We walk the talk,
now let’s talk about our walk

The Unilin Group has implemented sustainable business practices for years, but we talk far too little about our efforts and achievements. That is why this summer we are launching our sustainability vision that explains our approach and goals in terms of the environment, sustainable product innovation and corporate responsibility to our stakeholders.

“We have already taken significant steps that we can be proud of. I am convinced that the current challenges with regard to the environment and reuse of materials are also great opportunities for our group. The launch of this sustainability strategy defines a clear vision for our group, a future I am already eagerly looking forward to.” 

Bernard Thiers, CEO Unilin Group

Circularity at the core of our Unilin story

Unilin's origins lie in what we now call the circular economy. Our company started in the 1960s as a manufacturer of flax shive boards using flax straw, a waste product from the flax industry. So circularity has been in our DNA right from the start. We have continued to incorporate these circular principles into our processes throughout our growth. 

Our materials

Since our early days, our flax shive boards have evolved into chipboard. Currently, 90% of our chipboard is post-consumer wood waste. It gives around 900,000 tons of wood waste a second life every year. Next to that, we only use 100% by-products from other industries to manufacture our MDF and HDF boards, so there is no need to chop down any trees.

 

Renewable energy

We have invested in two biomass power plants that convert 100% non-recoverable wood waste into green electricity and renewable heat. The 3 wind turbines at IVC and the 5,500 solar panels at Unilin Insulation also provide us with additional green electricity. In addition to that, of course, there is also the energy our insulation panels themselves save over time. Today, more than half of the energy used at the Unilin Group is renewable. At our Bospan site this is even more than 90%! We will continue to shift to green energy by adding 1 more biomass power plant, 2 extra wind turbines and 10,000 solar panels in the near future.

Wood, a durable resource

Wood is not only a beautiful and natural product, wooden products also fight global warming. After all, trees capture CO2 and store it as long as their wood is not burned. Meanwhile, a newly planted tree can continue to absorb extra CO2. A balanced wood consumption, based on what nature gives us, is what we strive for at Unilin Group.

Challenges become opportunities

“Our organisation wants to make an extra effort to achieve a wide range of sustainable opportunities. How can we make sure that our insulation materials and vinyl flooring are recycled again? How can we use even more renewable raw materials? How can we further reduce our energy consumption and make it greener? But also, how can we continue to do business responsibly, showing even more respect for our colleagues, customers and suppliers?”

Tino Mulle, Chief Sustainability Officer, Unilin Group 

Investing in green energy

Together with Aspiravi we have invested in two power plants. These convert non-recyclable waste wood into green heat and green electricity. This way we limit the environmental impact throughout the production process: from the supply of raw materials to the residual flow.

A&S Energy

A&S Energy processes non-recyclable wood waste in a sustainable way and produces 190 Gigawatt hours of green electricity, enough to supply 55,000 families in and around Oostrozebeke with electricity.

A&U Energy

A&U Energy converts non-recyclable waste wood and wood dust into green heat (steam) and green electricity (electricity). The heat goes to the nearby companies Unilin and Agristo. The electricity is used by Unilin itself and partly placed on the grid.

Would you like to stay up-to-date on Unilin's sustainability story?

Yes, keep me informed