With every project that we take on, whether in a hotel or for government properties, we encourage responsible asset management and look to improve the quality of those assets – a practice that saves our clients time and money and affords each of them a sustainable way to do so. By refinishing and modifying furniture, we enable clients to keep costs of new materials at an absolute minimum and spare our environment the sacrifice of additional resources. But all of our efforts to maintain a low cost, sustainable practice mean nothing if we haven’t learned where the need for sustainability and conservation came from.
The international community has joined together to recognize this need by addressing one of the most pressing environmental concerns: deforestation. Recently at a meeting in Norway, developed nations such as Germany, France, Japan, Norway, US, Britain and Australia pledged $4 billion to fund the REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) Plus initiative through 2012. The REDD Plus initiative, which was approved at the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009, encourages developed nations to provide funding to aid projects aimed at protecting the world’s forests and preventing deforestation, which accounts for as much as 20% of the CO2 released into the atmosphere.
While our work refinishing and refurbishing furniture is meant to maintain materials at the end of the production cycle, we like to think that it helps moderate the beginning of that cycle – where the raw materials are gathered. Commitments such as the ones made by the world’s richest nations in Norway prove that the world shares this focus on sustaining our resources. With any luck, initiatives such as REDD Plus can help in protecting the environment and even reverse some of the damage that’s been done.