In our quest to make desk and table tops more sustainable, we have achieved a ground-breaking innovation thanks to the participation of various chain partners. Thanks to the development of these new tops, we reduce the carbon footprint throughout the chain and guarantee the reuse of valuable raw materials.
Together with Niaga®, we introduced the ‘click-unclick’ desktop some time ago. The unique composition of the binding agent allows us to separate the top layer of a desk or table top from the core material after its first life. Then, after we reheat the binding agent on the core, we can apply a new top layer. This means that the top is completely in line with our ‘design to use again’ philosoph.
To guarantee that all tops are actually returned, they are fitted with a tag with QR code. This makes it easy to see how and where the top can be handed in for reuse.
Figure 1: Sustainable core of Circuboard
Circuboard is made of natural wood fibres and a biogenic binding agent. Waste wood from forestry, from consumers, but certainly also our own wood waste (including returned desktops and wooden cabinets) is shredded into fibers that are then pressed into new chipboard. Together with the biogenic protein-based binding agent, this forms the sustainable core of Circuboard. As a result, we use about 30% less fossil raw materials.
Figuur 2: Circuboard, designed to use again and again…
By using the click-unclick binding agent, we can reuse the sustainable chipboard again and again. The raw materials of the biogenic binding agent are by-products from other industries. This reduces the use of fossil raw materials by about 30% in the production of Circuboard. The only thing we replace is the HPL top layer, which in turn can be used again as a backing board in cabinets, for example. This makes it easy to replace a black desktop with a blue one.
Significant CO2 reduction
For our core material, we use a sustainable chipboard core from Pfleiderer, one of Vepa’s major suppliers of sheet material. The core consists of natural waste wood fibres and a biogenic binding agent. The combination of this core material and the Niaga® click-unclick technology results in emissions so low that they are equal to those of natural wood. The industry’s most stringent standard is the E1 emission standard (0.1ppm). The new top has an emission of 0.02 ppm, equal to that of solid wood. Furthermore, during the production of 1 m3 of chipboard, 20 m3 of natural gas is saved and the carbon footprint is reduced by 50%.
To complete the circle, Vepa has signed a covenant with all chain partners to return all residual material that is generated by Vepa’s wood production back to Pfleiderer. Vepa grinds the wood remnants, PreZero is responsible for the logistics and Pfleiderer guarantees reuse in new sheet material.
Our desktop with the click-unclick technology is designed to be reused again and again. How cool is that? This is how we create a world where all products are designed to be reused, so they don’t end up as waste. When you stand by your ideals and genuinely care about the world of tomorrow, there are SO many opportunities to make a difference as a company.
Not a single tree is harvested for Circuboard. We use only waste wood residues that would otherwise be burned in biomass plants. On top of that, we also see to it that even those residual streams originate from wood sourced from sustainably managed forests. Like Vepa itself, the material is therefore FSC/PEFC certified. Reusing the residual material instead of burning it avoids around 1,600 kg of carbon dioxide emissions per 1,000 kg of Circuboard. That’s 17.5 kg of carbon dioxide avoided per desktop.