Concerns about our health and the environment are among the most important challenges facing everyone today. At Wood Floor Warehouse we recognise the importance for businesses to do their part. As our family business has grown over the years, our impact on the environment and the responsibility to use only sustainable wood flooring has increased. Although we have always kept environmental concerns in mind, this year we ensured that we are doing more than ever before. Below are just some of the steps we have taken to become a more environmentally responsible company.
Our Eco Approved Badge Products
Forests play a key role in the global environment. We want to do our bit to make sure they are protected. When a wood or laminate floor on our website has an Eco Approved Badge, we have checked that the manufacturer fulfills certain essential criteria:
Essential ECO Badge Criteria
- Legal Logging Origin Check - We have verified that the raw materials used in our products are only from legal sources. Illegal logging is a huge problem and exotic woods are frequently traded on the black market and often find their way into Europe as floors or furniture. Our wood flooring is origin checked to ensure that they are only from legally certified forestry suppliers.
- Managed Forestry & Sustainability - Using only sustainable wood flooring is extremely important to us. We have checked and verified that all of our wood floors come from responsibly managed forests, where tree cutting is controlled and replenished after harvest.
- VOC Safe - Many everyday products around the home contain hidden VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) in amounts which can be harmful. We use regulated checks from CE standards and FloorScore(R) to ensure that all our floors are certified as VOC safe.
Extra Environment Checks
Many of our suppliers are already going even further, and we are working with them all to help promote a more environmentally conscious supply chain. Although it is not a requirement yet for our eco badge, we plan to make the future criteria for our eco badge even more stringent. We want to ensure that all our suppliers are doing as much as possible, to reduce human impact on our environment.
Here are just some of the things we have been checking up on, and already many of our suppliers are fulfilling.
- PEFC or FSC Certified Flooring - 2 leading certifications that independently ensure sustainable wood flooring and forestry management. These certificates have verified the custody chain and help to protect our forests. Over 70% of our wood flooring products are already accredited with one of these highly sought after certifications. Read more about the PEFC and FSC on their websites, which have a wealth of information.
- Emission Reduction - We have asked all of our suppliers to detail the extra steps they are taking to reduce emissions during manufacture. 75% of our products sold come from suppliers who already have excellent policies in place, which are helping to reduce their carbon footprint. We are applying extra pressure on our remaining suppliers, to ensure that their manufacturing emissions are also reduced, and plan to make it a requirement for all of our suppliers in the future.
- Products Made from Waste - Some of our main suppliers are already using recycled waste woods in their raw materials when producing flooring.
- Reducing Waste Rubber - Traditionally rubber trees are burnt after the rubber sap is extracted. We now purchase large quantities of hevea flooring, made from rubber trees after the valuable sap harvest is extracted. Our purchase and promotion of this product helps to reduce the need to burn the plantations.
Check out this video to see how waste wood to make wood fibres for laminate flooring. It is just one of the many fantastic environmental initiatives from our largest and main supplier, Egger Flooring.
Reducing Our Own Carbon Foot Print At Wood Floor Warehouse
As well as working with our suppliers across the world, we also want to do what we can at Wood Floor Warehouse stores and offices to ensure we are reducing our own carbon footprint. So what do we do at home?
- Reducing Our Packaging Waste - We have a lot of products coming and going, and this often means a lot of packaging. Our warehouse team re-use all pallets that come in, again and again as much as possible. We also re-use much of our packaging, when sending out parcels. And when they are no longer strong enough, we give them away locally for use as a more environmentally friendly alternative to burning single-use logs. When packaging can't be re-used, it is sent to a local recycling centre where possible.
- Solar Power in our Flagship Store - We have converted our Warrington showroom and warehouse to solar energy using photovoltaic solar panels on our roof. The energy generated is enough to power our own warehouse and feed into the grid helping others too.
- Recycling - All our stores and offices have dedicated recycling bins to help reduce our contribution to landfill. We also pay a little extra to all of our local councils for separate collections which ensure our recyclable waste is managed.
- A Climate Positive Workforce - Working with Ecologi, we launched the "Wood Floor Warehouse Forest Project" where we plant enough trees every month to offset the carbon footprint of all our team.
- LED Lights - Lighting our big warehouses and showrooms is a big job. We have replaced over 500 lights, with energy-efficient LED lighting to help reduce our emissions.
- Waste Heating - Our main warehouse is heated by a waste burner, which we can fuel with waste paper, card, or wood waste. It is verified as an almost carbon-neutral alternative to fossil fuels. Only unusable waste packaging and wood are burned, reducing our requirement for burning fossil fuels.
- A Tree Planted For Every Floor Sold - Starting in 2021, we are planting a tree in the "Wood Floor Warehouse Forest Project" every time we sell a floor, in-store and online. We aim to plant at least 10,000 trees every year in areas where they are needed most.
- Waste Wood From Our Stores is important to our operation. Old pallets are always repaired and reused. Any unusable pallets or wood is repurposed by converting it to biomass which provides energy to local homes.
- Our Suppliers are Helping too- We have asked all of our suppliers to plant trees in the "Wood Floor Warehouse Forest Project" instead of sending us gifts at Christmas. Many have already donated 100's of trees.
We have committed to building upon this work to help ensure that our sustainable wood flooring products and our business are among the very best when it comes to environmental responsibility. We are already researching new ideas, with some new innovations in recycled underlays coming soon to our stores adding to our existing Eco- accredited products.