Want to work towards a circular economy together?
The economy is still mainly linear: raw materials are used to make products that end up in the waste heap after use. This has had an impact on our living environment. A circular economy is very different: everything is focused on keeping materials in circulation. This is more flexible, more efficient and more environmentally friendly. Therefore more sustainable.
How does it all work? At Unilin Panels, we are working on a circular system in various areas: in our material mix, our energy use and our packaging. The circular idea was at the heart of our foundation in the 60s.
You complete the circle via take-back programs. Your end-of-life wood, packaging materials or production waste also contribute to the circular economy.
Keeping raw materials in circulation for as long as possible is essential in a circular economy. By using recycled wood as a material, you’re doing the right thing: you save waste wood from incineration, you give it a second life and you keep CO2 out of the air.
In practical terms: Unilin is fully committed to recycled wood. For example Unilin chipboard contains 95% recycled wood. And what about MDF? Until recently, MDF was not recyclable. And we were the first in the world to develop the technology with which we recycle MDF/HDF. We have been rolling out this technology at our production sites since 2021.
25% recycled fibres in MDF wood mix
Using revolutionary recycling technology, we are the first company in the world to recover MDF and HDF boards to make new materials. By 2030, we aim for at least 25% recycled fibres in our MDF wood mix. To keep 380,000 tonnes of CO2 stored every year.
Another important aspect in the circular economy? Optimal use of renewable raw materials instead of fossil raw materials. Our panels consist of 89% renewable materials. The panels contain glue to hold the wood fibres together. And that glue contains fossil raw materials.
By 2025, we aim to develop 100% bio-based MDF and chipboard, entirely free of fossil ingredients.
Wood as an energy source
What if wood is no longer usable as a raw material for products? Even then, we won't let it go to waste. In our production and in our own power plants we use wood waste to generate renewable energy. The result: less waste and fewer fossil fuels!
Only when wood is no longer usable for products can you use it as a raw material for green energy.
What about packaging? We resolutely choose for increasingly thinner plastic, and our plastic and cardboard packaging contains as much recycled material as possible. All products are packed for you in packaging compliant with C2C guidelines.
C2C critical to circularity
C2C or 'Cradle to Cradle' is a globally recognised, independent way to assess and increase the sustainability of products – and therefore also packaging. By 2025, we aim to achieve C2C® certification (version 4) for all our panels.
Want to give your wood waste an extra lease of life?
The missing link in this story? It's you! Only by working together can we set up and maintain a circular system. We help you to better manage and sort your wood waste through take-back programs. Your end-of-life wood, packaging materials or production outages also contribute to the circular economy.
115,000 tonnes take-back by 2030
In 2022, we recovered 25,000 tonnes of chipboard through take-back programmes. By 2030, we want to increase this to 60,000 tonnes per year. In the meantime, we are also working hard on take-back programs for MDF. We want to reach 55,000 tonnes per year by 2030.
Do you want to work with us to build a circular economy together?