A new sustainability strategy for Pfleiderer

Neumarkt, 20 December 2021 - Pfleiderer, a leading manufacturer of premium engineered wood for high-end furniture, modern interior design, structural timber engineering and exterior applications in Western Europe, has further defined its activities and goals in terms of sustainability as part of the substantiation of its medium-term strategy.  In a strategy document entitled "Naturally Sustainable", Pfleiderer has now summarized and published the details of its sustainability approach.  

“We proudly look back on more than 125 years of experience with wood as one of the most sustainable materials of all and already hold a top position in terms of sustainability in our industry today”, emphasizes Dr Boris Gorella, CEO of Pfleiderer. “However, we are aware that we need to do more to meet the corporate and social challenges that lie ahead of us. Accordingly, with “Naturally Sustainable” we have made a significant and future-oriented commitment to sustainability in the dimensions of environment, social and governance (ESG) and substantiated this in the focus areas of materials, climate and people.”

No tree is deliberately felled – circular economy as a core element

No trees are deliberately felled for the production of Pfleiderer products. Only around 15% of the wood mix at Pfleiderer consists of wood from the forestry industry, mostly as thinning material and calamity broken wood. The remaining part is made up of production residues from the sawing industry such as sawdust or off-cuts (so-called pre-consumer recycling, approx. 45%) and recycling material that comes back from the end consumer and is returned to the product cycle through complex processing (so-called post-consumer recycling, approx. 40%). This includes, for example, damaged pallets from the packaging industry or used household furniture and kitchen cabinets.

Dr Frank Herrmann, COO of Pfleiderer says: “Pfleiderer already recognized years ago that cascade use and the circular economy are the only economic models that can ensure the sustainable production of high-quality wood products. We have a clear focus on CO2 reduction by expanding our recycling approach and highly efficient energy production and use."

Pfleiderer generates 100% of its energy from biomass via combined heat and power (CHP) plants. These supply the plants with electricity and heat with significant fuel savings.

Pfleiderer relies on intelligent wood cycles at its raw chipboard production sites. For example, sawmill residues and recycled wood are collected and prepared for further processing. In the production process, new high-quality wood-based panels are created through sorting, gluing, compression and pressing for a wide range of applications, e.g. in interior finishing, furniture production or structural timber engineering.

Ambitious goals in focus areas

Pfleiderer has set itself demanding and ambitious targets for each focus area. In the area of “materials”, the company is committed to increasing the proportion of post-consumer-recycled wood from 40% in 2020 to 50% in 2025, to sourcing the thinned and residual wood exclusively from FSC® or PEFC-certified suppliers, and to producing at least 10% of chipboard (by volume) using bio-resins.

In the area of “Climate”, Pfleiderer is focusing on ambitious short- and medium-term reduction targets for greenhouse gases.By achieving these targets, the conversion to climate neutrality should succeed. Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions are to be reduced by 21% by 2025. In addition, the company aims to reduce indirect greenhouse gas emissions related to purchased chemical products by 21% by 2025 (Scope 3).

In the priority area “People”, the primary goal is to achieve an accident rate with lost time of 0.5 by 2025. In addition, the further training and development of our employees in terms of equal opportunities for all are in focus, as well as the promotion and retention of junior and skilled staff.

Further details on Pfleiderer's sustainability strategy can be found in our sustainability area.