Our colleagues around the world are launching sustainable initiatives

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As a company, Unilin Group sets the bar high on sustainability, but a lot is also happening in our workplaces. New initiatives for a better world are emerging at all our locations.

11 July 2022

As a company, Unilin Group sets the bar high on sustainability, but a lot is also happening in our workplaces. New initiatives for a better world are emerging at all our locations.

Smart recycling in Malaysia

Unilin Malaysia, which manufactures our parquet flooring, has been very committed to sustainability for several years now. Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) Manager Nazir Ali is the driving force behind these projects. “We are still discovering new ways to work more sustainably every day.”

We have recently focused a great deal on plastic recycling. “Plastic waste is a big problem in our beautiful country,” Nazir says. “The beaches and riverbanks are full of washed-up plastic.” In the past, people simply discarded plastic packaging film, packing cords and shrink wrap without giving it too much thought. “Today we make sure they are 100% recycled by an external partner. It makes a world of difference!”

We also collect the nylon threads that are cut off our Core-Strip wood. The threads hold the wood together in the parquet’s core layer. Since 2019, we have been recycling the collected nylon threads so that they can be used to make new nylon thread, clothing and so on. It is also a source of extra income for the plant.

Nazir concludes that the employees fully support these initiatives. “They live nearby and also want to live in a clean environment. Our initiatives are also good for the local community. Working more sustainably and more efficiently often also reduces costs and allows us to expand our operations and recruit more people.”

Separate bins for collecting plastic, paper and metal in the production and office areas.

                Recycling bin labelling and collected nylon threads for recycling


Cleaning up the beach together

Godfrey Hirst is one of Unilin Group's divisions that has been developing innovative products with less environmental impact for several years now. The staff at Godfrey Hirst have also put the company’s sustainability mission into practice outside the factory walls.

This year, more than 25 colleagues helped to clean up Geelong's Eastern Beach, a tourist attraction a few kilometres from Godfrey Hirst's headquarters. It was the second time they participated in the clean-up. In just one hour, they collected no less than 1,196 pieces, including 264 plastic items and 746 cigarette butts. They even fished a chair out of the sea.

The beach clean-up is an initiative of Take 3 for the Sea, a global non-profit organisation that is sponsored by Godfrey Hirst each year. The idea behind Take 3 for the Sea is simple: tidy up three pieces of rubbish each time you go to the beach. It is how we can all do our bit to reduce plastic pollution.

Less food waste in Wielsbeke, Belgium, thanks to Too Good To Go

About one-third of the food we produce ends up in the rubbish bin. Our employees in Wielsbeke, Belgium, want this to change. They are enthusiastically stepping up the fight against food waste by partnering with Too Good To Go, which has developed an app that offers unsold products and meals that would otherwise be thrown away at a greatly reduced price.

The app gives the Wielsbeke employees the opportunity to reserve packs of leftover hot meals, soup and sandwiches from the company restaurant. With this simple and effective solution, Unilin Group avoids a tremendous amount of food waste and saves 522.2 kg of CO2. And the staff love the app!

In addition, the proceeds from the sale go to a good cause: cancer charity Kom op tegen Kanker.

To achieve a structural sustainable approach worldwide, Unilin Group has launched the 'One Home’ sustainability strategy.