In recent years, factors such as restrictions in environmental legislation, the release of standard guidelines for incorporating ecodesign, and specially the appearance of emerging markets very demanding with the product sustainability, have created new needs for furniture manufacturers:

  • According to the State of Sustainability Initiatives, markets for sustainable products have expanded significantly over the last 5 years, growing much faster than those for conventional products.
  • Issues concerning environmental sustainability and green design are becoming very important part of the furniture production processes.
  • Environmental responsibility is becoming a necessity and is driven by the economics of non-renewable resources, EC regulations and consumers´ awareness.
  • The demand for eco furniture is rapidly growing but can’t be satisfied as there is a lack of skills in the furniture sector regarding green skills for green jobs, which damages competitiveness.
  • Currently, there are no specific further vocational trainings available in European countries related to Ecodesign and Sustainable Production in the Furniture Sector. Therefore, furniture manufacturers have a lack of skills related to EN ISO 14006:2011 Environmental management systems, Guidelines for incorporating ecodesign.

The lack of an official curriculum on ecodesign and sustainable production directly affects the traditional manufacturing furniture industry, which is dominated by microenterprises (86% of EU enterprises have less than 10 workers )as their designers, production, purchasing and logistics staff, managers and responsible of management systems are not fully supported with these skills. The size and structure of these EU furniture companies do not help adapting the workers to these new requirements (legislation, environmental, market). Furthermore, taking into account the recent consolidation of ISO 14006 regarding ecodesign, it is necessary to address the training needs of the different enterprises that want to implement it.

ECO4VET aims at addressing the identified educational gap in the furniture sector developing tools and methods for training workers in “Ecodesign and Sustainable Production”.

ECO4VET will eliminate the lack of knowledge and skills between professionals in the furniture industry related to ecodesign and sustainable production. It is addressed to professionals from the furniture sector, mainly SMEs:

  • Vocational Students
  • Designers
  • Purchasing Staff
  • Environmental (Quality, security, etc) system staff
  • Production staff
  • Logistics staff


What this initiative is aiming in the long term is reducing the furniture industry environmental impact and the product lifecycle by creating a standard curriculum.

The specific objectives of the ECO4VET are:

  • SO1. Define educational/skill needs in the field of ECODESIGN and SUISTANABLE PRODUCTION in the furniture sector.
  • SO2. Design and develop an Official Joint Curriculum on Ecodesign and Sustainable Production in the Furniture Industry by implementing innovative learning methods.
  • SO3. Develop a Multilingual Learning Platform for distance training.
  • SO4. To promote Learning from experience methods as innovative ways of delivering VET in response to evolving skills needs through, for instance, the development of a personal project during the training process.
  • SO5. Involve VET policy makers contributing to disseminate the project evolution to the occupational orientation services, the representative organisations as well as the relevant national, regional or local authorities for exploiting the project outcomes, and the possibility of recognizing the project results as a standard VET model that will ensure a high impact on VET European policies.
  • SO6: Development of a Memorandum of Understanding. Developenment of an agreement between partners which sets the framework for training transfer. It will state the mutual acceptance of the status and procedures of partners and will also establish partnerships’ procedures for cooperation.
  • SO7: Develop Draft training recommendations that can be adopted by training institutions in all EU countries