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The environment

Sustainable business practices are a key element in our mission. Decospan not only has an environmentally aware procurement policy, it also aims for CO2-neutral production.

Responsible procurement

Decospan’s principal raw material is wood veneer. The trees that supply us with wood veneer also serve to store carbon and produce oxygen (more about why this is important on the next page). Because wood is so important, we ensure we make optimum use of this material at Decospan. We do that by working with wood veneer, i.e. thinly sliced wood. We also do everything we can to guarantee our customers that our wood comes from sustainable forests.

The Decospan group gives pride of place to nature in its policy and puts that responsibility into practice with the Pure Wood-charter. We ask our suppliers to sign that charter and comply with it. This is a clear sign to both suppliers and customers that our engagement with nature conservation is an important part of our strategy.

FSC® is an international, independent, non-governmental, non-profit organisation. It was set up by forestry owners, the wood processing industry, social movements and environmental organisations. FSC® strives for responsible forestry management throughout the world. Since 2000, we have been offering products with the FSC® label (WB-COC-000970), the first Belgian company in this sector to do so.

FSC® stands for Forest Stewardship Council which is an international, independent and non-governmental non-profit organisation. Since 1993 they have been working together with delegations from the social sector, the environmental movement, the wood industry and forest owners to set up regulations for sustainable forest management. Anyone processing wood that comes from FSC® forests agrees to respects these regulations. For this reason it is necessary that these companies are audited and that they receive a certificate if they are approved (= COC or Chain of Custody).

Decospan received a Chain-Of-Custody certificate on 9 July 2000 for the processing of FSC® products. We are very proud of this certificate, not only because we are a trendsetter as the first veneer processing company, but especially because it is a clear indication that we support responsible forestry. In this respect we are committed to the following principles and require that our suppliers also agree to them:

  1. To respect the statutory rules on health and safety at work.
  2. To not be involved directly or indirectly in the following activities:
    • The illegal exploitation or trade of wood or wood-related products.
    • The violation of traditional and human rights in forest exploitation.
    • The destruction of forests with a high natural and cultural value. Major conversion of forests into plantations or non-forestry use.
    • The introduction of genetically modified organisms in forestry.
    • The violation of the ILO convention (International Labour Organisation) such as the declaration of the fundamental principles and the right to work of 1998.

FSC® products are identified with the FSC® logo. For more information about FSC®, please visit www.fsc.be.

Jan Desmet, CEO, Decospan Group

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The distinguishing feature of PEFC is that it takes account of each country's specific characteristics and legislation. PEFC seeks to prove that forestry conservation can be compatible with increasing consumer demand for wood. Decospan has been offering PEFC products (WOOD.BE-COC-000969) since 2006.

A certification system was introduced in 1999 on the initiative of forest owners in six European countries. It's called the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes or PEFC, and it provides us with a guarantee that the wood with this logo comes from a sustainably managed forest. The purpose of the PEFC certification is to prove that it is possible to combine forest preservation with the increasing consumer demand for wood. In other words, we can satisfy our current and future needs for wood and respect the environment at the same time. PEFC focuses on the specific characteristic of each country and the national legislations. In order to offer our environmentally minded customers products with a PEFC certificate, we also have a Chain-Of-Custody (COC) for PEFC since 16 January 2006. For more information about PEFC, please visit www.pefc.org or www.pefc.be.

We declare that we:

  • Do not purchase wood from controversial or illegal sources.
  • Evaluate the purchasing risk based on the geographical origin of the wood and the suppliers who we work with. Respect the activities of CITES and agree to the directives issued among others by the UN and the EU regarding export limitations or bans.
  • Ask all suppliers to agree to and respect the Pure Wood Charter so that we can actively contribute to promoting responsible forestry.
  • With regard to our employees, we agree to the following principles:
    • Employees shall be allowed the freedom of association, to choose their representatives and to negotiate collectively with their employer.
    • No forced labour is allowed.
    • Employees younger than the legally required minimum age shall not be employed.
    • All employees are given equal treatment, including the following areas: selection, promotion, work distribution and dismissal.
    • The labour conditions will be healthy and safe.

Pieterjan Desmet, CEO, Decospan Group

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Sustainable production

On average, 30% of the energy we use in our production is solar energy, generated by the solar panels we have installed at all our production sites. The remaining 70% is green energy that we purchase from our energy supplier.

We use our waste wood to bring the machinery up to the right temperature. It is also how we heat our business premises in the winter months.

We ensure our buildings make optimum use of natural daylight so that we do not have artificial lighting turned on unnecessarily.

In addition, Decospan also invested in wind energy. The two wind turbines in the industrial area are a source of sustainable, renewable energy.

Sustainable products

We aim to manufacture products with the lowest impact on the environment. For instance, we try to minimise emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) while making our products.

We are particularly proud that thanks to technological innovations we are now able to manufacture finished panels without adding urea-formaldehyde. This is quite a revolution, and means more healthy working and living conditions.