This guide to sustainability issues uses a simple process flow which reflects process steps that are common across the sector. the guide shows how these processes relate to specific sustainability issues – ranging from water consumption and chemical use to supply chain issues and community relationships. It uses a risk rating system and explains some of the potentially high impact sustainability issues in more detail.
The guide is intended as a starting point only and the process flow is not intended to reflect the breadth of technologies and practices that are used by different enterprises or sub-sectors. Users will need to undertake more detailed research and analysis of the sector.
This information focuses on the manufacture of wood, steel, glass and upholstered furniture primarily for home and office use.
Sustainability issues throughout the supply chain include the risk of worker exploitation, use of sustainable vs old growth timbers, use of chemicals as treatments and ‘end of product life’ issues such as disposal of recyclable waste to landfill and rapid turnover of still serviceable products by consumers.
There are many different ways to approach understanding the sustainability issues within a sector. Areas of research might include barriers to entry and expansion into markets, drivers of demand for services and products, geographic location, major markets and suppliers, technology and workforce demographics and skills profile. [Read more…].