How can consumers and retailers contribute positively towards the preservation of forests, and at the same time support natural ecosystems, wildlife habitats, biodiversity, and contribute to climate change mitigation?
One proven way is to purchase sustainably sourced wooden furniture, as that will also go a long way towards protecting the livelihoods of millions of people.
The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is launching a new furniture campaign to raise awareness for responsible timber procurement and sustainability standards.
The goal is to increase the amount of certified sustainable wooden furniture on the market, making it easier for consumers to make a positive choice when shopping, whether in store or online.
This matters a lot as the furniture and furnishings industry is the third-highest user of wood in the world, behind the construction and paper industries. It also accounts for approximately 12% of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
CEO of PEFC, Ben Gunneberg, acknowledged in advance of the global furniture campaign launch that the global furniture supply chain is complex and might appear to be far removed from the end product: “It is important to consider environmental, social, and governance performance, otherwise companies in the furniture supply chain leave themselves exposed to significant operational and reputational risks.”
“Their impact on people and the environment can be substantial. This is where PEFC certification can make a real difference.”
PEFC highlights that the campaign will address furniture retailers, furniture supply chain companies, trade associations, forest certification consultants, interior designers, architects, media, woodworking schools, accreditation and certification bodies.
Consumers are increasingly showing that they are very conscious of the impact their buying decisions have on the environment and the livelihoods of people in the timber producing countries. This can be seen in the first PEFC/GfK Global Consumer Survey, with over 80% of consumers globally wanting companies to use appropriate labels on products. While a third of all the respondents said they actively look for forest certification labels, PEFC was found to be the most trusted global forest certification mark.
Using the PEFC label enables furniture retailers to prove their commitment to responsible sourcing, and enables consumers to choose to buy sustainably.
This has started to happen in Southeast Asia, as the ASEAN Furniture Industries Council (AFIC) announced in July that it was starting on a strategic four-year sustainability partnership with PEFC to promote furniture supply chain sustainability and responsible procurement.
The key goal is to increase the demand for certified sustainable wood. This will help improve sustainable forest management outcomes and protect natural resources.
This new partnership draws added attention to the way PEFC works with local people to promote responsible forestry and improve the livelihoods of smallholders, rural communities, and workers through third-party forest certification.
Once timber has left the forest, the PEFC traceability mechanism enables companies to demonstrate their legal and sustainable sourcing of forest-based products. Independently verified auditing ensures that the certified forest-based material contained in the product originates from sustainably managed forests.
PEFC will launch its furniture campaign on Wednesday, 15 September, from 10:00-11:00 CEST, in a Zoom webinar, and live on Facebook and YouTube.
The official launch
Opening remarks introduction by PEFC CEO Ben Gunneberg
Official launch of the furniture campaign by Fabienne Sinclair (PEFC).
All panellists and moderator Michael Tatarski (Editor in chief, Vietnam)
- Representative from youth/consumer’s voice
- Representative from industry’s voice: AFIC
- Representative from furniture retailer
- Representative from PEFC
Q&A from the audience.
Closing remarks – Fabienne Sinclair