UNILIN first to receive EU Ecolabel for laminate flooring.
12 January 2018, Wielsbeke, Belgium – UNILIN, division flooring, is the first flooring manufacturer to receive the much-coveted EU Ecolabel for its direct pressure laminate (DPL) flooring. UNILIN’s Pergo and Quick-Step laminate flooring and Pergo Parquet already have the Nordic Swan label. By adding the EU Ecolabel to its standard-produced Pergo, Quick-Step and Balterio laminates, UNILIN delivers on its promise to produce healthy, sustainable flooring while also further strengthening its market position.
Introduced in 1992 by the European Commission, the EU Ecolabel is a label of environmental excellence that is awarded to products and services meeting high ecological standards throughout their life cycles: from raw materials extraction to production, distribution, and disposal. The criteria for the Ecolabel are set by a number of stakeholders, including NGOs, governments, industry, academia, and consumer groups. Intended to guide and inform consumers about a product’s impact on health and environment, there’s an EU Ecolabel for a variety of products and services.
Beyond legal requirements
At the end of January 2017, the EU Ecolabel for wood, cork and bamboo-based floor coverings was revised to include laminate flooring. This voluntary label goes far beyond legal requirements. For example, in the case of chemicals, the EU Ecolabel strictly prohibits certain chemicals, or the corresponding limit values are much lower than required under applicable laws.
To qualify for an EU Ecolabel certification, flooring manufacturers need to:
- Use materials that are produced in a sustainable way;
- Meet specific criteria based on the product life cycle approach;
- Lower energy consumption for production;
- Significantly limit the use of hazardous compounds;
- Restrict levels of hazardous residues;
- Limit contribution to indoor air pollution;
- Promote durable and high-quality products.
Towards a circular economy
The EU Ecolabel is one of the most practical tools to promote the circular economy in the EU Single Market. For UNILIN, sustainable sourcing and disposal has and will always be a focal point in its activities. UNILIN strictly adheres to the following principles:
- Cascading is used as a basis for the circular economy: UNILIN aims to keep wood in the materials cycle as long as possible by using byproducts of wood waste as raw material. The company believes wood can only be used for energy purposes once no further recycling is possible.
- Avoiding carbon debt (the difference between the CO2 emitted and the CO2 absorbed by newly planted trees over time) by prolonging the life cycle of wood. It takes a tree 40 years to absorb 1 ton of carbon dioxide. Adding life cycles to wood allows a new tree to capture carbon dioxide before the harvested tree releases its carbon dioxide.
- Thinking globally by closing the logistics circle locally: UNILIN locally sources its raw materials as much as possible. Nearly all wood sources are located within a radius of 400 kilometres.
- Producing durable floors with long life cycles.
UNILIN produces laminate, engineered parquet and luxury vinyl flooring under the Quick-Step, Pergo and Balterio brands as well as wood-based panels (particle board, MDF), decorative panels, roof systems and insulation boards. UNILIN employs 4800 people at 20 production sites worldwide. UNILIN had a turnover of 1 .8 billion euros in 2017 and forms part of the international listed group Mohawk (NYSE: MHK).