In today's world, the importance of businesses adopting sustainability practices cannot be overstated.
It is a critical response to the pressing global challenges of climate change and resource depletion.
One often overlooked aspect of sustainability in the corporate world is office furniture. Sustainable office furniture not only aligns with environmental initiatives but also offers numerous benefits to both the environment and the workplace.
In this blog, we'll explore the importance of eco-friendly office furniture and why your company should seriously consider making the switch.
Circular Economy & Resource Conservation
In a circular economy, materials never become waste.
The circular economy is essential for the environment, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, it “tackles climate change and other global challenges, like biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution, by decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources.”
What does this mean? We need to reduce the negative environmental impact of consuming the Earth’s finite resources by avoiding extracting new materials. Products and materials must be kept in circulation through processes like maintenance, reuse, refurbishment, remanufacture, recycling, and composting.
… And what does this have to do with workplace furniture? It means that it’s important to opt for furniture with a longer life!
Take for example, furniture made from over 50 recycled water bottles to become a Collodi chair. That chair can then be recycled entirely again and go on to become something else.
Another way furniture can have its life extended is through furniture rental schemes, like FluidSpace Flex™. Over 22 million pieces of furniture are discarded each year in the UK alone.
By switching to a rental scheme, furniture that is no longer required can be put back to use for someone else, or refurbished and resold. Learn more about FluidSpace Flex™.
Energy-Efficient Production Process
Another key reason to switch to more environmentally friendly furniture in your workplace is that many sustainable office furniture manufacturers prioritise energy-efficient production methods.
They often choose production facilities that use renewable energy sources or have energy-efficient equipment. Additionally, manufacturers may implement leaner and more streamlined production techniques, minimising waste and energy consumption in the assembly of furniture pieces.
Waste Reduction Through Quality Design
Conventional furniture often has a short lifespan leading to more frequent replacements, which not only incurs additional manufacturing and transportation energy but also generates more waste ending up in landfills.
According to National Geographic, “Landfills are still dangerous to the environment and human health. The methane that is released due to the decomposing waste is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change. The air pollutants escaping from the landfill can also cause respiratory problems in people who live close to the landfill.”
In contrast, sustainable office furniture is built to last. With durability in mind, designers are ensuring a longer lifespan and reducing the need for replacements. This, in turn, conserves resources and minimises the waste generated by discarded furniture being sent to landfills.
Top Sustainable Furniture Picks
It can be really difficult when searching for products to find the real deal in a forest of greenwashing.
To save you the hassle, we’ve listed some of our top eco-friendly furniture picks below…
The innovative N02™ Recycle Chair is a multi-use chair made from upcycled plastic household waste that can be recycled again. With the shell and arm pads made from 100% recycled polypropylene, the metal base made of over 50% recycled materials and the seat cushion made of 98% post-consumer recycled polyester, the N02™ Recycle Chair is an excellent choice for your sustainable office.
The shell of the Eternity chair is made from upcycled fibre-based waste materials from Danish coffee producer BKI Kaffe and plastic waste from Grohe. The technique allows efficient upcycling of industrial waste while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions, instead of the waste being burned.
The Eternity chair is designed for disassembly, which means that each component, in its purest form, can be upcycled into new production cycles. The new composite material is designed to be reprocessed again and again.
Whale Boardroom Table
These incredible tables have been made from thousands of PET bottles that have been fished from Amsterdam’s canals. The bottles are transformed into raw materials to create new products. In one boardroom table, 672 recycled PET bottles are used to create PET foam and 332 recycled PET bottles for PET felt. Besides the recycled plastic, Vepa also makes optimal use of other ‘waste streams’ at their factory, recycling waste to be used in other products.
The Gymfloor Table
The Gymfloor collection is designed from a circular point of view. The solid wooden tables and benches are made of a 40-year-old gym floor - a perfect example of reusing and upcycling old materials that would have otherwise gone to landfill.
Collodi Chair is a response to the ever-growing problem of plastic pollution and proof that sustainability, when designed right, enhances rather than compromises on the ergonomic and aesthetic features of the product.
Collodi is made from 100% recyclable materials. The frame, crafted from locally sourced beech wood, is paired with a shell made of compressed and moulded felt. The latter is made almost entirely out of recycled PET bottles – about 52 for each chair – and shaped without any glues or adhesives, using only heat and pressure. Once no longer in use, Collodi can be handed on to another happy user or recycled entirely.
The importance of eco-friendly office furniture cannot be underestimated in today's sustainability landscape. It plays a vital role in resource conservation, energy efficiency, and waste reduction. By choosing sustainable office furniture, your company not only aligns with eco-friendly initiatives but also actively contributes to protecting the environment and mitigating climate change.
The decision to invest in such furniture is not just a statement of environmental responsibility but a practical step towards creating a sustainable workspace that benefits both your business and the planet. In the quest for a greener future, sustainable office furniture is a smart and eco-conscious choice that should be embraced by all forward-thinking companies.
If you're considering the transition to sustainable office furniture, start by conducting a thorough assessment of your current furniture and identifying areas where you can make eco-friendly changes. It's essential to work with suppliers and manufacturers who prioritise sustainability, like us!
Look for products with relevant certifications and ensure that your choices align with your company's sustainability goals.
Need help transforming your office into a sustainable workplace? Get in touch!