Furniture Industry: Moving Together Towards Sustainability

The annual report of the Monitor for Furniture Pact analyzes 4,000 companies

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An examination of furniture companies engaged in the pursuit of sustainability shows room for improvement in their ability to involve the entire supply chain in their initiatives.

The analysis of ESG processes in the furniture industry, conducted by the 2024 Report of the Monitor for Furniture Pact by SDA Bocconi School of Management, provides a picture characterized by still limited mobilization on sustainability issues, with a particularly pronounced deficit in partnership and supply chain initiatives, involving only 2% of the 4,000 companies analyzed. Companies participating in the Furniture Pact, a manifesto promoted by SDA Bocconi, whose members commit to adopting a sustainability strategy, including objectives and reference targets by 2025, achieve results significantly above average.

As evidence that the sector is only now beginning to approach the issue, the presence of dedicated sustainability figures in companies is found in only 3% of cases.

Areas showing greater activism include ethics, certification, and compliance (38% of companies scored medium-high) and sustainability efforts in product design and innovation (36%).

Larger company size and the presence of women on the board of directors are two characteristics correlated with better sustainability performance.

“The Report considered 4,000 companies based on a specific methodology developed by the Sustainability Lab, which analyzes sustainable value creation processes from a perspective of continuous improvement. The analysis was further deepened through a specific thematic focus on circularity strategies and initiatives," explains Stefania Carraro, Coordinator of the Monitor.

The methodology, analytical and rigorous, uses seven categories of analysis, articulated along six value creation processes, and assigns a score to each company for each category.

The Furniture Pact is a manifesto whose signatories commit to adopting, by 2025, a sustainability strategy, including objectives and reference targets in seven areas: climate, eco-efficiency, product sustainability, circularity and up-cycling, people, communities, and supply chain approach.

The Monitor involves 10 listed and unlisted companies from four sectors of the furniture industry: panels for the furniture industry; decorative and functional papers; woodworking machinery; furniture and furnishings. The companies are mainly distributed in Northern and Central Italy, with an average turnover of about 425 million euros and an average of 1,450 employees.

“As a demonstration of how important it is to monitor and encourage sustainability initiatives, participating companies show better results across the board,” says Francesco Perrini, Scientific Director of the Monitor.

For example, while only 12% of companies in the sample publish a sustainability report, the percentage rises to 100% among those participating in the Monitor.

 

SDA Bocconi School of Management

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