The TABLE project wants to ‘green’ the furniture and wood sector

With a world population of 7 billion people and limited natural resources, we, as individuals and societies need to learn to live together sustainably. We need to act responsibly based on the understanding that what we do today can have implications on the lives of people and the planet in future.

According to the current president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, climate change is a European challenge: “I want Europe to become the first climate-neutral continent in the world by 2050. To make this happen, we must take bold steps together. Our current goal of reducing our emissions by 40% by 2030 is not enough. We must go further. We must strive for more”.

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) empowers people to change the way they think and work towards a sustainable future (Source UNESCO). Also, the furniture sector makes a significant contribution to the EU economy. It provides 1.08 million jobs, in close to 130.000 enterprises, mainly micro and small sized, with a turnover of €90 billion. This is the context in which the project TAckling Environmental sustainability through Blended Learning opportunities for ivEt in the furniture and wood sector (TABLE) was created.

The TABLE projectintends to deliver a completely innovative training system based on micro-learning opportunities to i-VET (Initial Vocational Education and Training) teachers in the furniture and wood sector. The idea behind the project is to give teachers new knowledge about environmental sustainability and reduction of the consumption of natural resources to increase the engagement of students into vet programmes related to furniture. The implementation duration of the project is 24 months (01.11.2020 – 31.10.2022).

TABLE wants to equip teachers and trainers with a new approach based on sustainability

Also, TABLE project aims to green the furniture and wood sector from the production to consumption phase supporting teachers in I-VET school to apply sustainability PRINCIPLES into their courses (ex. Eco-design of products, sustainable furniture waste management, circular economy etc.). According to European Federation of Furniture Manufacturers (UEA) statistics, furniture waste in the EU accounts for more than 4% of the total municipal solid waste (MSW) stream. Waste arising from commercial sources is assumed to contribute 18% of total furniture waste generation across the sector. Total annual EU28 furniture waste equates to 10.78 million tonnes.

TABLE wants also to participate to decrease the level of consumption of natural resources taking part to the Resource Efficiency Flagship of the Europe 2020 Strategy promoting a resource efficient strategy.

TABLE wants to equip teachers and trainers with a new approach to the subject based on sustainability. Indeed, the project wants to give access to training and qualification to all making VET careers more attractive in collaboration with NGOs working for the reduction of consumption of natural resources and SMEs in the furniture sectors which can provide insights about the sustainability trends in the market of reference.

Participants into the project can be divided into the following categories:

Direct target group: I-VET teachers and trainers that work with students attending the technical and vocational training in the field of furniture and wood that would like to increase their competences in the field of sustainability and build strong partnership with universities and SMEs to innovate the sector;

Indirect target group: represented by VET schools, training centres;

Stakeholders: regional development centres, local and national authorities and city halls who would like to share best practices and green jobs and NGOs, universities dealing with sustainability and sustainable consumption of the natural resources.

The project TABLE will deliver the following results:

  1. ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) training need grid based on the EQAVET (European Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training) methodology and approach.
  2. ESD training course for the furniture sector.

The project aims to the objectives of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks, of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and its education and employment headline targets through better labour market integration.