The pursuit of sustainability is particularly tangible in Pfleiderer's high-quality and durable products. For customers who value products that are produced in an environmentally friendly way and are healthy to live in, the long-standing and consistent focus on ecology offers many advantages. More than 40 years ago, Pfleiderer introduced the formaldehyde-free glued board LivingBoard, which is still one of the most successful "classics" in the field of sustainable construction today. Since the "initial spark" with LivingBoard, Pfleiderer has been continuously developing manufacturing processes and the product world with the aim of producing the highest quality with minimum impact on nature and the environment.
„As one of the leading wood processing companies in Europe, Pfleiderer recognises its function as a role model not only for the industry but for society as a whole. The promotion of environmentally friendly production methods and the implementation of fair, healthy and safe working conditions are therefore integral parts of our sustainability policy.“
Chief Commercial Officer, Pfleiderer Group
For us, the starting point for all activities is always the most perfect possible fulfilment of all customer requirements – always linked to the question: "How can the desired product properties be realised with sustainable resources and processes?" Already during the development of new products and manufacturing processes with which we can meet customer requirements, we test how environmentally friendly they will be. We always look at the processes as a whole. But of course it is not enough for us to implement sustainable processes in-house. That is why we also oblige our suppliers and contractors to a sustainable and careful handling of the environment, energy and other resources.
Furthermore, as a company we do not only see our economic interests, but also understand the pursuit of sustainability as a social duty. With sustainable products we not only meet the growing demand for environmentally friendly solutions. With our commitment to climate and the environment, we also act as a catalyst for the sustainability idea in society – and inspire others to think about models of recycling management, cascade use, energy and resource efficiency or climateneutral business practices. Together with our customers, we also often first create awareness of what can be achieved in the construction and furniture sector with sustainable means.
We are continuously driving forward developments. Our motivation is to meet customer requirements with maximum sustainability. We achieve this goal with
- maximum customer orientation
- high quality products
- excellent services
- outstanding consulting competence
- employees and partners acting responsibly
- company-wide ecologically aligned processes
- renewable raw materials
- energy and resource efficiency
- closed-loop recycling models
- cascade usage models
- resource and route-optimised logistics concepts
We consider it to be part of our product responsibility to act with the greatest possible transparency towards all stakeholders and to disclose our sustainability strategies to the general public. We therefore maintain a continuous dialogue with customers, suppliers, employees, authorities and the public and are willing to provide information on the environmental impact of our manufactured products and the services we offer.
Centuries of overexploitation of nature mean that important resources will soon no longer be available in sufficient quantities. Renewable raw materials such as wood often represent a sensible alternative, but are also not available in unlimited quantities. According to expert estimates, sustainable forestry will be able to satisfy the ever increasing demand for wood for about another ten years. New concepts are therefore needed in Germany and Europe in order to use the renewable, yet limited resource of wood in a more industrially responsible and efficient manner.
We are currently experiencing it in Brazil: there, deforestation of the Amazon rainforest is being ruthlessly pursued despite strong international protests – with disastrous consequences for climate change and global warming, but also for flora and fauna, whose habitat is being irretrievably destroyed by deforestation. Today, we know how important forests are for the ecological balance on our planet, among other things as a CO2 reservoir. For Pfleiderer as one of the leading wood processing companies in Europe, the use of renewable raw materials is therefore a special obligation to act responsibly.
In total, Pfleiderer processes around five million cubic metres of wood every year – a quantity that could fill 2,000 Olympic swimming pools with a depth of two metres. The wood for production is supplied from within a maximum radius of 200 km – in Gütersloh, for example, we process spruce and pine from the sustainably managed, FSC-certified Duisburg municipal forest. In general, our mix consists of approx. 95 % conifer wood and approx. 5 % deciduous woods. It is important to us that no old trees are felled specifically for Pfleiderer boards. By using sawmill by-products, used wood as well as thinning and broken wood, we produce a 100 % sustainable product. We process wood waste from sawmills, forestry and after the product has been used, and turn it into new woodbased materials that go through another complete life cycle.
Like other resources, wood is becoming increasingly rare, while at the same time the life cycles of furniture are becoming shorter and shorter. Just a few years ago, reservations about processing old wood and wood waste were very common. Now the realisation is gaining ground that high-quality products can be made again from recycled materials. For example, a disposed solid wood piece of furniture can be processed up to three times into quality chipboard before it is finally used in a combined heat and power plant to generate energy.
Together with our partners in wood processing, such as the Green Angels in Nuremberg, we ensure that the recycled used wood we process complies with the strict regulations of the German Waste Wood Ordinance. For the production of new boards, we only use wood qualities that are free of biological, chemical, organic, metallic and mineral pollutions. Our professionalism in this respect is documented by our certification as a specialist waste management company.
Through this cycle, wood-based materials in cascade use sustainably support climate protection. Each cubic metre of wood reduces CO2 emissions in the atmosphere by an average of one tonne through photosynthesis. The weight per cubic metre varies depending on the type of tree. Light wood species reduce less CO2 than heavier ones. The carbon (C) is stored in the wood in the form of sugar, which is the tree's basis of life. The oxygen (O2) is returned to the atmosphere as the basis of life for humans.
„In former times, high-quality waste wood was simply disposed of, but today it can still be processed up to three times into new boards for longlasting use in furniture and interior design.“
Head of Product Management Raw Panels
The wood processed by Pfleiderer comes from sustainably managed and largely certified forests. Anyone who wants to be certified by the non-profit organisation Forest Stewardship Council, founded in 1993, must meet the strictest guidelines: On the one hand, the forests must be accessible to people, but on the other hand they must also offer unmanaged areas where flora and fauna can develop undisturbed. Monocultures and clear-cutting are not tolerated by FSC. Reforestation must be carried out biodiversely, if possible with tree species from the region. In order to obtain the FSC seal, Pfleiderer must not only document all wood purchases and outgoing goods, but also submit to regular audits by FSC auditors.
Even non-FSC-certified wood must come from sustainable production in order to meet Pfleiderer's sustainability requirements. Thus, we also use wood from PEFC-certified companies (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes) and, as a matter of principle, wood that meets the minimum requirements of the FSC seal with the classification "Controlled Wood". With the latter, the customer can be sure that the product he has purchased comes from 100 % sustainable forestry and meets all the requirements of the "Chain of Custody".
Pfleiderer also relies on sustainable raw materials and processes as far as possible in its further processing into particleboard. We also ensure that gluing and coating comply with the applicable standards. This is demonstrated by the certification of our products, e.g. with the Blue Angel or according to the Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM Products Programme.