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21st April 2017
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Don't get left behind... sustainable procurement of furniture is a top priority
With sustainability set to stay at the top of the Government's agenda and the Government Buying Standards for furniture a mandatory requirement in all public sector and central government tenders, an environmental expert who specialises in the furniture industry is urging businesses not to leave it too long before finding out how to get involved.
Environmental Consultant, James Bell, delivers the Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme, known as FISP. He explains how some businesses risk getting left behind and could miss out on vital work in a competitive industry where sustainability is becoming a 'must-have' rather than a 'nice-to-have'.
"If you are bidding for contracts for government organisations, which includes councils, schools, care homes, NHS buildings and social housing, then you will be asked to prove that you are working sustainably and are taking into consideration a wide range of environmental aspects as part of the Government Buying Standards for sustainable procurement of furniture.
"FISP is an independent, externally verified sustainability scheme, specifically tailored to the furniture industry. It is a really easy way to instantly demonstrate your sustainability credentials to a potential client. Sustainable working is not as difficult or as expensive as it is perceived to be and being a member of FISP could be the difference between winning or losing that big contract."
Membership is reviewed on an annual basis and members are required to demonstrate their commitment to managing and improving sustainability.
FISP, which is audited by FIRA International, was launched in 2006 to support and promote sustainable development in the furniture industry. Today, FISP is the standard of sustainable excellence for companies across the furniture supply chain and is internationally recognised as the industry's environmental benchmark.
FISP focuses on a variety of sustainability issues across a company including purchasing, end of life management, transportation, waste and energy management. Therefore, FISP membership actively contributes to improving a member's competitiveness in terms of cost savings and production efficiencies.
"The Government is leading by example and the private sector is following suit, with many contracts listing sustainability as a requirement for all new furniture purchases," continues James. "Statistics also show that consumers are becoming more 'green' aware and so FISP can be used as a valuable marketing tool.
"We work with businesses of all sizes at all different stages, it is a great starting block if you are completely new to sustainability or it works to complement other accreditations, such as ISO 14001 Environmental Standard.
"Contact me to find out more about how we can help your business stay ahead of the competition or sign up to our next event at the premises of FISP member, Senator, to hear first-hand about the benefits and potential cost savings of reducing waste and saving energy."
Senator, will be hosting the next FISP event on Wednesday 13th Novembe and will share its experiences and provide an insight into how it has achieved success in both reducing its effect on the environment and working more efficiently to minimise costs.
This exclusive event is free of charge and has only a limited number of spaces available. It is open to anyone within the industry who is keen to hear about how working sustainably can benefit their business. It takes place at Senator's head office in Accrington between 10.00 and 12:30pm. Lunch will be provided.
For details on how you can join the FISP programme, or to register your place at the event, contact James Bell.
18th October 2013