Responsible Timber Procurement in Sustainable Office Furniture:

November 25, 2021

Responsible Timber Procurement in Sustainable Office Furniture:

Corporate social responsibility and sustainability are more than just buzzwords. Consumers and societies expect businesses to be part of the solution when it comes to environmental and social issues. 

This is especially important to us at JPA Workspaces as the furnishings industry is the third-highest user of wood in the world, behind the construction and paper industries, and accounting for approximately 12 percent of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions. 

Sustainable Office Furniture

There are many ways that procurement officers and project managers can contribute positively to help limit climate change through furniture procurement and management. Examples include checking whether suppliers are certified to environmental management systems i.e. ISO14001 and industry schemes such as FISP membership (Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme), choosing more local providers or simply by reworking, refreshing or reconfiguring furniture items already in place. 

Another example is checking whether timber-based products have been sourced responsibly from legal, sustainable and managed sources. We all know that trees are good for the planet and that they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, in fact we can’t live without them. Trees not only sequester carbon whilst growing, but also store that carbon after conversion and during the life of the finished product.

Responsible Timber Procurement in Sustainable Office Furniture

Supply chain sustainability and responsible procurement for timber-based products is critical to ensure that we all benefit from the many products that forests provide, while ensuring these forests will be around for generations to come. Legislation does prevent the import of illegally harvested timber into the UK but we need to go further to ensure that our forests are managed correctly, that forest biodiversity is enhanced or maintained, and local communities protected. 

For some time now FSC® and PEFC the two global forest certification schemes, have made sustainable timber accessible to many industries, giving manufacturers a relatively easy way to show good governance in their procurement policies. FSC and PEFC Chain of Custody enables manufacturers and suppliers to demonstrate legal and sustainable sourcing of timber-based products to customers through independent, verified auditing. 

JPA Workspaces are delighted to have become FSC certified (Licence Number:  FSC-C171825) which now enables us to pass on Chain of Custody to our Clients, evidencing that timber-based products have been sourced from well managed forests. Certification identifies companies committed to using only responsibly sourced material and helps forests all over the world to become sustainable

Don’t be afraid to ask your furniture suppliers for evidence of sustainable procurement and demonstration of responsible timber-based material sourcing within a clear inclusive procurement policy. This will increase timber sourcing from sustainably managed forests, eventually leading to sourcing 100% of certified materials and the preservation of our forests for generations to come. 

This is an exciting time for the furniture industry and a real opportunity for buyers to make a difference by voting with their feet and demanding evidence of sustainably sourced products before purchase. 

For more details please contact Fiona at

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