“We need to not just talk about what we can do, but to do what we can.” Sir David Attenborough shared this message at the COP26 conference in 2021; and one thing that we can do to play our part in tackling the climate crisis is to be responsible consumers.
When choosing office furniture, for example, we can check out the materials used, the production methods deployed, how locally the chair or desk has been manufactured and if it can be recycled after use.
61% of respondents in a recent Posturite consumer survey said that the sustainability of materials was ‘important’ or ‘extremely important’ to them when choosing office furniture.
So what kind of seat should your organic-cotton-clad bottom be sat on to be truly eco-friendly at work? What kind of desk should be hosting your recycled notebook and Friends of the Earth mug? Let’s find out…
1. The eco-friendly office chair
What we need to save the planet is ingenuity – and I love how the stylish HÅG Capisco 8106 office chair foam padding has been made from recycled car bumpers! Recycled household plastic has also been used to manufacture the chair and its packaging.
Look for both a manufacturer and a retailer of your office furniture who hold the ISO 14001 certification for their Environmental Management System – both Flokk (creator of the HÅG Capisco) and Posturite do and it certifies responsible energy use, recycling, transport planning, materials reuse, renewable energy generation and waste segregation.
The stylish shape of the HÅG Capisco 8106 office chair would be a great addition to any contemporary interior space, and was inspired of course by a horse riding saddle.
Eco friendliness and aesthetics are married to perfection here. The HÅG Capisco by Flokk has a long lifespan and is built to last – watch the video about Flokk’s approach to creating sustainable furniture.
Research your office furniture before buying to check out how green it is:
- Does the office furniture use recycled and recyclable sources, and avoid hazardous materials?
- Has the manufacturer tried to use fewer components?
- Can you expect it to have a long lifespan? Is a repair service offered?
- After use, can it be easily disassembled and the components reused or recycled easily?
2. The low-cost eco-friendly home office desk
In many households, having a desk you can fold away at the end of the day is a bonus. This good-looking WFH Folding Desk from Posturite is affordable and compact at only 1,000 mm wide by 550 mm deep.
And what is the desk made from? A good sustainable material: recycled natural plywood. Since it’s an organic material, wood can be reused and recycled.
Despite the Scandinavian look, Posturite’s Working From Home Folding Desk is British-made (meaning low carbon footprint to reach you) by London-based Deskmate, and best of all they partner with One Tree Planted to plant a tree for every WFH Folding Desk sold. As of July 2021, 1,000 trees had been planted as a result.
3. The funky eco-friendly office stool
One reviewer of this unusual office seat called it “Absolutely revolutionary”:
“Instant impact. Well made, excellent design, concept and finish. Everyone who sees it.... gets it. Very Clever...Got to be the best solution available.”
The Backapp Smart stool has a rocking mechanism, based around the red ball you can see in the photo. Adjust the ball to increase or decrease movement, and gradually train your back and increase muscle strength. The dynamic sitting position is said to increase blood flow around your body. This stool is recommended to people struggling with back pain, and to help prevent future back problems.
But what about its environmental credentials? The Backapp Smart stool uses recycled and recyclable material, the fabrics are OEKO-TEX® certified and the chairs are designed for a long life span - since the different components can easily be replaced. All of the large plastic parts have been labelled according to the ISO 11469 marking system which identifies different plastics products for waste recovery. Good to know!
4. The eco-friendly sit-stand desk
Are you familiar with what ‘FSC’ means? You might have seen it on packs of paper. It’s a certification for wood from the Forest Stewardship Council, meaning that the timber is from forests which are managed using environmental best practice and in a socially beneficial way.
The wooden tabletop of the DeskRite 550 Electric Sit-Stand Desk is made from fully FSC wood and the desk also follows the RoHS2-2011/65/EU directive for environmentally sound recovery and disposal of waste electronic equipment. A good choice therefore for anyone committed to sustainability in their office furniture.
If you haven’t tried a standing desk before, it’s a brilliant way to boost your health by changing your posture and position during your working day. You might even feel more confident as you lead that all-important Zoom meeting whilst standing up!
5. The eco-friendly home office chair
If you’re buying new ergonomic chairs for a whole team and need to keep an eye on spend as well as sustainability, the 99% recyclable Homeworker Plus Ergonomic Chair is a wise option – and you can use Posturite’s Seating Projects service too.
Up to 37% of the office chair’s components are made from recycled materials, including reused aluminium, steel and fabric. The chair’s Leicester-based manufacturers MDK hold the ISO 14001 certification for their Environmental Management System and it’s excellent to hear their fabric off-cuts are donated to local schools for their craft projects!
Onto the sticky business of reducing harmful chemicals next and note the completely glue-less manufacture of the Homeworker Plus Ergonomic Chair. By the way, Posturite call it a ‘Homeworker’ chair because it meets multiple safety standards and stringent fire regulations for home use – but you can of course use it in an office too.
How else can you make your office more sustainable?
- Stock up on recycled toilet paper
- Mop up using less harmful cleaning products
- Unplug appliances that aren’t constantly used – such as microwaves
- Integrate plenty of plants into your office design because plants absorb pollutants – this is called ‘biophilic design’
- Choose carpets, adhesives and paints with low volatile organic compound (VOC) emitting materials
- Collect food waste for your keen gardener colleague to take home to use as compost
- Recycling paper is an obvious activity, but have separate containers for other recylables
- Party time? Ditch the single use plastic plates, cups, and cutlery for staff parties
Good luck with your office campaign to go green!