CEO Gärsnäs

Dag Klockby

Furniture manufacturer Gärsnäs has made a name for itself due to its active environmental work. As ever, the company is attending Stockholm Furniture Fair in 2020, this year together with rug maker Kasthall.

“It’s a great combination,” says the company’s CEO Dag Klockby, when we meet on the busy stand.

Naturally, Gärsnäs is also taking the opportunity to present some of its latest designs, including the stackable Allround chair, created by veteran Åke Axelsson, and a luxurious new dining chair called Viva by David Regestam.

“Scandinavian design has an extremely strong reputation internationally, not least due to the huge interest in green issues, which are no longer just a Scandinavian preserve, but have broken through far beyond our borders.

“For our part, we work actively on environmental issues at every level of our business, and we hold ISO 14001 certification. But it’s not just about the furniture itself. It’s how we do the processing, distribution and so on. This is not going to get any less important. The pressure will continue and we need to think about the global climate situation. So we’re continuing to work on sustainability, and circularity and recycling in particular. We’ve being doing this for years and years, but now we’re in a position to communicate it more systematically.

“Gärsnäs has adopted a three-phase vision for 2030. We aim to become 100% recyclable, to provide a product offering that involves taking responsibility for the product for the whole of its life, and to use 100% renewable energy.”

Do you think Swedish companies are stepping up to the current challenges?

“I believe there is a tradition in Scandinavia of giving environmental issues high priority, compared with the rest of the world. We have an advantage in that the issue has been high on our agenda for a long time so it’s not something new for us. That gives Scandinavian manufacturers a head start that is worth keeping.

“The industry’s core challenges for the future are of a more industrial nature. How can the industry meet the demands posed by the climate threat? And combining artisan and industrial processes is quite exciting – simultaneously embracing craftsmanship and industrial efficiency, and exploring the opportunities offered by new technology in the form of AI and digitalization.”

Finally: what do Stockholm Furniture Fair and this week mean to you personally?

“We’ve been involved for so many years. It’s an incredibly exciting forum where I get to meet colleagues and friends. It’s a chance to take the temperature of the industry and catch up on the latest trends and talking points, topical knowledge that can be useful when we return to our day jobs. The social dimension of the fair is incredibly important.”