Sustainable and environmentally conscious

„Unter Nachhaltigkeit verstehen wir eine Entwicklung, die ökologisch verträglich, sozial gerecht und wirtschaftlich leistungsfähig ist.“Quelle: Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und nukleare Sicherheit (2017)

Initiatives of the German Furniture Quality Association (DGM)

2016: DGM joins the UN Global Compact in January.
The UN treaty is the world's largest and most popular initiative for responsible corporate governance.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals can be found at the following link:

The Sustainable Development Goals:

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

In the UN Agenda 2030, the 17 target areas presented here are explained in more detail and 169 sub-goals. Most of these goals aim to improve living and environmental conditions for people in the Global South. However, some of the goals also make the Western world and thus also Germany a developing country. You can find the UN Agenda 2030 on the website of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (


Objectives relevant to the furniture industry

objective 3

Ensure healthy lives for all people of all ages and promote their well-being

Target 3.9:

By 2030, significantly reduce deaths and illnesses due to hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and pollution.

Objective 7

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and up-to-date energy for all

Target 7.2:

Significantly increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030.

objetive 12

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Target 12.4:

By 2030, achieve environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and substantially reduce their release to air, water and land to minimize their adverse effects on human health and the environment.

Sub-target 12.5:

By 2030, reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.

objective 13

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Target 13.2:

Integrate climate action into national policies, strategies and planning.Integrate climate action into national policies, strategies and planning.

objective 15

Protect, restore and promote the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, manage forests sustainably, combat desertification, halt and reverse soil degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

Target 15.3:

By 2030, promote the sustainable management of all forest types, end deforestation, restore degraded forests and significantly increase afforestation and reforestation worldwide.

The topic of sustainability is one of the most important guiding principles for the future, both nationally and internationally, so that future generations can also lead a carefree life. This presupposes that an intact environment and equal opportunities in life are available for future generations. Sustainable action means considering ecological, economic and social aspects equally.

In 2015, all 193 member states of the United Nations adopted the so-called Agenda 2030. It contains five core messages: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership. These five "Ps" are about promoting prosperity for all, putting human dignity at the centre, protecting the planet, promoting peace and building global partnerships. At the heart of this is a new, global understanding of prosperity. Not only all governments, but also all companies and every individual is called upon to join in.

All life on earth depends on the climate!

Bildquelle: © Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie

Humans cannot do anything about natural climate change. But there are also climate changes that humans cause themselves - for example, through too many pollutants and exhaust gases that we humans blow into the air from factory chimneys and cars. These exhaust gases, for example carbon dioxide (CO2), contribute to the fact that it is getting warmer and warmer on earth.

2016 saw the launch of the "Climate Pact for the Furniture Industry".

Initiated by the German Furniture Quality Association (DGM).

Since then, the furniture industry has been providing important support to slow down global warming.

The furniture industry is leading the way with its industry initiative to counteract climate change and to set important signals within the German economy. After all, economic action must not be seen in isolation from the important climate goals of the German government, the EU and the United Nations. Nor should we neglect our permanent task of protecting the climate.

Furniture should not only be durable and function properly, but also ensure consumer safety, health and the environmental compatibility of production. Sustainable and responsible entrepreneurship are important social building blocks.

Climate protection is an ongoing task for all of us, and every individual can make a contribution. Through the Climate Pact, the commitment of the furniture manufacturers, who save and compensate for greenhouse gases, has at the same time a valuable symbolic effect, which underlines: the furniture industry is aware of its responsibility for the climate and the people and it is ready to go ahead.

In 2019, the DGM will establish the Advisory Board for Sustainability under the chairmanship of
Dr. Susanne Steinhauer

Vorsitzende des Beirats für Nachhaltigkeit der Deutschen Gütegemeinschaft Möbel Leitung Nachhaltigkeitsmanagement der burgbad AG


  • Information and further development of the requirements on the topic of sustainability
  • Public relations work for the DGM and its members
  • Establishment of a network with other sectors and partners
  • Concept recommendations for the members

The principles of sustainability:

Quelle: The natural step

in a sustainable society

...we avoid as far as possible the extraction of substances from the earth

...we avoid the destruction of nature such as deforestation, overfishing, etc.

... we avoid waste, whether solid, liquid or gaseous

...people live in health, with human rights, education, participation, respect, tolerance and a sense of purpose.

Furniture Pollutant Tested

The quality mark is based on the DGM emissions label, which has been registered with RAL since 2016, as well as the environmental and health standards of the renowned RAL quality mark "Golden M". It helps to create a living environment in which end consumers feel healthy, safe and completely comfortable - thus providing proof and guidance for healthy living.

The basic prerequisite for furniture and its manufacturers to be awarded the RAL Quality Mark "Furniture tested for harmful substances" is emission class A.  This means that formaldehyde and other volatile substances (VOC), as they occur in products and materials, may only be emitted from the tested furniture in demonstrably harmless quantities. Proof of classification is provided by appropriate pollutant tests, and the award is made exclusively by the Deutsche Gütegemeinschaft Möbel e. V. (German Furniture Quality Association).

The following categories of furniture can be awarded with the quality mark:

- seating furniture
- box furniture
- tables
- office furniture
- slatted frames
- mattresses
- beds

Sustainable and environmentally conscious

All over the world, people are talking about urgently needed climate protection measures; this is the defining task of our time! The willingness and necessary commitment to our environment and nature meets with great approval among the population with the aim of taking responsibility for our next generation and for all fellow human beings. The urgent reduction of emissions is essential and depends on the voluntary and consistent action of the economy in the industrialised countries.

A great deal of importance is already attached to products and services that are more environmentally friendly than comparable non-quality-assured products because they meet high quality and sustainability criteria. This must be promoted further. This is based on the willingness to save CO₂ emissions, to neutralise CO₂ emissions and thus to contribute to a future worth living.

Together with the German Furniture Quality Association (DGM) and the Society for Climate Protection for the Wood Industry - GKH GmbH, the Climate Pact is laying the foundation for a climate-neutral industry. We offer companies from the industry concepts for sustainability and climate protection and thus want to make the entire industry sector fit for the future.

Background to the DGM Climate Pact

In 2016, the DGM founded the "Climate Pact for the Furniture Industry".


Our project to make a contribution to climate protection was developed in cooperation with Professor Dr. Dr. Franz Josef Radermacher on the occasion of the 21st UN Climate Conference in Paris. As a direct response to the massive impact on people and nature and the rapidly advancing climate change, the German Furniture Quality Association (Deutsche Gütegemeinschaft Möbel) founded the "Climate Pact for the Furniture Industry" as a certification body for furniture under the guiding principle "Rebellion against Climate Change" in order to make an important contribution to the UN's 1.5 degree target.