Various material suppliers have come together to help their customers – furniture and component producers – by forming a new initiative called Climate Positive Now, which aims to educate designers on climate positive materials. Particularly, top material suppliers are promoting the use of decorative composite wood panels, which resonates well with designers and the next generation of consumers.
Climate Positive Now describes a category of materials, but it is also a call to action for a movement that only the furniture industry can lead. It is also a response to the demands and increasing pressure that consumers and designers have put on the furniture industry for a more powerful sustainability story and message.
According to Climate Positive Now, composite wood panels naturally store more carbon than is released in their production and use. Hence, they are climate positive – a term which describes any product, process, or business that removes and sequesters more carbon from the atmosphere than it releases. It’s a benchmark IKEA plans to achieve by 2030, by changing their materials mix and reducing the carbon footprint of their retail operations. Other global brands are following suit, and North America’s top furniture and cabinet brands are leaning on materials suppliers to bolster their own stories.
“This is an easy story for producers and users of composite wood panels to tell,” said Kenn Busch, founder of Material Intelligence and Climate Positive Now. “Trees absorb and store carbon as they grow. This carbon remains sequestered for as long as you use your desk, your kitchen, your furniture your floor.”
Busch continued: “The story gets even better. A lifecycle assessment white paper recently shared by the Composite Panel Association lays out the science and concludes that ‘These products store more carbon than is released during their cradle-to-gate manufacturing processes.’ Research released last summer shows the cumulative effect of the carbon pool stored by North American composite wood panels produced over the last 24 years. They have sequestered over 130 million more metric tonnes of carbon than was released in their production.
“That’s why we’re confident in saying these materials are climate positive now.”
In the website to Climate Positive Now, users will find various ways in which the furniture industry is helping to mitigate climate change and drive healthy design, spelt out in an accessible, easy-to-share format. For more information on Climate Positive Now, click here.