The award ceremony of the fourth edition (the second European) of the FSC Furniture Awards took place in Milan at the ADI Design Museum, the competition created by the Forest Stewardship Council® to recognize the commitment and sustainability of companies in the indoor and outdoor wood-furniture sector, chosen from among the twenty European countries involved. Three categories to be awarded (Commitment, Brand and Communication), available for the Producers and Resellers segments, plus the special Producer / Retailer of the year awards.
The awarded companies
Nine companies awarded, European companies in the field of indoor and outdoor wood furniture that have distinguished themselves in terms of sustainability of the wood raw material: products, companies and retailers who have chosen FSC certification to ensure the sustainable origin of their products in wood.
The FSC International jury assigns the Polish company Gala Meble Sp. Z o.o. the award for sustainable procurement policies for wooden furniture products. Same award, but for the Resellers category, went to the German T&S Home & Living GmbH.
In the Brand category, on the other hand, the award went to two Danish companies: Kvist Industries A / S for the producers and llva A / S for the retailer part. The prize for the best Communication for producers went to the Italian company Stosa s.p.a, while for retailers the prize was awarded to the French Pier Import.
Finally, the FSC Producer of the year was proclaimed for the indoor sector Hammerbacher GmbH (Germany) and for the outdoor Euroform K. Winkler s.r.l (Italy); FSC dealer of the year is the German Otto group.
Stosa Cucine awarded for Communication
Stosa Cucine won, for the third consecutive year, the FSC® Furniture Award, with a special mention for communication: the commitment that the company has shown in conveying the certification assets across all its channels is rewarded. Press conferences on the topic, live social talks and involvement of influencers related to the furniture sector: these are the initiatives promoted by Stosa to convey the values of FSC®.
Sustainability, today's challenges in the furniture sector
Sustainability for the furniture sector is a challenge that the current international crisis cannot stop. This is what emerged during the round table that preceded the FSC Furniture Awards 2022 awards ceremony which was attended by Antonella Andriani, Vice-President of the Industrial Design Association (ADI), Omar Degoli, President of the Circular Economy group of European Furniture Industries Confederation (EFIC); Maria Porro, President of the Salone del Mobile; Jeremy Harrison, Chief Markets Officer of FSC International; Diego Florian, Director of FSC Italy.
For Antonella Andriani, wood, precisely because of its intrinsic qualities, is the material of the future, “as long as attention is paid to its sustainable origin. In fact, functionality and pleasantness of design cannot exist without sustainability of the raw material used ".
"The change towards sustainability - said Maria Porro - does not concern a single actor, but involves wood furniture as a whole. The necessary change of mentality must see sustainability as a competitive factor for companies ”.
Jeremy Harrison said that, according to their Global Consumer Research 2021, more and more people are looking for furniture made from sustainable sources: eight out of ten people expect companies to sell wood and paper products that do not cause deforestation. "The data - he added - show that FSC's mission to offer raw materials from sustainable sources for producers, retailers and consumers can really make a difference and contribute to the zero deforestation strategy promoted by the European Union".
Finally, Alexia Schrott commented: “It is clear that sustainability, and in particular FSC certification, has become a benchmark for manufacturers, retailers and consumers. An essential element for anyone entering the European and world market ".
Sustainable furniture in Europe and Italy
Wood, with different varieties of species available for different processes, is the furnishing material par excellence. However, there is still a risk that the wood used for furniture comes from illegal or unsustainable sources: according to Interpol data, illegal logging accounts for 50-90% of all forestry activities in the main producing tropical forests, such as those of the Amazon Basin, Central Africa and Southeast Asia, and 15-30% of all wood traded globally.
Although an increasing number of countries and regions, including the European Union and the UK, have introduced regulations that prohibit the trade and use of illegally harvested timber and products, tracing the materials back to the forest they come from is complex. Thanks to its supply chain standards, the FSC certification system helps to ensure the sustainable origin of the wood, with environmental, economic and social benefits.
This is another reason why the furniture sector shows an increasing sensitivity towards certification: in September 2022, 5,382 FSC supply chain certificates were issued in Europe, with a 4.6% growth compared to 2021. Among the countries with the highest number of certificates there are, in order, Poland (905), the United Kingdom (760), Italy (631) and Germany (425). Our country in particular has registered + 4.8% in certifications in the last eight months.