How Has the Forest Stewardship Council Given the World Green Furniture?
More and more the people of the world are becoming aware of our cultural and societal effects on the environment. There are now several initiatives in many countries that are focused on setting and enforcing standards. With the help of the federal government they help ensure that our reliance on energy and resources have as little to no effect on the environment as possible. While we’re not quite there yet, these entities have made significant strides in many aspects of our lives while helping to create better, more functional and greener furniture that is still stylish and desirable.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-profit organization that is tasked with promoting responsible management of the world’s forests. They set standards on forest products and also label them as eco-friendly. Established in 1993, the FSC promotes environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forest products. It has over 800 partners including some big household names, such as IKEA. The FSC and its support partners work to abide by and maintain the standards set in order to ensure as little harm to forests as possible.
As someone who is in tune with the how we as a society can affect our environment, it’s likely that you put forth the effort to do what you can to mitigate potential damage through the use of green and eco-friendly products. The FSC shares the common belief that we not only must do this as a society, but also have the means to do so. Through the use of these types of products, you and your family will be doing your small part to help lower your contribution to the different issues affecting us all.
There are now many products and office furniture that you can purchase that are indeed eco-friendly yet stylish and functional. From an ergonomic office chair to an adjustable height workstation, there are literally hundreds of types of unique office furniture pieces that you can choose from that will look fantastic. You’ll also know that you have taken the time to ensure that the furniture in your home, small office or even at work are as environmentally friendly as possible.
Because the Forest Stewardship Council has created standards that all of its support members must adhere to, more furniture than ever is certified green or eco-friendly. Furniture companies for example, must ensure that they are logging the right trees, ensuring the preservation of forests deemed to be “no-cut” forests.
While the system that the FSC has in place is not without its critics, its core values are true and they continue to improve the integrity of their organization and certification system. Some opinions on the FSC for example suggest that only the largest of companies can afford to meet the standards required for certification. This makes it much more difficult for local and smaller logging companies to meet the standards set, which in turn can be viewed as anti-competitive. Because large brands can afford the certification, their product may be looked at as favorable. To its credit, the FSC has implemented specialized requirements for smaller companies that are logging areas 100 hectares or smaller.
Companies have recognized the demand for green and eco-friendly furniture and this is a market that will continue to grow. The benefits to the consumer then, are also growing. There are government subsidies for companies that meet green standards set by organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council, which means higher margins to the spreadsheets. The added bonus is that it will also help market their brand as one that is environmentally aware. For consumers, the biggest benefit of course is in knowing that you have purchased a product that meets these standards - that your furniture did not contribute to adverse effects on the already depleting resource that is the world’s forests but was instead made from sustainable resources.
Well made wood products can also last a really long time. If taken care of, furniture can last generations. Additionally, it can also be reclaimed and possibly built into something else and will look beautiful for years to come.
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By JenniferHahnMasterson in Sustainable Interior Design: The Key Principles