The Furniture Makers’ Company, the furnishing industry’s charity, has announced that North East manufacturer Godfrey Syrett as winner of the 2016 Sustainability Award.

Established in 1947, Godfrey Syrett is a UK manufacturer of furniture solutions for the education, accommodation, healthcare and commercial sectors. The company has two factories, an upholstery facility in Killingworth, Newcastle, and a panelling site at Langley Moor, Durham.

A representative from Godfrey Syrett will be presented the award at the Furniture Makers’ Royal Charter Dinner at Skinners’ Hall, London on Tuesday 25th October.

The Sustainability Award recognises improvements in sustainability in relation to manufacturing of furniture and furnishings. It is based on principles provided by the Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme, administered by the Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA).  

The award considers all aspects of how a business operates – waste and energy management, design process, product improvements, packaging, transportation, procurement, end of life management, client relationships, supplier management, employee engagement and corporate social responsibility.

Entries were judged by a panel of industry experts, including Ben Burbidge, Master of The Furniture Makers’ Company; Dr Pete Beele, Technical Development Manager at FIRA; Alan Marshall, Liveryman of The Furniture Makers’ Company and environmental advisor to the industry; Alun Watkins, Executive Director at PEFC (UK) Ltd; and Jonny Westbrooke, Clerk and CEO of The Furniture Makers’ Company.

The judges were impressed by Godfrey Syrett’s significant investment in manufacturing technology, enabling the business to increase efficiencies, and its customised fleet of delivery vehicles with a focus on meeting stringent European emissions standards. The company has also introduced reusable and 100% recyclable packaging to support its goal of zero waste to landfill in 2016.

Ben Burbidge, Master of The Furniture Makers’ Company, said: “The goal of the Sustainability Award is to recognise and champion companies determined to leave a fine legacy to future generations. Godfrey Syrett has clearly demonstrated that it takes its commitment to sustainability very seriously, from sourcing raw materials and manufacturing to end of life management and employee training. On behalf of The Furniture Makers’ Company and the judging panel, I would like to congratulate them.”

Godfrey Syrett fought off stiff competition in Gaze Burvill, Hypnos Beds, and OMK Design to win the award.

Michael Donachie, Operations Director at Godfrey Syrett, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded The Furniture Makers’ Company Sustainability Award. We have worked hard on our efforts in this area, making significant investments in our manufacturing and transport facilities over the last 12 months. The award is an excellent piece of external recognition for all our staff, and we are very proud to receive it.”

Previous winners of the award include Hypnos Beds, Premiere Kitchens and Senator International.