“With sustainability as part of our DNA”
We at TreCe want to make it easy for our customers to make sustainable choices. Therefore, we attach great importance to optimizing the sustainability of the development and production of our furniture. We have asked four questions to Sara Shakespeare, our environmental and quality manager, about our sustainability work and what the furniture industry can do to jointly achieve long-term change.
How does TreCe work to reduce impact on the outside world from our products?
We feel a major responsibility for both environmentally friendly and long-term sustainable products. Right from the start we have focused on sustainability, it is in our DNA. Today we attach as much importance to sustainability as to the economy when choosing everything from materials to partners. As we do not manufacture our products ourselves, the choice of partners and that there is transparency throughout the chain become even more important. Because we place high demands on ourselves for reducing our environmental and social impact, we naturally make the same demands on our partners. All in order for our customers to feel confident that they make a sustainable choice when choosing our products.
How do we ensure that we meet our sustainability requirements?
We do this in several ways, for example by 80 percent of our products are labeled according Möbelfakta, an industry labeling developed by the TMF. In 2018 we will certify two additional products. The labeling ensures sustainable development through the fact that an approved furniture meets the environmental requirements, is manufactured according to ethical guidelines and complies with current quality specifications. For other products and components we collect safety data sheets and content declarations, which we compile in our own environmental declarations. We are also certified according to quality and environmental management standards ISO 9001: 2015 and 14001: 2015. In order to further ensure sustainability, we require our suppliers to be ISO-certified or otherwise able to prove that they manage the manufacturing in a desirable way. The technical quality is ensured by testing our labeled products at the Technical Research Institute of Sweden.
What opportunities are there for improving the sustainability of the furniture industry in general?
To create long-term change in the industry is a tough nut to crack as the sole player. But if the industry starts to work together for a sustainable development we can achieve a lot. We believe that a key factor is to give sustainability the same priority as a price in the choice of partners, unfortunately, the industry is not right there today. It also means that buyers and customers must take responsibility and demand transparency and put pressure on suppliers regarding environmental and social conditions. When more demands are made, suppliers and the industry are forced to develop in the right direction.
What is the furniture industry’s main challenge for the future?
The next step for both TreCe and the industry as a whole is to find solutions for the circular economy – ie the economy based on a recycling system and reduced resource consumption. For us, for example, a product and its materials are kept in circulation through long-term design, reuse, repair and maintenance. We have just participated in a research and innovation project with Linköping University, Chalmers and Vinnova in resource-efficient production. The results with the methods life cycle and life cycle cost analysis showed that the circular scenario has much less environmental impact as it is cost effective, which is amazing. With joy, we see several initiatives that suggest that this is beginning to find its way into the agenda of decision makers as well as end customers. We at TreCe, like the rest of the industry, need to develop our business models and capture the future and long-term opportunities that circular economy hold. It is a long-term and sustainable investment that we look forward to working with.
To read more about TreCe’s environmental and sustainability work click here.