If you’ve already moved towards considering an eco-friendly workplace, then sustainable office furniture is the next logical step.
Your business can opt for easily maintained, durable and timeless furniture so it can be used for years, and yet still work with new office designs as your business grows and develops. This offers environmental benefits, as sustainable furniture is not designed to be discarded, and recycled furniture saves on energy and fuel transportation costs. Going green can help you to create a better business image for your employees and clients, raise awareness of corporate social responsibility and improve your company’s public image, while at the same time offering cost-effective office space and improved staff productivity.
When it comes to sustainability wood is king of the eco-friendly materials. Wood in the UK is mostly from sustainable European forests, so it reduces the carbon waste of international transport and is monitored by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Wood lasts a lifetime, and it’s easy to recycle, salvage and reclaim. It retains heat and therefore can reduce energy costs. There is no waste in timber production, everything is used; offcuts and byproducts from furniture making can be used to create chipboard and generate heat. It is 100% biodegradable so better for the planet. Plus, it has a stress reducing effect on people, which is something every workplace strives for.
You may be surprised to hear that plastic was named the material of the year for the 2018 London Design Festival, but this was plastic with a twist. Designers were encouraged to use the material inventively to create recycled pieces. Brighton based Weez and Merl re-use plastics to create beautiful, marble effect coasters, tables, triptych panels, lamps, plates and even surfboard fins. British designer Charlotte Kidger went a step further and collaborated with a manufacturing company to repurpose polyurethane foam dust leftover from the CNC plastic production process. She created one-off pieces for the design show, but hopefully, her revolutionary process will soon see the waste materials from plastic manufacturing used in a variety of ways that can be incorporated into the interior design of the forward-thinking, sustainable office.
If you’re really serious about going green, there are ways you can achieve this in your business without breaking the bank. Using sustainable products like wood, ensuring furniture has solvent-free glazes and oils, buying locally sourced office furniture, sticking to manufacturers who offset carbon usage, exploring furniture made from other naturally occurring materials like wool and bio-resins, checking the eco-rating systems of manufacturers and buying products made from recycled plastics can all help your business to look smart and be sustainable at the same time.