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Main factors influencing greenhouse gas emissions of wood-based furniture industry in Finland

Linkosalmi, Lauri, Husgafvel, Roope, Fomkin, Anna, Junnikkala, Hilppa, Witikkala, Tiina, Kairi, Matti, Dahl, Olli
Journal of cleaner production 2016 v.113 pp. 596-605
case studies, computer software, consumers (people), energy, energy resources, environmental impact, environmental performance, furniture, furniture industry, greenhouse gas emissions, life cycle assessment, manufacturing, packaging, transportation, Finland
The significance of green values is growing in the furniture sector; customers are demanding more specific environmental information of the products, new regulations are tackling to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Life-cycle assessment is an important tool for better understanding, awareness and communication of environmental issues. It can also help to develop more energy and resource efficient production processes contributing to overall improvement of environmental performance of products. The main objective of this study was to assess greenhouse gas emissions of different furniture. Eight different furniture manufacturing processes were assessed to identify main factors that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. Life-cycle assessment software was used to assess cradle to gate impacts of manufacturing processes. Case study results shows that materials have a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions of products (38–90 per cent). Processing and assembling can also have impact on greenhouse gas emissions (8–58 per cent); packaging and transportation have a minor role (1–8 per cent). Our results indicate that the environmental impacts of products can be reduced by influencing the materials selection and energy generation systems. Energy from renewable and biogenic energy resources can reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly in all production stages.