In the process of manufacturing most furniture, harmful gases and chemicals are released that can be unhealthy for both the environment and people. However, there are eco-friendly solutions to this ever-important problem. Using eco-friendly furniture in offices is a win-win situation, as you are not only helping to lessen the burden on the environment, but also increasing the well-being of your employees.
Why Going Green in Offices is Essential
Clean Office Air
As stated above, production of the average piece of furniture can dirty the air. To prevent this, green furniture uses toxic-free raw materials, paints, and polishes. To get the most out of your eco-friendly furniture, make sure that your pieces have zero VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) in wood, glass, metal, and paints.
To meet the demands of growing urbanization, Mother Nature is getting smaller. Rainforests, jungles, and habitats continue to dwindle by providing new timber to our homes and offices. Going green with office furniture, we can reduce deforestation and protect habitats.
What to Look for in Green Furniture
Be wary of companies that make false claims under the labels ‘green’ and ‘eco-friendly’. While they may be using green and sustainable materials, there could be other, harmful raw materials in the product as well that can be toxic to the environment. When looking for eco-friendly office furniture, here is what should be considered:
- Make sure the furniture comprises of certified sustainable wood.
- Not all recyclable plastic falls under a green label. Most of them are non-degradable and some are even toxic.
- Furniture should have zero or low VOC. The greater the VOC, the more toxic the furniture is.
Manufacturers' Sustainability Practices
Many companies claim that their products are sustainable, however not all have the proof to back up this claim. A majority of Group Lacasse's products are certified LEVEL, a sustainability certification program through the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association (BIFMA). A large number are even LEVEL II certified, including the trendy looking Veinure collection.
One would never link a furniture manufacturer to solar power, yet AIS does just that. Over half of all power the company uses in manufacturing their products returns to the power grid through rooftop solar panels.
While how the products are made is important to being green, where the materials for the products are coming from is just as vital. To reduce the impact transportation emissions can have on the environment, Global sources 85% of raw materials used in their products from within North America.
When going green, aesthetics do not have to be sacrificed, especially when it comes to office furniture. There are an abundance of furniture pieces that are chic, modern, and most importantly eco-friendly. Using green furniture helps an office reduce their carbon footprint, while promoting worker health at the same time.