2024 Sustainable Scorecard assessment begins

HIGH POINT, NC — The Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC), in collaboration with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), has begun its assessment of over 100 North American residential furniture retailers on their wood sourcing policies. In November 2024, the Scorecard will be released, gauging the year-over-year progress of each assessed furniture retailer in the areas of policy, policy implementation, and goal-setting.

This year, the focus is on encouraging companies to set public goals, which can increase potential points in the “Practices and Performance” section of the Scorecard. The scoring methodology is updated annually to encourage continuous progress in implementing wood-sourcing policies and setting and reporting on wood-sourcing goals.

 "This is also the most effective way to exercise 'due care' or 'due diligence' regarding high-risk sources under the US Lacey Act," says Angie Kenny, SFC program director, "Points are given for wood furniture bought or sold that is made of recycled or reclaimed wood, including urban wood; and certified under any certification system. The scorecard gives additional points for wood that is FSC Certified and/or reclaimed wood. Use wood that has already served a purpose and repurpose it to make a beautiful table for your dining room without cutting another tree down."

The criteria for Practices and Performance are about implementing the wood sourcing policy. SFC awards points for putting policies in action, and making it work for the company’s commitments and forests. 

“In sustainability, transparency is the first step that, in turn, leads to the implementation of better practices,” explains Scarlette Tapp, executive director of the Sustainable Furnishings Council. “Targets not only hold companies accountable but also give them leverage with vendors in their supply chain.”

Furniture manufacturing involves using natural resources that generate significant waste, which is harmful to the environment. Furniture manufacturers can be sustainable by using recycled or reclaimed materials and implementing sustainable forestry practices. 

“We have been working over the years on promoting sustainable sourcing of materials and ethical labor practices. We are looking at factors such as ensuring the wood doesn’t contribute to deforestation and whether it is certified according to robust environmental and social standards. When companies follow those practices and announce them publicly, not only are their commitments likely to be stronger, but their customers have a better understanding of their purchases,” said Barbara Bramble, NWF’s vice president for international conservation and corporate strategies.

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About the author
Dakota Smith | Editorial Intern

Dakota Smith is an undergraduate student at New Jersey City University studying English and Creative Writing. He is a writer at heart, and a cook by trade. His career goal is to become an author. At Woodworking Network, Dakota is an editorial intern, ready to dive into the world of woods and words.