Sustainable Procurement Factsheet - Furniture

The following factsheet has been developed to help Western staff and faculty members purchase sustainable goods and services. 

Quickly scan through an overview of where the sustainability risk lies within the specific product category, criteria to consider when deciding on your next purchase, eco-labels or certifications to look out for and the benefits of making sustainable choices. 

What are the Sustainability risks?

  • Resource Consumption. Manufacturing textiles and plastic products consumes significant amounts of oil, water and energy. 
  • Air Quality and Human health. Conventional furniture may contain off-gas toxins such as chemical flame retardants (e.g. polyurethane foam), paint or finishes may release toxic heavy metals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 
  • Excessive Waste. Furniture with mixed materials can be difficult to recycle and contribute a vast amount of landfill waste. 

What to look for:

  • Responsilbly sourced materials - often identified by the eco-labels below. 
  • Recycled and/or biodegradable materials. i.e. wood, bamboo, wool and cotton. 
  • Design to be modular, adjustable for different users or adaptable.
  • Free of toxic chemicals. i.e. flame retardants and synthetic textiles for microplastics.  

Western's Preferred Vendors

 Western is working to establish preferred vendors for this category.  In the meantime please contact Facilities Management at for assistance. 

After the Buy

Don't throw away old furniture! Put in a request into the waste and recycling portal to have your old furniture picked up and reused.  Western's Waste and Recycling portal


Eco Labels