Sustainability professionals and interested parties identified some of the major environmental challenges facing businesses operating in the UK furniture and furnishing industry at the Climate Change Sprint Challenge, organised by The Furniture Makers’ Company, the City of London livery company and charity for the furnishing industry. 

Around 40 people attended the event, which was sponsored by the Furniture Industry Research Association, Ocee & Four Design, Panaz and SATRA, at Furniture Makers’ Hall, London on Wednesday 15th November. 

The interactive event provided colleagues with the opportunity to participate in round table discussions and learn from each other on five themes: 

  • Avoiding harm to people and planet 
  • Standards and Certification 
  • Measuring and reducing Scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions 
  • Material selection 
  • Circular Economy 

Each table was moderated by industry sustainability champions: Joanna Knight, sustainability consultant at The Knight Partnership and chairman of The Furniture Makers’ Company’s Climate Change & Sustainability Committee; Adnan Zeb-Khan, director at Carpet Recycling UK; Ben Naylor, group operations director at Sanderson Design Group; Giulia Neuhaus, group environment and sustainability manager at Ocee & Four Design; Jessica Alexander, special projects director at the National Bed Federation; John Hubbard, technical consultant at FIRA International; Julie Walker, technical and manufacturing manager at Vita Group; Nicola Pichel-Juan, sustainability manager at SATRA; Richard Naylor, group sustainable development director at Hypnos; and Rollie Attard, CEO at Panaz. 

“After deferring this event multiple times due to industrial action on the rail network, it was fantastic to hold the Climate Change Sprint Challenge and have some insightful conversations about what we need to do to help slow climate change," says Joanna Knight, chairman of The Furniture Makers’ Company’s Climate Change & Sustainability Committee. "I would like to thank our sponsors and moderators who volunteered their time to facilitate the event. 

“Our events are designed to cater to both sustainability experts as well as those who are completely new to the subject who are looking to learn more, so please do join us at future events.” 

A short report, outlining the observations and issues raised during the sessions, is available to download.