The ergonomics of office furniture is often discussed before ordering the supplies. A truly progressive organisation can also invest in products that are manufactured in an environmentally sound manner and use materials and processes that are environmentally sustainable. The use of wood to fabricate office desks, tables and storage units causes the felling of millions of trees. By giving a thought to these issues and with a prudent choice of products for their premises, consumers can encourage furniture manufacturers to move towards more sustainable methods of production.
Traditionally, furniture was made with solid timber particularly beech, oak and tropical hardwoods. But modern processes often involve the use of board material such as chipboard or medium density fibreboard (MDF) for furniture design. Chipboard is typically made with recycled wood fibre and wood waste and is environmentally sound.
However, it is not only the source of the material that is important. Other issues that matter include:
- How efficiently has the material been used by the manufacturer? High percentage of wastage of incoming raw material is the prime contributor to the overall environmental burden of the product.
- How far has the furniture or the materials from which it was manufactured been transported?
- What is the expected life span of the product? The average longevity of office furniture has been falling. If you need to replace furniture units frequently the environmental burden does increase.
- Are the items that you purchase reusable? If an item can be dismantled and its components can be reused or recycled, it makes for an environmentally sound product.To source the most eco friendly office furniture, you can discuss your requirements with experienced office furniture consultants.