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37 (132) 2018
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Corporate Social Responsibility

Increasing transparency in the interior design industry

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Both the fashion and construction sectors have made great progress in making their sustainability work relevant for their customers.

Sustainability is an important part of their offering, but the interior design industry is lagging behind. Kinnarps wants this to change and is therefore launching The Better Effect Index – the market's first tool to provide a comprehensive picture of a product's impact and sustainability benefits.

The industry faces major challenges in the future. To meet the UN's global sustainability goals, changes need to be made everywhere – by architects, interior designers, designers and producers. The new tool, The Better Effect Index, makes it possible to review the entire life cycle of a product. And it is open source, which means that everyone can see how we have assessed our products.

“The customer is entitled to know how sustainable a product is and be able to compare products from other brands. As we see it, it's about cooperation. If everybody displays their data, we can start to compare with each other. It will lead to more rapid change throughout the industry as a whole,” says Johanna Ljunggren, sustainability manager at Kinnarps.

The tool makes an overall assessment of a product's total impact. Points are given in six areas; raw materials and resources, pure materials, reuse, climate, social responsibility and ergonomics. Each area is graded between 1–3, and it is the category's overall value that determines the product's final score. It is thus clear which criteria the product fulfils, but also what is missing.

Sustainability has always been a key for Kinnarps and the Index is a natural development of the family business's sustainability concept, The Better Effect. Just having a good product is no longer enough. How it’s been produced and what effect it has on the individual person, the world at large and the individual organisation is and remains equally important.

Kinnarps' target has always been to create working environments that promote success and well-being – for people, organisations and the world in general. Besides products from Kinnarps, the index now also includes products manufactured by Materia, MartinStoll, Drabert, NC Nordic Care and Skandiform. The hope is that all furniture producers will decide to use The Better Effect Index.

“We felt that the interior design industry lacked a tool to display a comprehensive picture of sustainability and that's why we have developed The Better Effect Index. Going forward we see the index becoming a guide to select sustainable furniture and fittings. We believe that being transparent and showing how things actually are is the right strategy for the future,” says Ms Ljunggren.

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