The Furniture Makers’ Company, the City of London livery company and charity for the furnishing industry, is to host a climate change and sustainability event on Wednesday 14th December (11am–5pm) at Furniture Makers’ Hall, London.

The Routes to Greater Sustainability event is being supported by the British Furniture Confederation (BFC) and sponsored by the Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA), Ocee Design, Panaz and SATRA Technology.

The free event will be the first pan-furnishing industry conference of its type, welcoming businesses and delegates from all sectors of the domestic and contract markets, with the aim of sharing knowledge and best practice on routes for greater sustainability. As well as networking opportunities, the day will include a series of eight short presentations including: an overview by the BFC of potential new legislation; the Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme (FISP), the UK’s only industry specific scheme; as well as introductions to different corporate approaches to climate change initiatives.

The conference will also have representation from key industry associations including the British Contract Furnishing Association (BCFA, now Commercial Interiors UK), British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM), the National Bed Federation (NBF) and UK Carpet Recycling.

The event is being organised by The Furniture Makers’ Company’s Climate Change and Sustainability committee, which was launched in 2022 to support greater environmental awareness, promote initiatives within the sector and identify opportunities for open innovation.

Joanna Knight, climate change and sustainability chairman at The Furniture Makers’ Company, says: “This event aims to unite all sectors within the furnishing industry and provide an opportunity to collaborate and knowledge share. Delegates will go away from the event with a better understanding of the various initiatives being undertaken by industry to reduce climate change, as well as ideas to action within their own business.”

Jonathan Hindle, chairman of the British Furniture Confederation (BFC), says: “The BFC is delighted to be co-hosting this important pan-industry sustainability event. Businesses are already acting in response or anticipation of the demands of their customers, shareholders and their own consciences. Government rules and regulations will follow, and it’s important that we are there not only to keep our industry informed of these but to engage and shape them. Sustainability is one of the most important challenges and opportunities of our times. Success is essential for all not just some, so we must collaborate as never before, not just for the future of our businesses, but for the planet, our children, for mankind.”

Tony Attard OBE DL, master of The Furniture Makers’ Company and chairman of Panaz, industry day sponsor, comments: “Our world will change irrevocably unless we address climate change. Sustainability and our effect on climate change must now be an important board meeting agenda item for all businesses. Everything we do affects it, and everything we do to make a difference needs to be planed for and delivered. The conference we are holding will help address some of these issues and give sound practical advice on implementation. We will not learn everything in one day, but it’s a start along the sustainability pathway.”

John Hubbard, technical consultant at FIRA International, industry day sponsor, adds: “I am looking forward to hosting two sessions at this inaugural event. From my sustainability research and work across the furniture sector, on behalf of the Furniture Industry Research Association, I am starting to see a real step change taking place, driven by both legislation and a stronger focus on corporate responsibility. Platforms like this initiative from The Furniture Makers’ Company offer such a valuable opportunity to share best practice and see firsthand how improvements can be made. Through sharing my experience, I am hoping to inspire others and bring about new ways of thinking.”

Nicola Pichel-Juan, sustainability services manager at SATRA Technology, industry day sponsor, comments: “Building more sustainable products and organisations is one of the biggest challenges being faced by most businesses today. No organisation can do this alone – collaboration is key, which is why SATRA is delighted to have the opportunity to support this event and to be able to share our knowledge and expertise with the furniture industry, as well as to discover what we can learn on the day to help us on our own journey to become more sustainable.”

Claire Williams, group creative director at Ocee Design, industry day sponsor, concludes: “We are proud to be sponsoring the Routes to Greater Sustainability industry day. As an industry, we can, and must, do more to protect our planet. If each one of us were to make just one small change in our businesses, and day-to-day life, that collective impact could be huge – and that’s where days like this, coming together to make change as an industry, are so important.”

Register to attend the event for free here.