Sustainability

"We use wood in a sustainable way. That is one of the simplest ways of combating climate change."

Trees give oxygen to our planet. Oxygen is the very first basic requirement for life on our planet. This is why it is so important to ensure adequate forest management, making space for new trees at the right time. The mature trees can then be safely used in our materials economy. This also extends the storage of CO2 during the full life of our products.

This sustainable vision is central to our policy. We put this vision in practice in the Pure Wood Charter. We request our suppliers to sign and fully comply with this Charter. Decospan is also certified for FSC© and PEFC, organisations committed to responsible forest management. Wood with this label by definition has a legal provenance and its origin is authenticated.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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"The sustainable use of our basic raw material - wood veneer - gets the highest priority and is embedded in our company philosophy."

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.

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.

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Decospan also supports the initiative by the sector federation Fedustria to promote the use of wood products. The emphasis in this campaign is on the 'sustainability' of wood as a raw material. The text below gives a very good explanation of the contribution wood makes to the environment in the course of its lifecycle. When combined with sustainable forestry management, this gives wood an excellent future as a raw material.

Using a simple calculator you can calculate the CO2 storage of products existing of one wood specie as well as of multiple wood species. It takes also into account the wood(fibers) in different types of panels. Discover the amount of oxygen your project gives on www.houtgeeftzuurstof.be.

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"Wood is never just wood. Wood is a renewable, versatile raw material that provides our society with oxygen, both literally and metaphorically."

Our forests are the planet's green lungs. Trees are able to absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and then convert that carbon into wood. This process releases oxygen.

The carbon that is stored during the tree's growth process is also maintained in the subsequent wood products, throughout their entire life.

Wood and products made from wood can be reused and recycled when they come to the end of their lifecycle. This way, a large volume of carbon remains stored for a long period. What is more, this avoids the use of other - non-renewable - materials.

Increased use of wood gives forests a market value, which serves as an important incentive to conserve them. Using wood is one of the simplest ways of combating climate change.

If you choose wood, you are opting for the environment and forests, for the future, for a sustainable economy and for creativity. Choosing wood is a sustainable choice in both the short and the long term, because wood provides oxygen.

More than 20,000 people are employed on a daily basis in the Belgian wood processing and furniture industry (figures for 2010, Fedustria). They make sustainable products and also enable other economic activities. Incidentally, more than 2.4 million people are employed in the wood processing sector in the 27 EU countries (figures for 2010, Cei Bois).

Wood is far more than just a raw material when used in new construction concepts, in art, in trend-setting and classic furniture and in countless other examples of human ingenuity and creativity. Wood gets people thinking and innovating. Wood inspires designers, engineers, architects, artists and scientists.

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