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Sustainable office furniture

Some things are built to last – including in interior design. One example is the Resolute desk, which 27 US presidents have sat at in the White House since 1879. The Resolute desk has been in use for 140 years; before this the wood that it is made from served for 29 years as part of a polar expedition ship sailing the world’s oceans.

Solid wood furniture - Möbelwerke A. Decker

Solid wood furniture - Möbelwerke A. Decker. Photo: Möbelwerke A. Decker

Even if modern desks no longer have the opulence of the Resolute desk, solid wood is still a material that guarantees a long life for furniture. We like solid-wood furniture in our living rooms and bedrooms – and in the office as well. And not just in the home office, but in public and commercial buildings, too. Solid-wood furniture is a means for companies to demonstrate their environmentally friendly and sustainable corporate policy. Wood can be a useful starting point here, similar to reducing paper consumption or company bikes. “Office furniture is part of companies’ essential equipment. Demonstrating their commitment to sustainability to their employees and customers is an important and good step towards environmental and climate protection on a wide scale,” says Andreas Decker, member of the solid-wood furniture association Initiative Pro Massivholz (IPM) and Managing Director of Möbelwerke A. Decker. Solid wood stores carbon dioxide for a long time. It can therefore improve an organisation’s carbon footprint – and all the more so if the raw material is sourced from sustainable forests.

Natural wood furniture can also make an important contribution to the indoor climate. Its open-pore surface absorbs harmful substances in the air, turning the furniture into an air filter. Wood also has hygroscopic, equalising characteristics – it can absorb moisture from the atmosphere and release it again later. In this way, it regulates the humidity in the room.

Beech, beech heartwood, oak, wild oak and maple are especially popular for heavily used furniture. Richly textured wood lends an item of furniture an unmistakeable character and makes each piece completely unique. Unlike laminate furniture, these hardwoods prevent the surfaces from becoming unattractive through use. Coffee or tea rings, scratches from ring binders and pen strokes can be easily removed. Used surfaces can simply be sanded down and oiled to give them a new look.

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