The decimation of the world’s native forests is an issue that is important to all of us, as the degradation of the forest impacts the quality of all life immensely. A matter of particular importance at the moment is the illegal logging of Russian forests for European Oak, Ash and Elm. As identified in 2013, in a report on this issue by the WWF; “WWF analysis of Russian customs data revealed that in 2010, the volume of Mongolian oak logged for export exceeded the volume authorized for logging by 200 percent—meaning that at least half of the oak being exported across the border to China was stolen”.
Premium Floors obtains its timber via legal harvesting methods, of particular note is, that the European oak used in Premium Floors engineered wood flooring is sourced from sustainably managed resources. Most of our wood floor ranges are PEFC certified, while Premium Floors carries full Chain of Custody Certification (COC) for the PEFC program. (www.PEFC.org). The Program for Endorsement of Forest Certification is the world’s largest forest certification scheme, which ensures that the wood has been produced in an ecologically, socially and economically responsible way.
Is anything green, eco and sustainable just part of a sales pitch? Not at UNILIN. Sustainability is not a buzzword. It is a deliberate strategy. “Sustainable thinking is a prerequisite in every link of our company chain. If you want to make a difference in the long term, you have to operate in a green way and create a circular economy. A company that exhausts its own resources is doomed to fail sooner or later,” UNILIN CEO Bernard Thiers says.
Sustainable business is on the up, which is good news. Sustainability has been part of the UNILIN DNA for decades. It is more than a green sticker. It is about safety in the workplace, low energy consumption, reducing CO2 emissions and a minimum impact on the environment. "Today 75% of our chipboard is recycled wood and the amount of recycled wood will only increase in coming years. Yes, I'm proud of that. Twenty years ago the percentage was zero.
New technologies and recycling techniques keep raising the bar. In product design, for example, sustainability is a crucial factor in both the choice of raw materials and the finish." If a new product is not recyclable, it will be discarded, no matter how beautiful and promising the design may be." The CEO is clear: a UNILIN product must have a positive impact on the consumer's environment.
UNILIN is one of the few companies with a CSO, Chief Sustainability Officer. He determines the sustainability strategy and provides its concrete implementation. This means that sustainability is not just the work of a few enthusiastic employees. It is part of a structured business policy permeating the entire company. It is no coincidence that the CSO reports directly to the CEO. "We have set some important goals for 2020. An annual sustainability report keeps us on the right course but it is a long process. Everyone realises that," Bernard Thiers adds. He pushes UNILIN forward toward a sustainable future with economic sense and a realistic view on what is possible.
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