There are some misconceptions about which products are really the best for office use and a business’ overall carbon footprint. A chair, workstation or office desk that appears to be environmentally-friendly could be simply the product of great hype.
Truly sustainable products do have an impact, though, and the American Sustainable Business Council outlined some of them in a recent blog post, in which it said that there is a growing market for these items. The article mentions the efforts undertaken by Washington, New York and Minnesota in particular to support “sustainable procurement.”
In addition to some more nebulous benefits, like manufacturing innovation credits and successful use of product standards, the source also references the way sustainable products could reduce the presence of toxic chemicals and gain manufacturers credit for material reuse, among other green practices. Since manufacturers have to prove that they are using accurate materials when marketing potentially green products, there’s also an incentive for them to stay compliant, which benefits buyers, too.
The authors of the piece stressed the procedures available for manufacturers to stay involved with sustainable procedures.
“Any product type can be cost effectively certified to participate in the state and local government sustainable procurement preferences,” they said. “Leveraging certification into continuous improvement and step-wise contracts can be used to provide manufacturers time to improve their products.” They also warned against the practice of industry “greenwashing,” or applying claims of environmental benefits to products where they don’t apply.
Purchasing new and used office seating, among other common products, works if companies understand the actual sustainability of a piece and how it could serve future uses. Investing in reusable building products is important for achieving LEED certification and perpetuating strong environmental practices throughout office culture.