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To be sustainable, wood needs to have a long service life

Lappset is expected to meet stringent requirements in terms of product safety as well as sustainability. One of the secrets underlying Lappset’s durable high-quality products is wood preservation, a process that the Swan, the official Nordic Ecolabel, has included in in its sustainability criteria.

Industrial Designer Kajsa Mayrhofer of Lappset Sweden is keenly aware of customer expectations. Being responsible for the design of street furniture, she seeks to improve the functional and aesthetic features of the products in the course of product development and manufacture.

Kajsa is very familiar with the properties of wood, having specialised in this material when studying product design at Malmstens Linköping University. She finds wood an ideal material in many ways. It is durable, safe, beautiful and warm to touch. But when talking about sustainability, she would like to highlight one particularly important aspect.

“In my opinion, you shouldn’t think of wood as a sustainable material simply because it’s a renewable resource. The earth’s resources are limited; we can’t cultivate more wood than we’re currently growing. That’s why we need to take good care of this valuable raw material that we procure from certified forests. What’s more, we can’t use wood for purposes that only serve us for a short time. Instead, wood must withstand long-term use. If not, we’re not using it sustainably,” Kajsa says.

Industrial Designer Kajsa Mayrhofer

The earth’s resources are limited; we can’t cultivate more wood than we’re currently growing. That’s why we need to take good care of this valuable raw material that we procure from certified forests. What’s more, we can’t use wood for purposes that only serve us for a short time. Instead, wood must withstand long-term use. If not, we’re not using it sustainably.

Safety first and foremost

If untreated, wood starts decaying in about two years when exposed to the elements. Hence, the use of preserved wood is a matter of safety where no compromises can be made. 

“New concerns and viewpoints arise in society all the time. People start wondering if this or that is such a good thing, after all. And rightly so,” Kajsa says.

While new options for protecting wood are being introduced to the marketplace, it is important to test them properly before adoption. Especially when it comes to children, safety is of primary importance. Tests show that not all all innovations are safe and durable. Lappset engages in ongoing research and testing. No product is placed on the market before it undergoes a thorough research and testing cycle.

The Nordic Ecolabel Swan accepts preserved wood as part of its sustainability criteria

Last spring Swan updated its criteria for preserved wood ascertaining that it is an environmentally friendly product throughout its life cycle.

The Swan is the official Nordic Ecolabel attesting to the sustainability of a product or service. The label seeks to promote sustainable development and its criteria are updated on a regular basis.

“We can be justly proud of the new criteria because the requirements imposed by the Swan Label are really strict,” Kajsa concludes with a smile.

 

We can be justly proud of the new criteria because the requirements imposed by the Swan Label are really strict.

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