Are you considering eco-friendly furniture for your business?
Deciding on the right furniture for your workspace is a complex process. You’ve got to consider budget, comfort, and aesthetics, finding that right balance.
And as more businesses move towards more eco-friendly practices, there is, even more, to think about. Not every piece of furniture is sustainable, and it can raise your carbon footprint. That’s a stressful prospect when you’re trying to be kinder to the environment.
But choosing your workspace furniture doesn’t need to be that stressful! Keep reading for our guide on why you should choose eco-friendly furniture.
1. Lowers Your Impact on the Environment
Eco-friendly office furniture offers a lot of benefits for the planet. Items made from materials that are sustainable will have a longer lifecycle. This means, after a few years, they don’t end up clogging up the landfill.
Consider business furniture that’s second-hand or made from recycled materials. This will help lower the carbon footprint of your business.
Also, add in items that don’t contain VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). This prevents harmful gases releasing into the air, adding to indoor air pollution.
2. Saves Your Business Money
Buying sustainable business furniture might come with a pricier upfront cost. But, in the long run, they’re much more cost-effective. Over the course of its lifecycle, a sustainable piece of furniture will pay for itself, and then some.
A cheap chair might come at a lower price, but you could need to replace it 3-4 times in a 10 year period. If you’re buying a more sustainable option, baring disaster you’ll only need to buy it once in most cases.
3. Improves the Image of Your Brand
ESG stands for environmental, social, and governance. Investors are giving them more importance when assessing risk and growth. So, thinking about ESG and acting on it should be a pressing concern for your business strategy.
Not only does ESG drive investors, but it drives consumer priorities as well. Studies show that people (75% of millennials) are willing to pay more for green products.
But your ESG provisions need to go beyond your products or services. It should become a key foundational strategy for everything your business is doing.
Using sustainable office furniture shows your company cares about the planet. This can help boost your image with customers, driving up sales. It’ll make investors more interested, as it shows you’re forward-thinking about sustainability.
Businesses now get green certifications like SKA, BREEAM, and LEED for their offices. This is tangible proof they’re providing a sustainable workplace.
By getting those certificates awarded, it’s a clear message. Customers, employees, and stakeholders know you’re taking environmental and sustainability issues seriously.
4. Improve the Wellbeing & Health of Employees
When you pick eco-friendly business furniture that is has a minute amount of chemicals, you get fewer VOCs. These are harmful pollutants that a lot of common indoor furniture pieces give off. As a result, they have a hugely damaging impact on indoor air quality.
VOCs (and poor air quality) can be detrimental to your employee’s health. They can cause issues like:
Formaldehyde is one of the most troublesome VOCs and has links to cancer. You’ll often find this used in the paints and glues used during manufacturing.
If a furniture piece is bad for the environment, it’ll be bad for people too. So, sustainable office furniture lets you protect the planet and your workers in one go.
Indoor quality provisions in the office lead to better mental performance. These include things like high ventilation of fresh air, low carbon dioxide, and low VOCs.
Making sustainable choices when purchasing office furniture will enhance the experience for workers. You will improve their productivity and the quality of their work life. All while protecting the environment and doing your bit for the future.
5. You’ll Attract and Keep the Best Talent
In today’s market, workers care about environmental issues like climate change. They want to work for employers who share that concern and want to make real, sustainable changes.
It’s revealed that 40% of millennials chose a job because the company was sustainable. This compares with only 17% of boomers, so it’s a growing trend in the younger working market.
Choosing eco friendly business furniture sends that clear message from the start. Employees and potential employees in the office walk around, can see you share values.
They can also see you’re prepared to act and do your part to turn values into actions. By joining your company, they feel like they can be part of something bigger and do their bit too.
Types of Sustainable Furniture
Now you know why you should use it, let’s look at some common types of sustainable furniture. There’s no right or wrong answer here, these are some great options to choose from.
Upcycling is taking old or discarded furniture/materials and making something reusable. It’s different from recycling, and that’s a simple distinction to make.
Recycling involves consumer materials like paper, plastic, metal, and glass. They’re broken down to make new consumer products that, usually, are lower quality.
When upcycling, you don’t break down any materials; you’re refashioning them. Also, the quality of the product, once upcycled is the same, or even better, when it’s compared to the original.
This process benefits the environment as it saves materials from landfills. It also stops them from going there in the first place. It also encourages innovation and creativity, using fewer materials than recycling.
You can get some unique pieces that will make your office stand out. A commonplace to find quality upcycled furniture is Etsy. It’s well worth a look, even if you don’t think it’s the traditional office supplier.
A top feature of non-toxic furniture is natural cushion fillings, including:
- Natural latex
The process of making these pieces won’t use formaldehyde. In fact, it won’t use chemical treatments at all on the fabric. This includes removing stain-resistant and water-resistant coatings.
They will also use eco-leather, which is an eco friendly material that people prefer. It’s easy to clean and wipe down, looks great, and is kind to the environment.
This type of leather doesn’t use treatments or toxic dyes. It also won’t use VOC glues, stains, and varnishes (or the ones they use are low in VOCs).
Most eco friendly furniture suppliers will be compliant, but make sure you check. The biggest company that comply is IKEA, and they’re a great option for office furniture.
You make reclaimed furniture from salvaged wood, which you reuse in a different form. Usually, the wood comes from factories, old barns, railways, and warehouses.
It’s usually when they get to a state of repair that means they need tearing down. But you can salvage pieces like floorboards, beams, joists, and roof trusses.
These are the most common parts that artisans use to make pieces of furniture. If you don’t want all wood in your office, you could still use a piece like this as a statement.
The woods come in a variety of shades, colors, and textures so there is something for every office style. Reclaimed wood desks or some high-backed chairs in your waiting room can make a real punch to visitors.
Organic office furniture comes from raw materials grown without the use of pesticides. Usually, because they don’t use these chemicals, they’re more sustainable. They need fewer resources to grow and maintain them.
To make these pieces of furniture, recycled or local materials are the preference. The assembly will use few chemicals, and they will be non-toxic for things like dyes and glues. Again, these usually come from a local manufacturer.
This assures the least impact on the planet from things like:
- Transporting raw materials
- Not using dangerous toxins that contaminate soil or water
- Not shipping products long distance
- Not using too many resources to grow materials
Many furniture brands have branched into organic lines. Green Office Furnishings are one name to mention. But whoever you choose, make sure you ask them about their process. This will ensure their furniture is as organic as they say it is.
Eco Friendly Furniture
Eco friendly office furniture protects the environment at every step of the process. If using wood, it has to come from a supplier who grows and harvests sustainably. On top of this, any substances used can’t cause harm to the environment.
The resources used also have to be as few as possible, including delivery mileage. You can use this term to describe furniture that’s made from recycled materials. But these pieces usually form the optimal eco friendly option. It’s a combination of making the new and exciting from the discarded, old and unused.
Choosing this option will again keep garbage out of landfills. It also reduces the need to use up resources to create brand new pieces. The materials of choice usually are railway sleepers, floorboards, and wood cladding.
Green furniture refers to products made local to you. The materials have to come from sustainable forests and farms. They must be non-toxic or low toxicity and have to have good durability. In fact, these pieces must be easy to recycle, assemble/disassemble and repair.
These furniture pieces should lower the environmental impact of your business space. Pieces should stand up to daily use, and change the opinion that furniture is easy to dispose of.
High-quality, durable furniture can last you a lifetime. If it’s made to last, it reduced the resources needed to keep making replacements in the form of new items.
On top of this, it means you’ll help reduce pollution from mass-produced furniture. You aren’t contributing to the creation, transport, and dumping of that less-sustainable furniture.
Buying green furniture is a way to have a business that cares for the planet. These pieces create a healthy, comfortable environment for your employees (and yourself!). You’re not compromising in style either, with choices from modern to rustic corporate furniture. It lowers your carbon footprint, and most eco friendly suppliers will have a green range.
Fairtrade refers to trade between manufacturers in the developed world, and producers in the developing world. The latter should get a fair reward for their efforts. When buying furniture, make sure it helps the producer grow their business.
Makers of fair trade furniture will use sustainable materials including bamboo and wood. These materials are safe for the environment but provide modern form and function. By buying fair trade, your business is helping another business grow and thrive.
Natural furniture pieces take eco-friendly materials and innovative methods to bring together function and sustainability. There is a range of handmade materials in a wide variety of textures that add points of interest. These furniture pieces are unique, made with care and kind on the plant too.
Ethical furniture examines every part of the supply chain and process. It starts with the materials and will go all the way up to the end product.
It’s not an easy case of avoiding certain materials, woods, and textiles in the process. Manufacturers have to make sure these materials come from legal, sustainable sources.
This can be a criteria that’s hard to verify and check off. Most eco friendly manufacturers of sustainable furniture are mindful of their process.
They go above and beyond to make sure their process has as little impact on people and the planet as possible. Unless it’s known otherwise, all companies producing sustainable furniture are ethical.
Choosing Eco-Friendly Furniture Made Simple
So, there you have it! Now you know these top reasons to choose eco friendly furniture for your business, don’t wait!
Customers and investors alike are looking for more sustainability and forward thinking in business. To meet their needs, you have to do more than use eco packaging for your products. It has to be a company-wide mantra. One way to prove your dedication is the use of eco friendly furniture n your office.
You’ll attract the best talent, look after the health of your employees and reduce your impact on the planet. In turn, this will please your stakeholders, and attract more investors who see you as a long-term, viable investment.
If you’re looking for durable, sustainable wood office furniture, contact us today. At Dumond’s Furniture, our custom pieces are made to last, for a one of a kind look that will wow any visitor to your business.