Ekornes and the Environment

PostedOn Sykkylven

Environmental responsibility. Ekornes takes responsibility for the environmental impact caused by the manufacturing, distribution, use and destruction of the company's products. Over a long period the company has implemented measures at its manufacturing plants to improve the internal and external environment, while also selecting more environment-friendly raw materials. The sustainable manufacture of products with a long useful lifespan will continue to be an objective in the future development of the company.

Our objectives and values

To ensure a focus on the environment throughout the organization, Ekornes has chosen to include its environmental policy in the company's objectives and values document. The company aims to provide reliable environmental information about its products, and be perceived as a responsible supplier. The following key principles shall be complied with in all parts of our business:

  • Ekornes shall be perceived as an environment-friendly company. Our products shall have as little impact as possible on the environment.
  • Ekornes aims to minimise the health risk experienced by employees in the workplace.
  • Ekornes invests to avoid damage to the environment and to health.
  • Environmental information shall be freely available, i.e. through environmental product declarations (EPD).
  • Ekornes shall accurately and openly publish information about how the company handles its environmental responsibility. 

Products and production

Ekornes manufactures its products in a sustainable manner. Achieving the smallest possible impact on the environment is one of our most important objectives. The company emphasises an innovative approach to this objective, which means that we are seeking additional ways to reuse waste materials. Such materials are already recycled in a number of ways.

An important factor in the effort to minimise the company's environmental impact is the long lifespan of our products (often more than 15 years).

The company's mattress collection is certified in accordance with the environmental label Svanen (the official Nordic environmental certification label,

www.svanemerket.no)

The environmental situation today:

  • Ekornes uses only the most environment-friendly types of glue available today.
  • Parts of today's output makes use of water-based stains and varnishes. A general replacement program is underway, and will be implemented as soon as practically possible. The change has a significant environmental potential.
  • Stressless® complies with extremely high fire safety requirements. The British Standard BS5852 tk. 5 has the toughest requirements for home furnishings in the world, and Stressless® meets these requirements.
  • The welding processes have become more environment-friendly thanks to the use of industrial robots and more environment-friendly welding gases, which result in an improved working environment.
  • Ekornes has facilities for water-based, biological degreasing of steel components.
  • Ekornes does not use textiles with bromided or halogenated flame retardants in its collection.
  • Ekornes does not use PVC, in its upholstery or plastic components.
  • Cardboard and plastics used for packaging are recyclable and meet the requirements of the environmental certification label Svanen.
  • Ekornes uses only water instead of CFC gases as a blowing agent in the production of foamed plastic. This is an alternative that has a smaller environmental impact.
  • The colored paste which Ekornes uses to dye various qualities of foamed plastic is considered to be less damaging to the environment than the alternatives. This means that it does not contain azo colorants, nonylphenol or heavy metals which can damage the environment.
  • Only pure water is used as a flushing agent when block molding polyurethane foam.
  • Molded foam from Ekornes does not contain any harmful substances, such as bromided or halogenated flame retardants, triethylamine or organic tin compounds.
  • All offcuts from our own foam plastic production are recycled, either in the production of new products or by being sold to producers of carpet underlays.
  • All Ekornes's products have a long lifespan, given the right maintenance. This means that the annual environmental impact is low.
  •  A substantial proportion of the products transported to market are carried by ship directly from the factory's own wharf.
  • Ekornes does not use rainforest timber or other endangered wood species in its manufacturing.
  • Heat pumps (1,500 kW), based on seawater, have been installed at the production facilities in Ikornnes.
  • All air vented from the plants pass through heat exchangers to recover the energy contained in the heated air.
  • Woodchips or pellets are the sole source of heating at several of our plants. All woodchips from our own wood processing are used internally - for heating or in pellets production.
  • Ekornes has helped to establish a pellets production facility, based on woodchips and wood waste from manufacturing companies.
  • Our plants sort their waste at source, and have effective schemes for handling hazardous waste.
  • Leather offcuts are sold abroad and used in the manufacture of various small items.

Internal environment and safety

Ekornes places a great deal of emphasis on the internal environment at its production facilities. When investments and changes are made, the workforce's health and safety is always taken fully into consideration. A substantial proportion of our annual investments (totalling around NOK 100 million each year) are associated with the avoidance of health risks or accidents. This is also accomplished through the day-to-day monitoring of risk areas, as well as through internal procedures and regulations. Furthermore, Norwegian legislation stipulates strict minimum requirements with which the company must comply. The company's health, safety and environmental organization is an integral part of its operational management.