Q&A Sustainability Leaders – Larson-Juhl
Larson-Juhl has spent the past 40 years continually innovating and developing a stunning range of crafted frames and mouldings to meet the requirements of designers, galleries, artists and framers. We are thrilled to continue our Sustainability Leaders series with this interview with Larson-Juhl’s Sales & Marketing Director, Matt George.
Could you begin by introducing our readers to Larson-Juhl?
We have set the industry standard. Offering over 3,000 different mouldings in a variety of styles and finishes and the most comprehensive range of stunning frames, mountboards, glass and accessories in the market. This market leading status extends to the area of sustainability with the largest collection of environmentally friendly frames and mountboards too.
When did you first begin to address sustainability within your business?
As part of a global brand, we have increasingly had the environment on our radar over the last decade. Initially, the focus was on sourcing sustainable wood and working with our supply chain to deliver quality products that met the emerging standards to protect the environment. Our operations team have spent huge amounts of time working with our forestry supply chain and manufacturers to ensure our commitment to the environment is traceable and authentic.
Sustainability is a key focus across your business, why is this so important?
Sustainability is becoming increasingly important for many design-conscious consumers. Indeed, a recent study* found that 78% of consumers consider the environmental impact of their purchases at least occasionally and in response to this Larson-Juhl is expanding its range of mouldings that are FSC or PEFC approved. We are also committed to ethical sourcing and to introducing more sustainable practices into the business to ensure we are truly aligned in our commitment to preserving the environment in the interest of all our stakeholders.
*Survey from global management and consulting firm Kearney, conducted with 1,000 consumers on March 6, 2020.
Can you tell me in detail about your sustainable production and initiatives?
Larson-Juhl has the largest collection of sustainable products on the market with 333 FSC or PEFC approved frames and 142 mountboard options also being FSC certified. Chaise Longue, for example (link) is an elegant and stylish collection inspired by nature and luxury décor – with excellent environmental credentials too.
All our FSC or PEFC approved mouldings are made using timber that has been lumbered in compliance with sustainable forestry policies and are also fully recyclable. Larson-Juhl has full chain of custody ensuring that timber is tracked through every step of the supply chain from forest to shelf. This provides third party certification that products originate from certified forests with an unbroken path to the customer.
Our mountboards are made in partnership with specialist papermaker James Cropper in Cumbria and are made in a factory that heavily focuses on sustainability. The paper mill uses 24% recycled fibre input, given a second life as paper products and packaging.
We have switched to using recyclable cardboard boxes for all our moulding packaging and our mountboards are also packaged in cardboard boxes and recyclable bags, further decreasing our plastic usage and making us more eco-friendly.
Our new UK customer service centre has a BREEAM rating of Very Good. This reflects a high standard of design in the areas of energy use, transportation, treatment of ecology, minimisation of pollution, health and wellbeing, management of the specification and construction process, water use, materials selection, and waste in construction.
Has the current pandemic impacted on the progress you have been making?
The pandemic has accelerated the extent of our online trading and operating which has vastly reduced the amount of paper in the business. As we look forward to the reopening of our bricks and mortar retail customers, we are noticing a trend towards them wanting to build back better – with greater efficiency and understanding the benefits of online ordering, for example. Customers who have been closed during lockdown are seemingly using this time to rethink how they operate, what best practice they can learn from and recognising the opportunities around trading in a more sustainable way.
What is your next step?
The increasing importance and preference for sustainable products from certain groups of consumers is a huge priority for Larson-Juhl and our new product development is very much focusing on introducing more FSC and PEFC approved products. We are also investing in more sustainable practices across the entire business and moving towards a much more digital world. Finally, we are looking to really embed a sustainable mindset across everything we do. We are leading the market in this area which we believe is beneficial for our customers, our business and the environment.
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