Free shipping to Luxembourg for orders over 150 €

Over 200,000 items in stock and ready to ship

Free shipping to Luxembourg for orders over 150 €

Over 200,000 items in stock and ready to ship

Product Sustainability Framework

Criteria for sustainable design

The Product Sustainability Framework (PSF) is Finnish Design Shop’s sustainability evaluation model for design products. With this framework, we aim to provide design lovers with reliable and transparent information to support their purchasing decisions. PSF is an integral part of our sustainability strategy, developed in collaboration with circular economy expert.

Every product in our selection undergoes through a comprehensive evaluation process, where the sustainability of the whole value chain is assessed in five sustainability categories. Based on the evaluation, the product receives a comparable sustainability rating.

= Good
= Very good
= Excellent

The assessment is based on information provided by suppliers, which Finnish Design Shop validates based on its own data, expertise, and experience. Finnish Design Shop does not, for example, conduct inspections to production facilities.

If a product lacks a sustainability rating, it means that the brand has not yet responded to our sustainability assessment, or the product does not belong to the most sustainable products of our selection.

What makes the Product Sustainability Framework unique as a sustainability assessment tool is its tailored approach, designed specifically to meet the needs of the design industry, providing product-specific information based on concrete data. PSF serves as a crucial tool for our buyers in curating a selection that meets our sustainability criteria. For our suppliers, it offers reliable insight on their current status of sustainability and guidelines to improve it further.

While timeless, high-quality design that is intended to last for generations often inherently includes sustainability aspects, there is still work to be done. We are committed to shaping the direction of the design and interior world, driving the entire industry towards greater sustainability.

Rating sustainability in five categories

Each sustainability category consists of criteria divided into three levels:

Level 1 represents a good baseline for sustainability – we expect all our products to meet these criteria over time.

Level 2 provides a more detailed and thorough evaluation of the supplier’s entire supply chain.

The highest rating, Level 3, requires not only exceptionally high sustainability but also significant innovative solutions.

1. Working conditions & labour

In this category, we evaluate aspects of production and the supply chain that relate to employee equality, fair compensation for work, and working conditions.

In the evaluation criteria, it is required that brands prioritize the well-being of their employees and enforce these standards across their entire supply chain. This will ensure that human rights are respected at every stage of the supply chain.

Level 1

At Level 1, we require the company to treat all employees equally throughout the entire employment, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, or religion. The brand is committed to upholding the United Nations Global Compact, which supports fundamental values related to human rights, labour principles, environmental responsibility, and anti-corruption.

Furthermore, the brand ensures that all employees receive a wage that enables them to fulfil their basic needs.

Additionally, the brand has established ethical guidelines for its suppliers (Supplier Code of Conduct), outlining collaboration rules and specifying consequences for non-compliance.

Criteria at Level 1

  • Equal opportunities for all employees
  • Commitment to UN Global Compact, fair compensation for all employees
  • Corporate responsibility requirements defined and communicated for suppliers

Level 2

At Level 2, we require systematic efforts aimed at enhancing employee equality, inclusivity and well-being.

The brand must know the factories and production sites in its supply chain to ensure transparency of supply chain.

Furthermore, the brand monitors its suppliers to confirm adherence to the established Supplier Code of Conduct and promptly addresses any identified deficiencies.

Criteria at Level 2

  • Systematic work for improved inclusion and well-being in the workplace
  • Transparent supply chain
  • Suppliers’ compliance to a code of conduct ensured

Level 3

At Level 3, we require the brand’s direct suppliers undergo auditing and certification. Auditing involves an impartial assessment conducted by a third party to verify that factories within the supply chain meet the established requirements.

The brand has established a process to ensure compliance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights throughout its supply chain. These principles offer international guidelines for business operations and human rights, aiming to prevent any violations.

Moreover, the brand supports local communities within its supply chain or operating country through initiatives such as promoting local education programs and offering apprenticeships or internships. Supporting local communities significantly contributes to regional well-being and employment opportunities.

Criteria at Level 3

  • Direct suppliers audited and certified
  • Compliance to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights ensured in the supply chain
  • Support for community involvement in the supply chain

2. Eco-friendly production

In this category, the sustainability of the company’s operations is evaluated in terms of environmental and ecosystem well-being throughout the entire value chain.

Similar to other products, the manufacturing of design items also leads to emissions and waste. These include various chemicals, production waste, excess materials, and packaging waste. Proper handling of emissions and waste helps prevent contamination of water systems and soil, preserves delicate ecosystems and species, and reduces health risks for humans.

Level 1

At Level 1, we require the brand to use water efficiently, manage product returns sustainably, refrain from using endangered species, and handle emissions and waste appropriately.

Resource-wise water usage involves monitoring and minimizing water consumption, particularly in regions where water is scarce.

Usable or recyclable returned products are not incinerated or sent to landfills; instead, they are managed sustainably through methods like resale or recycling.

Additionally, the products also do not incorporate any endangered natural materials.

The brand effectively manages emissions and waste in its own production and ensures that wastewater is not released into the environment.

Criteria at Level 1

  • Fair and resource-wise water-use in production
  • No incineration or landfilling of returned items
  • No use of endangered species as materials
  • No direct environmental emissions or waste (excl. GHGs) from production

Level 2

At Level 2, the company monitors emissions from its direct suppliers into water bodies, soil, and the atmosphere, and responds to any shortcomings identified.

The company recognizes the impact of its production and supply chain on biodiversity, animal welfare and natural ecosystems.

Company uses environmentally friendly packaging materials, such as recycled cardboard. Excessive packaging is actively avoided.

Criteria at Level 2

  • The sustainability of direct suppliers’ production is addressed and monitored
  • Production and material sourcing that respect biodiversity, animal rights, and natural ecosystems
  • Material-efficient and ecological packaging

Level 3

At Level 3, the company proactively promotes the well-being of nature and ecosystems through initiatives such as reforestation, erosion prevention, and the removal of plastics from water bodies.

The company refrains from using chemicals that are harmful to local communities, human health, water systems, or soil.

Criteria at Level 3

  • Positive impact on nature’s well-being through operations that regenerate natural ecosystems
  • No potentially harmful chemicals used in own production

3. Climate impact

In the Climate impact category, we evaluate the manufacturer’s actions to diminish greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases refer to emissions stemming from the manufacturer’s operations, with around 80% consisting of carbon dioxide. These emissions contribute to global warming, and reducing them is essential in mitigating climate change.

Within the Product Sustainability Framework, the manufacturer’s climate initiatives are evaluated across the entire value chain. Calculating emissions, establishing reduction goals, and implementing concrete climate actions are all steps in the right direction.

Level 1

To attain Level 1, the manufacturer has identified direct greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 & 2), along with the product’s carbon impact. In order to minimize climate impacts, the manufacturer has additionally established guidelines for energy-efficient and environmentally friendly product usage.

Criteria at Level 1

  • Company’s direct greenhouse gas emissions identified and commitment to reduction
  • Product’s carbon impact identified and commitment to reduction
  • Guidance on energy- and eco-efficient use of the product

Level 2

At Level 2, the manufacturer participates in external climate projects designed to decrease emissions and enhance carbon sequestration.

The company utilizes low-emission fuels such as biogas or electricity for transportation, or it annually offsets its transportation emissions.

Moreover, the manufacturer has calculated the product’s carbon footprint and set concrete goals for reducing it. The carbon footprint quantifies the amount of greenhouse gases generated during the production and use of the product.

Criteria at Level 2

  • Contribution to climate initiatives beyond the brand’s direct operations
  • Low-carbon or compensated transportation
  • Carbon footprint of the product calculated, and goals set to reduce it

Level 3

Level 3 requires that the company’s production runs on 100% renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar power.

The product is either carbon-neutral or carbon-negative. A carbon-neutral product maintains a net-zero carbon footprint over its entire lifecycle, while a carbon-negative product sequesters more carbon than it emits, resulting in negative emissions.

Criteria at Level 3

  • 100 % renewable energy in own production and operations
  • Carbon neutral or carbon negative product

4. Sustainable materials

In the Sustainable materials category, we evaluate the sustainability of the materials used in the product.

Sustainable materials are produced with a lower impact on the environment and people compared to other materials. Responsible materials are often made from renewable or recycled raw materials and are easy to reuse at the end of their life cycle.

A large part of the negative climate and environmental impact of a product is already determined at the design stage. It is possible to reduce the negative impact by choosing sustainable materials.

Level 1

At Level 1, we require that the product is made from responsible and sustainable materials. The product must not contain materials that are harmful to humans or the environment, such as volatile organic compounds (VOC emissions).

Responsible product creation entails the use of certified raw materials, including those certified by FSC, FairTrade, Oeko-Tex, or GOTS. These types of materials and their sourcing prioritize environmental well-being and uphold human and animal rights.

Criteria at Level 1

  • Sustainable and long-lasting material choices
  • No harmful or hazardous substances
  • Responsible raw material sourcing and production

Level 2

At Level 2, we require that the product is made from circular economy materials, such as mono-materials, renewable materials, or recycled materials. Circular economy materials enable the recycling and reusing of materials at the end of the product’s lifecycle. Moreover, all materials must be ecological, such as renewable, biodegradable or recyclable.

Criteria at Level 2

  • Materials suited for circularity: monomaterials, recyclable finishings, renewable or recycled contents etc.
  • Ecological materials: natural, biodegradable, recyclable or recycled contents

Level 3

At Level 3, the product is composed of materials that excel in terms of innovation, responsibility, sustainability, or circular economy principles. These materials could be, for example, 100% recyclable, locally produced or Cradle to Cradle certified.

Criteria at Level 3

  • Outstanding materials in terms of innovativeness, responsibility, sustainability and circularity: local production or sourcing, 100 % recycled content, C2C-certification etc.

5. Circular design

In this category, we evaluate design products based on their compliance to circular economy principles.

Circular economy stands in contrast to the traditional linear consumption model, where a product is purchased, manufactured, and then discarded. In the circular economy, products are not treated as disposables; instead, they are designed to be serviced, repaired, refurbished, and reused. This approach maintains the value of the product and its materials over its entire lifespan, thus reducing the need for new materials and products.

A design product that aligns with circular economy principles is made from high-quality, durable materials and components, ensuring it retains its resale value.

Level 1

At Level 1, the product’s design is timeless, and its materials are durable. The product retains its resale value, and patina even enhances it. The product is designed for maintenance, repair, and replaceable worn parts.

Criteria at Level 1

  • High aesthetic quality promoting long-term use of the product
  • Technically durable product design and material choices

Level 2

A Level 2 product is designed to last, ensuring it can be passed down through generations when used properly. The design guarantees a long lifecycle, resulting in minimal waste from its components or materials. The product is also designed to be easily maintained, repaired, and recyclable.

Criteria at Level 2

  • Design for enduring life-long quality
  • Design and support for product maintenance, repair and upgradability

Level 3

At Level 3, the product is designed in complete alignment with circular economy principles. It is integrated into a circular service system, wherein the manufacturer offers a resale platform or designs it so that its materials can be repurposed to create new products.

Criteria at Level 3

  • Innovative circular design solutions: circular service system, resale platform, remanufacturing, collection of used products, etc.

How the sustainability rating is determined

Through the Product Sustainability Framework, we evaluate manufacturers’ sustainability across five essential categories, encompassing the entire value chain of each product in our selection.

Sustainability data is directly collected from suppliers through a questionnaire containing a total of 69 questions. The assessment is based on information provided by suppliers, which Finnish Design Shop validates based on its own data, expertise, and experience. Finnish Design Shop does not, for example, conduct inspections to production facilities. Additionally, for new suppliers, we conduct an initial survey to evaluate the brand’s sustainability status and suitability for our selection.

Based on the survey responses, each product receives a comparable sustainability rating. In order to receive a sustainability rating, a brand must meet a sufficient number of out sustainability criteria.

The sustainability ratings reflect the product’s sustainability level and helps you find the most sustainable products in our selection.

= Good
= Very good
= Excellent

If a product lacks a sustainability rating, it means that the brand has not yet responded to our sustainability assessment, or the product does not belong to the most sustainable products of our selection.

The Product Sustainability Framework is not an official certificate or industry-standard for sustainability. Instead, it represents Finnish Design Shop’s unique criteria for sustainable design.