April 18, 2023
The European furniture industry is a dynamic sector: furniture manufacturers enjoy a good reputation around the world thanks to their creative ability, design and quality of materials, so much so that almost two out of every three pieces of high-end furniture sold in the world are produced in the EU (source: European Commission).
Increasingly, the industry is now discovering that alongside modern lines, style and cutting-edge finishes, choosing raw materials from responsible sources and communicating this commitment to consumers and target markets is a plus. Responding to a survey launched by industry newspaper FurnitureToday, companies confirmed that consumers are increasingly educated about sustainability issues and preferentially seek out brands that include green messages related to materials or processes.
This focus also partly explains the prominent role that wood has regained in furniture and interior design. After having been almost abandoned in favor of materials such as plastics and metals, it is now rediscovering a new fortune due in part to the fact that it remains one of the ultimate sustainable materials.
Of course: not all wood is equal and sustainable. Even if furniture production is not the primary cause of deforestation, the furniture industry still has a responsibility to ensure the legal and sustainable origin of the wood it uses. And this is precisely the starting point of the two videos (one aimed at the B2B, the other at B2C) launched by FSC International and the European FSC network offices to emphasize the importance of choosing wood certified to environmental, social and economic sustainability standards.
“We thought of this short content as a tool for the 10,000 certified companies worldwide (5,000 in Europe) active in the wood-furniture industry, useful in spreading awareness of responsibly sourced wood and the FSC label,” said Alexia Schrott, FSC Italy Marketing Manager and project coordinator. “Images and graphics tell the story of how a sustainable supply chain is constituted, the meaning of FSC labels, and the commitment to ensuring forests for all, forever. It is a good starting point to explain to suppliers, brands, retailers and consumers the value of a commitment that is much more than just a green label”.
These videos are the final product of a project launched in 2018, and which has seen FSC Italia engaged at the forefront to promote the use of responsibly sourced wood in the furniture sector, increase awareness of FSC certification and recognition among consumers. This activity has led the NGO to work closely with trade associations, companies and retailers, culminating in the creation of the FSC Furniture Awards, a competition created to recognize the efforts of FSC-certified companies in the European indoor and outdoor furniture sectors.