My Furniture Career is powered by The Furniture Makers’ Company, the City of London livery company and charity for the furnishing industry.
Our role is to sustain a thriving British furnishing industry with a talented workforce delivering high-quality products, which supports those in need from within its ranks and those who have served it in the past.
"If you care about the environment and tackling the climate crisis, then you’ll find plenty of companies out there you’ll feel happy working for."
It’s not surprising, that companies of all sizes in the furniture and interiors sector are into sustainability, with the numbers growing every day. Sustainability is a topic they are all taking very seriously. So, you are sure to be able to find a company which either offers job opportunities involving helping on that sustainability journey; or which you feel happy working with because it is working hard to do the right thing.
Most companies are on a journey – inevitably some are much more advanced than others. But more and more companies are embracing the fact that their business models need to adapt to more sustainable options. In fact, it makes sense, because, while there are up front costs to a business to make investments, such as into new and alternative energy sources, like solar panels or electric vehicles, there can be long terms gains.
It's an exciting time, as companies are taking a long hard look at the materials they use in their products, where they come from, how they are put together and how they can be reused, repaired or recycled when their first customers are ready to dispose of them. New business models are emerging all the time, such as taking back products they have made to remake or repair and then resell them.
A term that is frequently used now - and often turns up in job titles - is ESG. It stands for environment, social and governance. The environmental element involves looking at how an organisation uses energy and manages the environmental impact that their operations have.
The social element focuses on companies, people, culture, and their effect on the broader community - it focuses on a company’s business relationships, the suppliers it uses, its contributions to the community, and the working conditions of its employees.
Some factors considered here include:
Finally, the governance element involves looking at an organisation’s internal controls, practices, and processes it has in place to comply with legislation and regulations - for instance, does a company use accurate and transparent accounting methods, implement proper shareholder voting processes, and doesn’t engage in any illegal practices.
Many companies are also signing up to third party accreditation schemes or internationally recognised targets to demonstrate that what they are doing is following best practice. This commitment keeps them focused on continuous improvement.
Many companies choose not to publicise their sustainability efforts too loudly, because they know they have got a lot of work still to do. But the progress being made is encouraging.
If you care about the environment and tackling the climate crisis, then you’ll find plenty of companies out there you’ll feel happy working for.
Find out what a role in the UK furniture and furnishing industry has to offer by reading the inspirational stories and achievements of people who are successfully forging careers in the sector.