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Sustainability

Interview with CEO Bernard Thiers

Is anything green, eco and sustainable just part of a sales pitch? Not at UNILIN. Sustainability is not a buzzword. It is a deliberate strategy. "Sustainable thinking is a prerequisite in every link of our company chain. If you want to make a difference in the long term, you have to operate in a green way and create a circular economy. A company that exhausts its own resources is doomed to fail sooner or later," UNILIN CEO Bernard Thiers says.

"Today 75% of our chipboard is recycled wood. Yes, I am proud of that. Twenty years ago the percentage was zero."

Sustainable business is on the up, which is good news. Sustainability has been part of the UNILIN DNA for decades. It is more than a green sticker. It is about safety in the workplace, low energy consumption, reducing CO2 emissions and a minimum impact on the environment. "Today 75% of our chipboard is recycled wood and the amount of recycled wood will only increase in coming years. Yes, I'm proud of that. Twenty years ago the percentage was zero."

"No matter how beautiful a new product is, if it is not sustainable, it will be discarded."

New technologies and recycling techniques keep raising the bar. In product design, for example, sustainability is a crucial factor in both the choice of raw materials and the finish." If a new product is not recyclable, it will be discarded, no matter how beautiful and promising the design may be." The CEO is clear: an UNILIN product must have a positive impact on the consumer's environment.

"We have set some important goals for 2020. An annual sustainability report keeps us on the right course."

UNILIN is one of the few companies with a CSO, Chief Sustainability Officer. He determines the sustainability strategy and provides its concrete implementation. This means that sustainability is not just the work of a few enthusiastic employees. It is part of a structured business policy permeating the entire company. It is no coincidence that the CSO reports directly to the CEO. "We have set some important goals for 2020. An annual sustainability report keeps us on the right course but it is a long process. Everyone realises that," Bernard Thiers adds. He pushes UNILIN forward toward a sustainable future with economic sense and a realistic view on what is possible.

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