Office Furniture’s Climate Impact


What is Office Furniture’s Role When it Comes to Climate Impact?

In 2018, Americans threw out 12.1 million tons of furniture—and nearly 80 percent of that ended up in landfills. And the problem may not be where you think it is. Fast-furniture folks get a bad rap, right? It turns out that’s not the biggest problem with furniture. Eight million or so of that 12.1 million tons of waste furniture was office furniture.

There’s also growing research around the role of furniture in the impact of climate change on buildings. Over the life of a building, the renovations that happen—changing out the lights, furniture, carpet, etc.—on the inside of the building account for about half of the embodied carbon emissions of the building over its life. And out of that half, another half, so nearly 25 percent of the embodied carbon emissions in any building, is furniture. The good news? Research also shows that furniture might have the highest potential for us to lower the carbon emissions of interiors.

In today’s episode, editor-in-chief of METROPOLIS Avi Rajagopal is going to talk to leaders in the furniture industry—KI (Jason Lazarz and Angela Allen), Allsteel (Jason Hagadorn), and Steelcase (Katie Pace)—about their work responding to a changing society, a changing workplace market, but also increasing demands and a greater focus on furniture when it comes to climate impact.



Avi Rajagopal

Avinash Rajagopal is the editor in chief of Metropolis, an award-winning architecture and design publication. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at events related

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