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Sustainability

We are committed to preventing and minimising our environmental impact and have clear goals to ensure we stay on track. Our aim is not only to minimise our negative impact but to maximise our positive impact on people and planet.

As much as possible we aim to operate in a circular way, using a minimum of energy and materials, keeping our products in use as long as possible and creating a minimum of waste. Step by step, we are moving ever towards more circular practice.

Every aspect of a product’s life cycle comes under scrutiny. Continuous assessment and modification of practice is central to the way we work. Sustainability is embedded in company philosophy and we have a team of sustainability ambassadors representing every area of our business.

Our goal is to create a positive legacy for coming generations: We will always tread lightly so as not to compromise the future.

We are a member of the FISP, the Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme. We follow a detailed Environmental Management System and are independently audited on an annual basis.


co2

1.
To help keep our CO2 emissions as low as possible, our HQ, our London showroom and all our production facilities draw 100% of their electricity from renewable sources.

We keep our furniture miles to a minimum by opting for local suppliers whenever possible: 82% of our suppliers are based in the UK, 17% within Europe and just 1% beyond Europe. We carefully manage distribution schedules and ensure products can be flat packed and nested wherever possible.

We have clear incentives to encourage staff to cycle to work and car share and an energy efficiency programme that helps keep our energy use as low as possible, even our website uses a hosting service that is powered by 100% renewable energy.

Although we are fully powered by renewables and do everything we can to drive down emissions, we are yet to transition to an electric fleet and sometimes we need to fly, drive or travel by train, for this reason, we have chosen to offset these carbon emissions. We know that carbon offsetting is a contentious issue but we have chosen to mitigate the emissions that we have yet been unable to eradicate with UK based tree planting projects that are paired with Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) offsets. For every tree planted in South West England, one tonne of CO2 is saved via REDD+ projects that protect Amazonian forest habitat and bring additional social benefits to the local community.

We are Carbon Neutral to the PAS 2060 Carbon Neutrality standard. Becoming Carbon Neutral does not mean we will rest on our laurels or polish our halos, it will push us to continue to work to cut carbon in every area of our operations. We believe that by supporting tree planting projects and deforestation prevention projects we can help rebuild the forests that are vital to combat our climate crisis.


2.
We will always avoid depletion of habitat and resources

We shun the superfluous or frivolous, preferring instead, classic products that are designed to last and that are crafted from a minimum of raw materials.

In order to protect our precious forests and the biodiversity they support, we aim to buy only FSC certified timber and board, recycled or FSC certified cardboard and FSC certified recycled paper. We have FSC Chain of Custody which means that we are able to sell products with FSC certification, within our collection, 67.5% is available with certification and we are working on the remainder.

We choose materials with the highest possible recycled content and well-established recycling streams so that we can use closed loop systems wherever possible. Our cork stools and tables are manufactured using 95% recycled material. We give preference to fabrics that have been created from rapidly renewable materials with lower water demands such as flax, nettle or hemp or those that have been created from post-consumer waste.

The grounds of our HQ and production site have been developed to ensure maximum biodiversity including the planting of many pollinator attracting varieties, a wildflower bank and the retention of wild spaces.

habitatand resourse

harmful emissions

3.
We limit and avoid the use of potentially harmful substances and the creation of emissions

We try to keep to an absolute minimum our use of products containing any volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or potentially toxic substances, giving preference to board product with the lowest emissions, naturally flame retardant fabrics and naturally dyed fabrics and hides. Our cork products are bound with a solvent free binder and all slab foam in our upholstery ranges is CertiPUR certified. We will always opt for the least harmful material, process and finish to help protect indoor air quality, people and planet.


4.
We aim to create an absolute minimum of waste

First and foremost, we design products to last and offer replacement parts wherever possible. Several of our ranges can be refurbished with new components; table tops, upholstery covers or bases, to extend their life in use multiple times. Once a product reaches the end of its life it can be returned to us via our take back system for re-homing, refurbishment or remanufacture. We always design for ease of disassembly so that individual materials may be separated for recycling or composting and return to their respective material cycle.

We have clearly identified recycling streams for everything that can be reused or recycled. Sample furniture pieces, prototypes and ex display items are donated to local schools and community groups. We donate fabric and leather scrap to local schools and colleges where our waste is put to great use in Art and Design classes. A wide range of packaging components go to a local organisation that provides training opportunities for young adults with learning difficulties and gives access to art and craft materials to local schools, care homes, colleges and creative groups. All timber waste is either donated to local schools or recycled less than a mile from our site. All foam remnants are collected for recycling into chip foam. We have carefully nested cutting procedures for CNC board and digital fabric cutting so as to minimise waste and we carefully monitor any upstream waste that is unable to be recycled or re-used so that we can take steps to phase out any waste with no recycling stream. We work with a waste management partner that enables us to send nothing to landfill.

Where deliveries are made direct to site using our own fleet of vehicles we can offer a packaging take back service and in many cases we can deliver packaging free using our made to measure, reusable quilts. Wherever we can, we minimise materials so that the fewest resources are used and the least waste is created.

minimum waste v3

plastic footprint v2

5.
We aim to keep our plastic footprint to an absolute minimum

Due to its accumulation in the natural environment, its toxicity and its non-renewable status, we try to keep our plastic footprint as small as possible, opting for renewable materials wherever we can. Where we do use plastic, our aim is to favour recycled plastic, to keep single use plastics and virgin plastic use to an absolute minimum and to reuse or recycle everything we possibly can.

We have overhauled our packaging to reflect this commitment, we haven’t quite got there yet but our goal is to use entirely recyclable and renewable packaging materials and we are working with our suppliers to phase out all non-recyclable plastic packaging further up the supply chain.

Our canteen has no single use plastics, and never has, no plastic cups, plates, cutlery, straws or plastic lined paper cups are used. We use reusable containers for food storage and all staff are provided with refillable steel water bottles and fabric shopping bags. Our environmentally friendly cleaning products are refillable and we use pens made with recycled paper barrels, because every incremental change means less plastic in marine and terrestrial environments.


6.
We think carefully about from whom and where we buy

We aim to buy as locally as possible, supporting the local economy and reducing CO2 emissions, and we have a clear procurement policy in line with both the Ethical Trading Initiative and the UN Global Compact to ensure that no one along the supply chain has been exploited.

careful trading

community

7.
We have a positive impact on the local community and on society as a whole

Our staff are our greatest asset and the people whose lives we can affect most directly so we like to reflect this in the way we work, our team enjoy enhanced benefits and a comprehensive wellbeing package. All staff are paid, as a minimum, the real Living Wage as per the living wage foundation’s recommendation and we are proud to be an accredited Living Wage Employer.

We carefully consider how our business practice can benefit our local community and we have close links with several local schools and colleges, providing work placements, apprenticeships, paid internships and donating materials so that creativity can thrive. We sponsor local teams, clubs and Young Enterprise schemes. We encourage our staff to take part in one big annual charity event and we sponsor the work of various charities including Maggie’s, Hope for Children and Movement On The Ground. 10% of the profits from the sale of all our Bob stools goes to support the work of Movement On The Ground, providing displaced individuals with the basics we all need to survive.

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