The wood-furniture supply chain for sustainability
The transition to a green future is one of the most important challenges that companies are called upon to manage in the medium and long term. The focus on the sustainability of the product and of each phase of the production cycle is one of the factors that most of the companies took part in SICAM, both as exhibitors of components and accessories and as buyers in the furniture industry, have in common.
For several years now, the wood-furniture supply chain has been going through a period of major change that involves all stages of the production process, from design to manufacture and after-sales service, with a view increasingly geared towards the implementation of the so-called circular economy. The objective is to reduce the impact of production activities on the environment, which companies aim to achieve through a complex set of initiatives. The steps implemented by the supply chain go from the procurement to the manufacturing processes, from the design to the marketing and distribution of the various products, right up to the handling of their so-called ‘end-of-life’ and the minimisation of the environmental impact of waste production.
Sustainability in the production chain is manifested primarily by the reduction of material used in the production processes, an approach that involves 52.6% of wood companies and 54.3% of furniture companies, and by the use of “secondary raw materials” (i.e., waste recovered and reintroduced into production), which is used by 37.1% and 32.7% of the two categories of companies, respectively. Overall, the investment choices made by the wood-furniture supply chain, as well as the measures in favour of sustainability, often depend on the characteristics of the production processes themselves, in particular the level of intensity of use of energy and water resources and materials.
The installation of low-energy consumption machinery, systems and appliances is the predominant investment choice for both wood and furniture companies (26.8% and 29.6% respectively). Also important in the supply chain are measures to limit water extraction and consumption, wastewater treatment and the reuse/recycling of wastewater: companies in the woodworking and furniture sectors are among the most active in limiting water extraction and consumption (38.2% and 38.9% respectively).