In our overview of office trends for 2022, sustainability is a top criterion. Employees, but also customers and partners, are increasingly considering the environmental impact of their offices.
This means, of course, that energy wastage must be limited with efficient devices and (ideally) the use of renewable energy. But, did you know that the choice of furniture also has a huge impact on the size of your ecological footprint? That is why we are sharing a few tips on buying sustainable furniture for your office.
Sustainability = quality
The first priority for anyone wanting to equip their office with sustainable furniture is: choose quality. When it comes to sustainability, we often focus on reusing, recycling, sorting and composting but, right at the top of the ‘zero waste hierarchy’, for very good reason, is ‘rethink/redesign’. In other words, avoiding waste by means of smart design is even better than recycling. Luckily, numerous suppliers are now making huge efforts to design and manufacture their items to last as long as possible.
If your meeting room tables, office chairs and drawers last for years, you are reducing the use of raw materials and using less energy than if they had to be replaced on a regular basis. That is why, here at Alternativ, we deliberately and exclusively use brands that guarantee quality.
Secondly, sustainable furniture is furniture that is bought locally. It goes without saying that office furniture made in Belgian or Dutch factories has been transported over fewer kilometres and, in turn, has generated lower emissions. Also, local products offer greater certainty regarding social sustainability, or the fact that the item was created in safe circumstances in exchange for a fair wage. For this reason, there are many Belgian brands in the Alternativ range, including Extremis, Polyvision, Robberechts and BuzziSpace. Our northern neighbours are also well-represented, including Arper, Artifort and Moooi.
Awards and certificates
Finally, checking which awards and certificates your furniture manufacturer has earned can also pay dividends. Steelcase, of whom we are a proud partner, has been awarded the ‘2021 Better Practice’ award for excellent energy management. The brand has also been rewarded for its ‘tremendous effort and progress to support the well-being of people and the planet’ with a place in the ‘2020 sustain[HUMAN]ability® Leadership Recognition Program’ by Shaw, America’s largest carpet company.
Many items of furniture from BuzziSpace, which are made using only recycled materials, are also UL Greenguard Gold certified. This means that they improve air quality. Only items with an exceptionally low emissions rate can earn this prestigious certificate.
Sustainable furniture from Alternativ?
Do you need help with your office design? Our experts can tell you all you need to know about sustainable furniture and other smart choices. Please feel free to get in touch.