Whilst many well-intentioned designers claim sustainability or low environmental impact to be important in their work and in their approach to their work, there is often little solid evidence on the materials or services they use for them to support their claims. Furthermore, what may be commonly considered as sustainable or having low environmental impact may actually be quite the opposite. Unfortunately, many claims of low-impact materials or services are often baseless and little more than ‘greenwash’.
Over the past six years, the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has worked with Thinkstep (formerly PE International), the global leader in sustainability performance management, to measure the environmental impact of American hardwoods. The results are ISO-conformant reports on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of American hardwood lumber and veneer, covering point of harvest in the United States through to delivery at the importer’s yard in major export markets. This science-based approach to measuring environmental impact, coupled with the United States’ proven and documented record of sustainability in hardwood production, goes a long way to help ensure designers that working with American hardwoods can, indeed, assist them to fulfill their desires to work sustainably and with minimal environmental impact.
Using the LCA data for American hardwoods, harvested, processed and exported to final destination, in addition to assessing embodied energy and management of waste products in manufacturing, AHEC has been able to document the full environmental impact of the selected designs.
Calculations show that the tulipwood used to create all the designs in the collection would be replaced in the US forest in approximately 1 second.
Learn more about American Hardwood LCA and replacement rates here
Find out more about the sustainability of American hardwoods here
Read the full environmental report for Replaced here
|Designer / Design||Total footprint –Kg CO2 equivalent||Equivalent KM driving distance in the average Australian car||The number of hours it would take the average Australian adult to produce the same footprint|
|Adam Goodrum – Molloy Chair||29.13||158.31||16.60|
|Adam Markowitz – Flea Chair||11.03||59.95||6.29|
|Anaca Studio - Emi||55.42||301.18||31.58|
|Dowel Jones – Simon Says||3.86||20.97||2.20|
|Jon Goulder - Glissando||100.73||547.45||57.41|
|Marz Designs – Dome Hook||2.73||14.86||1.56|
|Ross Gardam – Oak Pendant||31.20||169.54||17.78|
|Tom Skeehan - Hoshi||20.34||110.53||11.59|
Note: Evidence above is for one unit of each design – for Emi, Dome Hook and Oak Pendant the large design has been calculated 2 x Molloy, 6 x Simon Says, 2 x Emi, 3 x Oak Pendants and 3 x Dome Hooks were on display