This is a guest article written by JPA Workspaces.
JPA Workspaces is an award-winning, independent family business, established in 1974 and based in Hertfordshire. They are commercial furniture specialists and operate across commercial offices, education and healthcare.
As a family business they want to leave a positive legacy from their furnishing activity, believing every company of every size can make a difference by transitioning from a linear to circular approach. They are also passionate about showcasing the huge untapped benefits of local operation.
JPA’s mission is to reduce furniture carbon and waste across project fit-out work. When new furniture is specified, JPA prioritise manufacturers who can supply certified timber to accommodate green building and fit-out benchmarking schemes such as LEED, BREEAM and Ska, so FSC- certification is essential to JPA’s core business. Certified forests evidence environmental, economic and social benefits including responsible land management, fair pay and core labour rights, and therefore satisfy tender requirements.
Further carbon reductions can be achieved by simply maximising furniture resources already in place i.e. re-using, re-purposing, refreshing, repairing or reupholstering furniture items.
Over 1.2million office desks and 1.8 million office chairs go to UK landfill every year and this has to change JPA’s complete set of post-occupation support services help mitigate this. We’ve saved Clients over £1.5million over by simply helping to re-use and re-work existing furniture items back into new schemes, meaning no unnecessary use of virgin materials and almost zeroed embodied furniture carbon, it makes sense.
Fiona Edwards, JPA’s Head of Sustainability.
Using FSC-certified timber helps us to confirm that the timber we use originates from trusted, sustainable and legal sources with zero deforestation and no net loss of forest over time.
This is more important than ever when trees are being felled at an unprecedented global rate of 41million trees a day. “When supplying new furniture we have a duty of care to the planet”, says Fiona, “so we’ve been doing a lot of our work with our supply chain to identify manufacturing partners can provide certified timber products”.
JPA have been successfully certified to FSC standards for almost a year and running the system and piloting orders with manufacturing partners during that time. Says Fiona, “We’ve had some glitches but managed to identify them and find solutions, our manual isn’t static by any means! We were able to outline progress, issues and fixes at our recent August audit and our Interface auditor Michael Bye was very supportive. It was also a great opportunity to tap into his extensive knowledge bank and ask all those silly questions which build up over time!”
FSC certification helps JPA demonstrate a deeper level of understanding and commitment to sustainable development to a client base showing an increasing interest in suppliers’ brand purpose. It’s unusual for a commercial furniture dealer to be FSC certified and a great benefit as Chain of Custody can be passed on from forest to clients’ floorspace, covering the entire manufacturing process.
Persuading clients to buy for long-term value and social justice during these times of unprecedented price rises and materials costs is certainly a challenge, but the tide is turning. Post-covid, short-term purchasing, excessive consumption and the make, buy, replace linear model is gradually being replaced with refreshed focus on people, planet and purpose, increasingly evidenced in legislation and procurement policies.
“We would highly recommend FSC certification, at the very least it’s a statement of intent and commitment to ESG principles, but it’s also powerful tool for value, brand and reputation” says Fiona. “and it’s helping win fit-out projects, contributing to JPA’s development and growth plans”.
Discover more work by JPA Workspaces online.