Green Choice Philippines aids furniture industries to go green
April 18, 2011

The Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc. (PCEPSDI) discussed with furniture companies and design students means of going green through the Green Choice Philippines in the third of the Green Furniture Seminar Series last April 15 at the Philippine Trade Training Center.

With the theme Facing the Global Manufacturing Challenge: Upcycling the Supply Chain, the Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines (CFIP) organized the said seminar series as its first step in proving the furniture industry’s dedication to becoming eco-friendly.

"Our foreign buyers started requiring green certificates, green standards, green labelling alongside the sudden clamour of the Filipinos for eco-friendly products and green manufacturing," said Mr. Aljun Valenzuela, Executive Director of CFIP, on their motivation for transforming the furniture industry eco-friendly. "We think we're [Philippine furniture industries] lagging behind. But then again, it's never too late to go green," he reckoned.

Being one with this advocacy of the furniture companies, Mr. Wilson Henson, Program Manager of Green Choice Philippines and resource speaker in the seminar, introduced Green Choice Philippines, a voluntary environmental labelling declaration managed by PCEPSDI. Green Choice Philippines aims to recognize the environmental preferability of products and services based on a set of criteria approved by the National Ecolabelling Programme Board. Guided by the principles and procedures of ISO 14024, Green Choice Philippines is sanctioned by the Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

In connection to this, Mr. Florante Escalante, Vice-President for Productivity of CFIP admitted that going green is a challenge to the furniture industry, particularly that there is an expected rise in the products' costs. However, he furthered that it will be worth taking such risk to be able to cope with the market trend of preferring green products over those that are not. Also, Mr. Henson added that turning the life cycle of a product into an environmentally-preferable one will cause businesses savings in inputs and even in cost of production in the long run.

Mr. June Alvarez, Executive Director of PCEPSDI, invites other industries to take the challenge of going green through the Green Choice Philippines. As of press time, the Green Choice Philippines Seal of Approval has been awarded to 20 products and PCEPSDI intends to reach more products for a green and sustainable Philippines.

Mr. Alvarez added, "With our deteriorating environment, it is but right for business companies to ensure sustainable production and consumption for long-term benefits that will not only cover the present but, more importantly, the future generations."