of CO2 is saved in every wood window chosen instead of PVCu.” – Iain McIlwee, CEO of the British Woodworking Federation
DURABILITY & LONGEVITY
Birch plywood is commonly known for its strength and stability. Weight for weight it is stronger than steel in static bending strength. It is resistant to cracks, warps, and shrinking, as well as being moisture-resistant. It is the material of choice not only for it’s strength and durability but for it’s beautiful aesthetics. Natural Birch has an elegance to it, thanks to its smooth, pale grain with a warm tone.
When treated correctly wooden products commonly last longer than a lifetime. The longer wood lasts, the less energy is used on the production of new products, which in turn makes it better for the environment.
Material reutilisation eliminates the concept of waste by helping to ensure products remain in perpetual cycles of use and reuse from one product use cycle to the next.
Open design furniture can be dismantled to be repaired and recycled or so that parts can be replaced. This practice extends the life of the piece and makes a piece more sustainable because it keeps it out of a landfill. Open design ensures an item can functionally last forever. Additionally we have a full take-back scheme for repairing and refurbishing products or recycling for products that have reached the end of their useful lives.
Wood is not only a natural and aesthetically pleasing material for any workspace, it is an easy material to maintain and repair.
Tried & Tested Design
Opendesk designs have been produced tens of thousands of times and used in numerous commercial settings all over the world. These pieces are ideally suited to such hard wearing environments where durability, functionality and longevity are key.
Research has shown that reducing the amount of man-made materials and introducing natural alternatives, such as wood, lowers stress and anxiety levels. Wood has psychological effects on people and a similar stress-reducing effect to nature.
CARBON NEUTRAL MANUFACTURING
A key factor in sustainability is to ensure products are manufactured using renewable energy so that the impact of climate changing greenhouse gases due to the manufacturing of the product is reduced or eliminated.
In partnership with the Carbon Footprint Standard, we are proud to be a certified Carbon Neutral organisation.
We are environmentally conscious in all that we do. From the materials we use, the products we manufacture, and suppliers we choose. A verified carbon footprint assessment enables us to track and reduce carbon emissions ‘at source’ as much as possible and to compensate for unavoidable emissions – via carbon offsetting .
This ensures, and certifies, that our manufacturing process is net zero carbon/carbon neutral and enables us to meet our environmental responsibilities.
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