HENRICO, VA – As the furniture industry heads into 2016, consumers are appreciating the high level of environmental awareness exemplified by companies such as Virginia-based Jensen Leisure Furniture.
Jensen’s commitment to credible forest certification for their outdoor furniture comes courtesy of The Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC), considered the “gold standard” in forest certification by the world’s leading environmental organizations. Janet Wansor, vice president, Sales & Marketing, Jensen Leisure Furniture, believes the company’s commitment to forest sustainability can attract consumers. The key, she says, is proper education from retailers.
P&HPR caught up with Wansor for a brief conversation about doing the right thing, while also boosting sales.
Patio & Hearth Products Report: As we head into 2016, how much do consumers (end users) care about the strict forest conservation guidelines adhered to by Jensen Leisure Furniture?
Janet Wansor, vice president, Sales & Marketing, Jensen Leisure Furniture: Caring comes with understanding. The benefits of FSC are still being taught. With the Design, Architecture and Contract Market, they are more informed, and therefore place value on FSC certification. End users will gain knowledge as our specialty outdoor stores inform their customers.
P&HPR: How can dealers use Jensen’s environmental dedication to their advantage to increase sales?
Wansor: Word of mouth is important. We train our sales team to talk about FSC and sustainability in their product knowledge trainings. We provide point of service materials explaining the nature of our timbers and the fact that we are 100% FSC. As retail staff share this unique message in full, we believe consumers will learn, and want to participate, by purchasing this quality outdoor furniture in support of a greater story.
P&HPR: Why did you get involved with FSC?
Wansor: Jensen Leisure Furniture, as owned by the Roda Family of Santa Cruz Bolivia, adopts the FSC standard as handed down by the Roda family business practices. The FSC certification ensures from forest, to mill, to factory, to JLF, to end user, that the standards are followed.
P&HPR: Among specialty retailers, what is the biggest misconception about furniture made under strict environmental/conservation standards?
Wansor: There is an assumption that FSC certification only relates to forest. Our certification respects the land use, the value of the forest, preserves the wildlife, and provides medical care, education, food, and homes for the employee and his/her family.