Office furniture manufacturer Senator International has been named the winner of the 2013 Furniture Makers’ Sustainability Award.

Senator beat off competition from three other shortlisted companies - Hypnos Beds, Premiere Kitchens and Community Playthings - to scoop the second award made by the Furniture Makers to recognise the progress being made to reduce the impact on the environment of furniture manufacturing in Britain. The award is open to members of the Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme (FISP) and holders of the Furniture Makers’ Manufacturing Guild Mark (MGM).

“All the shortlisted companies were able to demonstrate they had made significant progress during the year to improve sustainability across all aspects of their businesses,” says Oliver Heal, organiser of the awards. “But in the end the judges were unanimous in their decision. It was obvious that sustainability is a crusade that goes to the very heart Senator’s business.”

Senator stood out “for their thoroughness, progress in the last year, width of activity, leadership in this area of the industry, ability and willingness to push boundaries and for their real understanding of the value of sustainability in their business”, says Charles Vernon, immediate past master of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers and chairman of the panel of judges.

“This award is an acknowledgement from the whole furniture industry of Senator’s achievements, and will only lead to us increasing our efforts in this field, to remain at number one,” says Paul Clarke, Senator’s commercial director. “We take our sustainability responsibilities very seriously, sustainable practices are woven into every aspect of our business, to minimise any negative impact on the environment. The establishment of a Recycling Division, and FISP membership, proved to be the catalysts that enabled us to ‘internally offset’ the carbon generated through the utilities used in all our production processes.”

Paul Hobson, marketing director of Senator International, received the 2013 trophy from Luke Palmer of last year’s winners, Orangebox, at the latter’s London showrooms at the start of Clerkenwell Design Week.

David Walton, chair of FISP and also one of the judges, adds: “The standard of entry was extremely good last year but this year even that was exceeded. It is very good to see that companies are pushing back the boundaries on sustainability and making real cost-effective improvements as a result. Companies within FISP are no longer satisfied with a level of performance that just meets the requirements of ISO14001, they are now looking at new, novel approaches to sustainability that are beginning to have a real business impact.”

The other judges on the panel were Alan Marshall, liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers and environmental adviser to the industry, and Barbara Chandler, freelance writer, journalist and photographer - assisted and advised by James Bell, FIRA’s environmental consultant.