Sustainability is one of the most important aspects of sourcing furniture from our workshop partners. Urban Natural Home is committed to the responsible use of precious forest resources, including the wood used in our furniture.
We are in conversation with our suppliers on an ongoing basis to eliminate wood from unacceptable sources and seek to source our wood, over time, to be 100% responsible wood – wood from certified and recycled/reclaimed sources.
Urban Natural Home recognizes the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as an important tool to promote responsible forest management. We have a preference for sourcing FSC-certified wood furniture when it meets our requirements. Additionally, we prefer to buy wood from sources that carry the following certifications: Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers Inc. (AHMI), and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).
Urban Natural Home is also deeply committed to avoiding wood from unacceptable sources, including:
ㅤ● Illegally harvested or traded timber;
ㅤ● Timber harvested in violation of traditional or civil rights;
ㅤ● Timber harvested from areas in which high conservation values are threatened by poor forest management
ㅤ● Timber harvested from areas being converted from forests to plantations or non-forest use
Through this Policy, Urban Natural Home looks to be an example for our peers and to do our part to protect the world’s finite forest resources.
For nearly 20 years, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has been helping both consumers and furniture brands make more sustainable and ethical choices. Put briefly, they help make sure your favorite wooden coffee table really is responsibly-harvested and manufactured.
The FSC is a non-profit organization that sets standards for responsible forest management. They provide guidance and certifications to businesses and forest operators on how to grow, harvest, and sustain woodlands around the world, because they know that protecting the planet is important—and we at Urban Natural Homes certainly agree.
How do they do that? By leveraging the power of the marketplace.
The FSC knows the smartest way to prevent deforestation is to encourage manufacturers to make decisions that are better for the environment, and part of that plan is putting agency into your hands. By highlighting businesses that meet the FSC’s standards for never harvesting old-growth trees, prohibiting hazardous chemicals, and protecting water quality, they empower furniture companies to improve their practices and make products that people really want to make a part of their lives.
In addition to strengthening forest management, the FSC is committed to protecting the rights of indigenous people and making sure their voices are part of the certification process. Today they operate in over 80 countries and have certified 550 million acres of forests around the world. That’s a lot of trees—and a lot of beautiful furniture that’s safely come from them!
Which Wood Sourcing Certifications You Should Know About
Forest Stewardship Certification
FSC certification starts at the source to make sure products come from responsibly managed forests. Beginning with sawmills and lumber yards, all the way on to factories and merchants, FSC certification guarantees the furniture you buy meets rigorous environmental standards for protecting forests, harvesting sustainably, and more. Their certificates are holistic, taking into account things like water protection, worker welfare, and indiginous land rights to ensure that the people, animals, and natural resources that bring products to life are all respected. Click to learn more on the FSC website.
Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification
PEFC provides third-party certification to forest owners, supply chain companies, and brands and retailers. Their certification promotes sustainable forest management and creates an easy-to-follow trail of responsibility to ensure furniture in the marketplace can be traced back to sustainably managed forests. They operate one of the largest forest certification systems in the world, with over 330 million hectares of PEFC-certified forest and 20,000 companies under certification. PEFC works from the local level up to make proper forest management socially just, ecologically sound, and economically viable. Click here to learn more on the PEFC website.
Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers Inc.:
AHMI is a trade association devoted to advancing sustainable forestry practices. They work directly with lumber companies to certify that their harvesting and replanting practices are ecologically sound and contribute to a stronger national forest system. Companies with AHMI certification provide responsibly-sourced wood to furniture manufacturers and are committed to giving consumers better choices. Click here to learn more on the AHMI website.
Sustainable Forestry Initiative
SFI certifications show up directly on goods to let consumers know when a product has been responsibly sourced. As an independent non-profit, SFI works with people and businesses across the entire supply chain to issue certificates for everything from sustainable sourcing and chain-of-custody to responsible treatment of indigenous people and land. They focus on improving sustainable forestry practices through collaboration, as they know healthy forests are critical to our collective future. In addition to working with businesses, SFI also works with universities, government, and local communities to educate them on putting more sustainable forest management techniques to use in their areas. Click here to learn about the SFI website.
Meet Our Workshop Partner Certifications
We take environmental stewardship seriously, and this shows up in our partnership network. All of our workshop partners use ethically-sourced hardwoods in their products. A select number of our partners take the extra step to achieve certification, and we're proud to highlight them here.
ㅤ● American Leather: FSC® Certified Wood
ㅤ● Cisco Home: FSC® Certified Wood
ㅤ● Copeland: FSC® Certified Wood
ㅤ● Ethnicraft: Teak is FSC® Certified Wood
ㅤ● Oeuf: FSC® Certified Wood
ㅤ● Naturepedic: Wood is FSC® Certified Wood
ㅤ● West Bros: FSC® Certified Wood
What Is the Wood Furniture Scorecard
The Wood Furniture Scorecard (WFS) is a tool to measure how sustainable and environmentally responsible a company’s manufacturing processes are. Businesses are scored on things such as wood sourcing, commitments to using FSC-certified materials, use of recycled or reclaimed wood, and any broader efforts they take to operate more sustainably. Overseen by the National Wildlife Federation and Sustainable Furnishings Council, the goal of the WFS is to encourage furniture retailers both big and small to improve how and from where they source all their wood in order to benefit forests around the world. Check out their 2021 scorecard to see how your favorite brands scored and learn what they’re doing to do their part!
Why Everyone Should Care About Responsible Sourcing
We all know that forests are important. They’re vital for so much life around the planet—ours included! But knowing why forests matter can put your shopping choices into perspective.
Here’s three key things to know about responsible wood sourcing:
1. Forests regulate the climate. When trees are cleared out, forests can’t absorb CO2, which is why deforestation accounts for 12% of all human-made greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable forestry practices help stop deforestation from happening!
2. Forests protect biodiversity. Roughly half of Earth’s plant and animal species depend on tropical rainforests, which are sadly being deforested. Better forest management leads to a better life for all!
3. Illegal logging is real. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be stopped! With pressure from consumers and businesses, manufacturers seek sustainable suppliers and incentivize more responsible sourcing overall.