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:
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.
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.
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!
Topics included but were not limited to:
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.
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.
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.