The Furniture Makers’ Company’s popular thought-provoking webinar series returns this autumn with three episodes, starting with an examination of what the industry is doing to combat climate change.

The first series, which aired during spring 2021, was themed ‘Innovation in Times of Crisis’ and focused on the measures companies implemented to help navigate the complex waters of lockdown Britain.

With the UK now slowing adjusting to the ‘new normal’, the second series is themed ‘Building back stronger’ and will explore the lessons learnt from the pandemic and examine the big issues influencing production and purchasing decisions.

The first episode, titled ‘Targeting carbon reduction – expectations for the furnishing industry’, will be broadcast for free on Zoom at 11:00am on Thursday 14th October.

Scheduled two weeks before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), the timely webinar will bring together a panel of experts representing different sectors of the industry to investigate what the trade is doing about sustainability and identify opportunities for improvement.

Joining host Peter Holland, principal at Linear Structure in the discussion, are:

  • Daniel Hopwood, founder of Studio Hopwood
  • Joanna Knight, sustainability & circular economy manager at Women in Office Design
  • Kate Wright, group head of sustainable product development at DFS Group

The topics up for discussion will be:

  • Embracing Carbon Reduction Initiatives – do customers understand what is ‘green’? Do customers know what is genuinely ‘green’? Should ‘eco’ credentials be clearer with greater uniformity on certification?
  • Eco-design – will customers pay? There is increasing emphasis on product design to improve reuse and recycling potential, durability to maximise useful life, availability of spares and components and use of more environmentally sensitive materials. How should manufacturers communicate a clear message of ‘added value’ and customer benefits?
  • Circularity – is it commercially viable? The retail sector appears to be leading the race on circularity through introductions from retailers with ‘furniture as a service’ offerings. Are the schemes, including ‘take back’ options, commercially viable and will they be widely adopted?

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