Unpacking ESG Perspectives: Comprehensive Study of Sustainable Practices in European Furniture Manufacturing and Distribution
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Sustainable development is one of the key goals of the company that sells furniture in the European market. This report presents this issue in four main aspects: furniture production processes by furniture types and manufacturers, the environmental aspect of the company’s offices (with particular emphasis on carbon emissions, energy use and water consumption), an analysis of the packaging types in which furniture is packed for shipment and an overview of furniture shipments from specific warehouses.
Furniture Recycling Rates: An Analysis by Type and Manufacturer
All of the thirteen types of furniture were analyzed based on their recycling rate. The recycling rate indicates the percentage recycled materials used to produce the furniture. It is calculated by dividing the weight of recyclable materials by the total weight of waste generated. Based on the chart, we can distinguish three groups of furniture. The least recyclable group is made up of beds, armchairs, and couches. Due to their synthetic covers and frames, their recycling rate usually does not exceed 10%. This applies to all manufacturers in this furniture group to a similar extent. Wardrobes, cupboards, hammocks, cabinets, and chairs belong to the group of products with an average recycling rate. In this case, the maximum average value of the recycling rate is around 40%. The last group includes the most environmentally friendly furniture – desks, stools, benches, tea tables and tables. Due to their high wood content, their recycling rate can even reach close to 80%.
Comparative Study of Brands’ Resource Utilization in Furniture Production
Furniture brands were included in a tabular summary containing the resources – water consumption, energy use, and CO2 emissions created during the production of all furniture. The lowest values were highlighted in green, the highest in red, and values close to the average in yellow. Eight companies are characterized by “green” values in each category – these are the Manufacture, DonPedro, MaMaSion, Uhome, Avocado, Hurtex, Wilson’s and Cozzolino brands. On the other hand, four companies have only negative indicators – Hit, BLT, Fitter, Meubles. However, it should be noted that the total consumption of raw materials does not necessarily indicate a worse approach to sustainability. Companies that produce more furniture will always consume more resources.
Highlighting Companies with High Raw Material Consumption in Furniture Manufacturing
Another indicator that may present brands in a less favorable light is the Worst 3 ranking, which shows the three companies whose average raw material consumption per kilogram of product is the highest. According to CO2 consumption categories, these are Furnitux, BLT and De Beaux Meubles (an average of 11.89, 11.74 and 8.05 kg of CO2 per kg of furniture). According to energy consumption, these are Meubles, Henry and De Beaux Meubles (6.36, 6.22 and 5.12 kWh per kg of furniture). And according to water consumption, these are Meubles (130.64 liters per kg of furniture), Henry (129.97 liters), and U-Roof (125.37 liters). It is worth noting that three companies – Meubles, Henry and De Beaux Meubles – appear twice in these rankings.
Office Resource Consumption: A Regional View on Electricity, CO2, and Water Usage
The second part of the report covers the energy use, carbon emissions, and water consumption in the company’s offices and facilities. They are located in central Europe. From the scatter chart and maps, it can be observed that the average monthly consumption of all resources is highest in the northwestern part of France. By grouping the company’s facilities based on their average water consumption and carbon emissions, we can distinguish 45 offices with low consumption, 88 with lower to medium consumption, 93 with medium-high consumption, and only 25 with high resource consumption. The two least eco-friendly offices in terms of resource consumption are located in the cities of Pleuven and Chateauneuf Du Faou in France (once again, in the northwestern region).
Annual Trends in Resource Consumption and Planned Interventions for Sustainable Office Operations
The report presents data from the entire year of 2021. This allows us to observe trends in water consumption, electricity usage, and CO2 emissions by months. The logarithmic scale graph shows three corresponding trend lines. The average monthly water consumption did not decrease and remained at around 43,000 liters per office throughout the year. The average CO2 emissions in 12 months of year 2021. The largest decline was recorded in the first quarter. This is due to the implementation of innovative solutions and low-carbon equipment in the facilities. As for electricity consumption, there was a gradual increase throughout the year. Most likely due to the gradual return of more employees to the offices after the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic To prevent further energy consumption growth, we plan to take steps in 2022, such as gradually replacing office equipment with energy-saving devices and introducing a hybrid or remote work mode where possible.
The Impact of Packaging on Environment: Material, Cost, and Recycling Considerations
The third aspect presented in the report is the impact of packaging on the environment. Furniture is shipped in diverse types of packaging, depending on their size and specifications. Various types of fillers are also used – paper, regular plastic foam, but also eco-foam. The production of all these packaging leaves a footprint of carbon emissions, consumes water and electricity. . The cost of packaging is also significant and depends on the materials used, as well as the recycling rate indicating the extent to which the components of the packaging can be recycled. All elements of the table are marked with three colors. Based on this division, we can distinguish packaging that has good ratings in all categories, both ecological and cost-related. This is packaging 751 – a small paper box with mixed filling. On the other hand, we can also identify one packaging that has the worst ratings in all categories. This is packaging 862 (big box with plastic stretch and filling), which is both non-ecological and expensive.
Material Composition of Packaging: Plastic vs Paper Content and Cost Implications
The column chart below the previously described table illustrates the distribution of materials used in each type of packaging. It shows the percentage content of paper and plastic in each of the 20 packaging types. Several packaging types stand out with above-average plastic content (above 85%): numbers 485, 598, 794, and 862. On the other hand, there are also several types that are made almost entirely of paper and have plastic content below 10%: numbers 141, 465, 484, and 772.
The scatter plot contains information about the cost of packaging and the quantity of each type sold. Dashed gray lines indicate the average values for the displayed categories, representing the average cost per unit of packaging and the average number of packaging units utilized for each type.
The Potential of Modified Packaging: A Predictive Analysis of Cost and Recycling Rate
Below the scatter plot, there is a preventive analytical tool designed to predict the cost and recycling rate of modified packaging. To utilize this tool, select the package type and use the slider to specify the new percentage of plastic content in the packaging. This tool enables the assessment of the impact of reducing or increasing the amount of plastic in the packaging on the price and percentage recycled of the packaging.
Warehouse Operations and Their Environmental Impact: An Overview of Furniture Shipments and Recycling Rates
The final page of the report covers the furniture shipments from warehouses. The company operates in three warehouses – A, B, and C. Over half of the orders are shipped from Warehouse B, Warehouse A handles just under 30% of the orders, and Warehouse C handles less than 20%.
The line chart illustrates the recycling rate of products shipped from each warehouse. Each solid line represents the monthly trend for one warehouse in 2021, while a single dashed line indicates the target recycling rate value that the company aims to achieve. It is notable that none of the warehouses met the target, but all of them were close to it. Each warehouse had a recycling rate ranging from 67% to 69%, and no distinct upward or downward trend was observed. The 70% target was within reach and may be achievable in the coming year.
Tracking Resource Consumption in Warehouses: Comparative Analysis and Trends in 2021
The ribbon charts located on the right side of the report depict the water consumption, carbon emissions, and energy use in each warehouse in 2021. It can be observed that water consumption remained relatively stable throughout the year. No warehouse was significantly consuming more than the others. The highest cumulative water consumption was recorded in January, May, and December, but it did not differ significantly in the other months. In contrast to water consumption statistics, carbon emissions and energy usage experienced a substantial increase over the year. This increase is a consequence of higher sales at the end of the year, which directly correlates with carbon emissions and electricity consumption. No warehouse stood out with the highest or lowest consumption throughout the year. Regarding energy usage, the largest increase and highest value were observed in November 2021, while for carbon emissions, it was in December 2021. The previously mentioned consistent water consumption level stands out in this comparison. This was achieved through the implementation of water-saving filters and restrictions on production lines in the second half of the year. As a result, despite increased sales, comparable water consumption was achieved.
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