The Sustainable Furnishings Council

Some of us may green furniture in our homes, but a current trend among home furnishings manufacturers is to make products that are environmentally “green”. The Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC) is a nonprofit coalition based in High Point, NC, the heart of the U.S. furniture industry. Among the organization’s primary objectives are minimizing carbon emissions, polluting wastes, and non-recyclable materials in its members’ products. Another is to use materials (primarily wood) from sustainable sources in all furnishings.

According to SFC’s website, the group’s members have adopted the life-cycle assessment protocol to determine the environmental impact of their products. A previous article in this series pointed out that the ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable recommends that pharmaceutical industry engineers use the same method to evaluate bioprocesses. The SFC site also contains a detailed description of life-cycle assessment principles.

SFC’s interests go beyond manufacturing. The council directs consumers to the Web sites of designers, suppliers, and retailers who focus on sustainability in their business activities. It offers “certified sustainability training”, a 6-hour continuing education course that qualifies people in the industry to become “GREENleaders”. Training is also offered to sales staffs for “selling green”.

SFC is associated with environmental organizations such as One Good World, the World Wildlife Federation, and the Rainforest Alliance. In the past two years, it has cosponsored or participated in the One Good Chair Design Competition and ECOngress 2010.