Nowadays, many consumers will tell you how they want to have a positive impact. They would like to buy more sustainable and environmentally friendly products. But the problem is that information is often difficult to access. Especially when it comes to comparing, bad performers have no interest in letting people know. For 10 years, many initiatives have proliferated to help decision-making and reward products that make an effort to respect the environment and the consumer.
The best known is the carbon footprint, which is the CO2 released during manufacture and transport. It is with this in mind that Kinnarps, the leading Swedish brand in the world of office furniture, has decided (for several years now) to offer consumers its own index. The “The Better Effect” index. Simple, clear, efficient and avant-garde.
Some observers will point out that most of the innovations in the field come from the Nordic countries. And they won’t necessarily be wrong.
Raw materials and resources, climate, pure materials, social responsibility, possibility of reuse and ergonomics. 6 clues that give an instant picture of materials, respect for the environment, the user and ergonomics. To then give a final mark in the form of an average.
While the world of office furniture is going through a real revolution, take a look at this ingenious system that allows this sector to take a further step toward respecting the environment. And for consumers to act in full knowledge of the facts. It must be said that the industry started from afar.
Respect the environment by controlling materials and transport
The first 3 areas assessed by the index are the raw materials and resources used, pure materials and respect for the climate. For resources, the origin of raw materials is taken into account. But also the production chain and optimization of resources.
The “pure materials” index takes into account the level of chemical content, the levels of CO2 emissions for manufacturing and the choice of materials itself. In short, the more naturally the product is made, the more it respects the environment, the higher its rating will be.
To have a comprehensive view of product performance, it is then necessary to analyze responsibility, circularity and ergonomics
Do not neglect social responsibility and ergonomics
The last 3 criteria selected are social responsibility, circularity and product ergonomics.
By social responsibility, we are talking about a code of conduct towards suppliers. But also the requirement for a risk assessment for providers. And for countries at risk, recurring inspections of manufacturing premises. In order to avoid any catastrophe, such as that of the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh. The main workshop of a ready-to-wear giant, it had symbolized for many the excesses of a certain globalized production.
The Swedish brand then scrutinizes circularity. That is, the potential for reuse of the product, the durability of the materials. First, is it possible to repair or renovate the product? The question of recycling materials is then addressed. Finally, the product will be rated higher if it was made from recycled materials. In short, if it is already part of a circular economy.
Last (for some the most important), ergonomics are also scrutinized. Through 3 criteria. Does the product allow for some customization? Does it also offer sufficient freedom of movement? the last point concerns the improvement of the acoustic environment. A key point of well-being at work, too often neglected.
Kinnarps’s The Better Effect Index seems to answer all of today’s concerns in a straightforward and clear manner.
More respect for the environment and consumers, in particular through a more responsible production chain. The office furniture sector, often criticized in the past for its impact on the environment, seems to be gradually becoming a leader in the field.