The Furniture Industry Research Association

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Knowledge Hub Article

Published on 30th April, 2011
by Furniture Industry Research Association

Study into the Feasability of Benchmarking Carbon Footprints of Furniture Products 2011

FIRA-Carbon-footprinting-document-cover.jpg#asset:15144:small

The furniture industry has long demonstrated its commitment to environmental and sustainability issues, primarily through industry developed schemes such as the Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme (FISP).

Organisations are increasingly expected to assess and reduce their environmental impact. In this respect; Carbon Footprinting has a significantly raised profile over the last decade. Full carbon footprinting of furniture products has been considerably expensive, putting it outside of the reach of many businesses. In addition, the lack of any third party validation of product footprints has made the carbon impact comparison of products by manufacturers and specifiers very difficult.

There are a wide range of decisions to be made, and a lot of knowledge to acquire for a company to ‘go it alone’ in preparing an organisational or product footprint. In recognition of this, FIRA has worked with environmental experts to simplify and standardise the process for the furniture industry, resulting in a simple, low cost and user friendly carbon calculator (Furniture FootprinterTM). In this regard FIRA’s study into the feasibility of generating comparable carbon footprints using the Furniture FootprinterTM tool and a consistent methodology is to be applauded.

This study shows that the carbon footprinting of products is a complex subject, with a number of difficulties that need to be overcome before the benchmarking of products can be adopted.

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