In one of our previous blogs, we discussed the changing work environment. From the pandemic and remote working, to design trends reshaping where and how we get work done, global forces continue to alter our vocational habits.
One of these is sustainability; something that undoubtedly impacts all of our lives as we attempt to preserve and protect the world around us. Whether reducing environmental impact, minimising waste, using trade certified or sustainable materials, or reducing excess to create healthy, productive environments, sustainability is at the top of the list for both workers and employers when seeking to design socially responsible, future-focused workspaces.
Businesses throughout Australia and New Zealand are already leading the charge. Across the ditch, Barangaroo in Sydney is one example; Australia’s first certified carbon-neutral precinct developed under the Climate Action Initiative. Home to sustainable business spaces finished with recycled materials, natural timber and stone, the office incorporates sustainable and biophilic design, increasing connectivity to the natural environment.
Here in New Zealand, Fonterra’s Auckland CBD centre is a 5 Star Green Star design rated office building, with sustainability woven throughout the design; from its natural light, to an internal green wall, irrigated via collected rainwater.
At Buro, we believe sustainability should apply to all aspects of how you work. From your work-life balance, to the space you work in, the furniture that supports you, and the tools you use to get the job done. In this blog, we’ll dive into our own sustainability journey, and the steps we’ve taken to help you work more sustainably with Buro.
This is our vision for the future. One where sustainability isn’t a sacrifice, but a simple choice; one that empowers you to live more healthy, productive and fulfilling lives. By taking steps to get there ourselves, we hope to make this a reality for our customers, so that when it comes to sustainability, Buro has your back.
Our Sustainability Journey
As a business, we’re aware of the toll industrialisation has taken on our planet, and our shared responsibility to do our part. Our vision is to go beyond sustainability to regeneration, looking at ways we can not just reduce our impact, but leave a positive one, giving back more than we’ve taken. While this can be daunting, it’s also exciting, and along the way, we’ve made changes to our products, business practices and procedures to ensure we walk the talk.
Our Product Stewardship Programme
According to EPA (2019), 8.5 million tonnes of office furniture is sent to landfills every year. Green Furniture Hub states, an estimated 24,000 thousand tonnes of office furniture from corporate office refurbishments alone is sent to landfills every year in Australia.
Buro Seating is addressing this issue and demonstrating our commitment to responsible product life cycle management through our Product Stewardship Programme. Through the programme, based on principles of a circular economy, we accept chair returns for a small cost, that we then inspect, recondition, repurpose, or recycle. In the case of reconditioning, we donate these preloved refurbished chairs to a local charity shop or they can be sold via online auction.
Our vision is for preloved reconditioned and repurposed chairs to be donated to local schools or community associations. We are working on establishing partnerships with these organisations and aim to have two partnerships in place by the end of 2022. This initiative will help to support our local communities and enable our product stewardship goals.
The perfect sustainable office chair doesn’t just consider the materials. Recycled content, the circular economy, eco-friendly design and packaging all play a role. Here are some of the Buro products incorporating sustainable production practices into their design and development.
The Buro Mentor has achieved AFRDI Green Tick Level B, Gold certification for ethical and sustainable furniture design and manufacturing.
Buro Mentor (multi-user, intuitive)
The Buro Mentor provides comparable support and longevity in a contemporary, ergonomic design.
Featuring Dynamic Intelligence™ technology that supports optimal posture and organic movement by intuitively adjusting to a person’s weight as they move. The Osteopath-assessed revolutionary chair is also backed by a GREENGUARD Gold certification, verifying low volatile chemical emissions and suitability for use in school or hospital environments. This all comes down to sustainable production and is another way Buro has your back when it comes to doing business safely and sustainably.
Mondo Range (affordable)
The Mondo range was our answer to a big question: how else could we reduce our carbon emissions and impact besides the production process and materials? The answer? Freight and packaging. Our research showed that by purchasing your chair in a box you help reduce carbon emissions, with 67% less freight volume than a fully assembled chair. That’s 3 times less freight volume! This, alongside our commitment to quality materials, production processes, certifications and recyclability schemes ensures you’re making a more responsible purchase.
A heavy-duty, 3 Lever, multi-functional chair, the Mondo Java is GREENGUARD certified and comes in a versatile range, from the Mondo Java Mid Back, to Java High Back and Mondo Java Mesh.
Flat-packed, with tool-free assembly, the Mondo range brings sustainability and affordability together with industry-leading contemporary design. These ergonomic office chairs are perfect for commercial or home office spaces or wherever you need an extra level of support.
But sustainability is only half of the equation. Doing less bad isn’t the same as doing more good and for us, regeneration is the next piece of the puzzle. This means supporting green initiatives and actively contributing to what we see as a global effort to restore and repair, not just reduce.
Here are some of the steps we’re taking:
Partnership with Trees that Count
Trees that Count is a New Zealand environmental charity, helping Kiwis plant more native trees across Aotearoa, New Zealand. Since 2016, they’ve gifted and funded the planting of close to 1M native trees, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while preserving biodiversity. Buro has committed to funding the planting of over 500 trees in Aotearoa, New Zealand, by the end of 2022, donating proceeds from the sale of each Mondo chair.
Business Donor of Greening Australia
Buro Seating donate to Greening Australia, contributing to their not-for-profit organisation and their five large-scale restoration projects: Reef Aid, Tasmanian Island Ark, Great Southern Landscapes, Nature in Cities and Thriving on Country.
Buro staff participate by getting stuck in on planting days and plan to be involved in future environmental collaborations.
AFRDI Green Tick
AFRDI Green Tick is a substantial achievement rewarded by passing rigorous scientifically applied standards and principles.
Buro achieved AFRDI Green Tick Level B, Gold certification for ethical and sustainable furniture design and manufacturing on our Buro Mentor, Vela and Alto products, with the Konfurb Sense application currently pending.
Forest Stewardship Council
We are currently completing an audit with the Forest Stewardship Council to obtain an FSC licence. Our goal is to ensure all of our relevant products are FSC compliant, by the end of 2022, signifying their compliance with the FSC’s standards, in line with their mission to protect the forests of the world and drive sustainable forestry practices.
Sustainability is an ongoing effort and like you, we’re still learning and adapting to our changing world, as well as our standing amongst sustainable office brands. From the examples of sustainable trends, and our own measures above, it’s clear to see a powerful trend in place, that transcends production into personal decisions about how we shape our workspaces and preferences for how and where we work.
So, how will you incorporate sustainability into your work or home life? Whether it’s through conscious consumption of products, reorganising and decluttering your space, or cutting back on excess, small steps can make a big difference. Through each new office furniture addition and our regenerative efforts we hope to be able to support you on your sustainability journey, while giving you the furniture you need to make sustainable work and living daily practice.
Buro aims to be a leading supplier of sustainable office furniture NZ wide. If you’re looking for sustainable commercial office furniture, office furniture made from recycled material, or ergonomic office furniture to support you while you work, check out our products here.