Our Journey to Net Zero

On Wednesday 22nd March we kick started a series of sustainability roundtables, leading the A&D community in discussions around what it means to be ‘sustainable’ and how we can support each other in our journeys to carbon net zero.

Hosted by our Head of A&D Sales Wayne Scholfield, the session began with a warm welcome and a reminder of why we were there:

“This is an opportunity for us all to share our challenges, our frustrations, our ambitions, and hopefully work together to develop solutions and ways we can move the industry forward.”

Wayne Scholfield

Marie Rayner, Head of Bids and Contracts (and the client perspective representative on our Sustainability Steering Group), highlighted The Senator Group’s own sustainability journey with a review of our achievements to date, and a forward look towards 2023.

“Ambitious sustainability targets can’t be achieved by one individual or one team, we all need to collaborate and work together.”

Marie Rayner

Moving from a holistic overview to a product design perspective, our design partner PearsonLloyd discussed how furniture has evolved from a linear economy approach to more circular thinking, outlining how companies can drive sustainability through design, considering materials choice, reparability, and circular thinking.

“If you create a product that is long lasting, but becomes obsolete very quickly, then it is not sustainable. Our emphasis is on products that can be adapted, and adapted easily with standard tools. Products that can be repaired easily, and which use sustainable materials. If you use something once, the carbon content is high, but if it can be used and re-used and re-used this reduces carbon over the total lifecycle.”

Tom Lloyd

After the presentations, the floor was open to the main focus of the evening – feedback and discussion with the A&D community. Our head of workplace consultancy Adrian Campbell led the conversation, which was lively to say the least!

“Are we looking at this from the right angle? Or are we so focused on what’s happening today, that we’re not considering questions on a wider scale, questions that will help us to develop the right solutions.”

Adrian Campbell

Topics included but were not limited to:

A Circular Approach

The linear approach to furniture is no longer acceptable and as a minimum companies should be recycling products. But what more can we do? There is definitely a demand for remanufactured and recycled items, and a desire to re-use existing products too. The question then becomes, how do we demonstrate to end users that remanufactured products can meet the aesthetic, functionality, and quality requirements of new product?


Standards, measurements and labelling were cited as key issues; the industry needs access to the right data, consistent measurements, and a verified approach. Certificates and documents like EPDs can be manipulated – the ‘gamification’ of EPDs can actually create barriers.

With furniture offering so much variety, standardisation of how sustainability is measured is a continuing challenge. The industry needs a unified approach that enables like for like comparison, ensuring that smaller businesses and SMEs can join this conversation without the outlay for an expensive EPD process.

Holistic solutions

Although carbon in products and the circularity of products are important points, sustainability is far bigger than this. We need to consider modern slavery, social value, biodiversity, and holistic approach we’re taking to make our businesses more sustainable.

“This is our revolution. Each generation has had their own cause. By pushing for sustainability, we are saying that we will not stand for the way things have been and the actions that have been accepted for the last 50, 60 years. We believe we can be better and, in the years to come, we will look back and understand that this brought about a revolutionary change.”

Gurvinder Khurana - Director at M Moser

The discussion was absolutely fantastic and we’d like to thank everyone that attended. With so much passion and enthusiasm in the room, it was clear that sustainable thinking is key to the progression and innovation of our industry.

We will be sharing key findings from our ongoing discussions, with the mindset that the right solution is one that can be shared, replicated, and used to drive change.

For further updates, please join our LinkedIn Group Our Journey to Net Zero.

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