We aim to be the
world’s most sustainable furniture company

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How do we get from where we are…

To where we want to be?

N o . 1

First, let’s hear what Jan Christian has to say

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So, let's look at where we are now

Carbon emissions are on the international scope. Experts have warned us for decades that inaction will lead to drastic hunger levels, mass migration due to flooding, the collapse of financial markets and many more socio-economic disasters.

We need to reduce our environmental impact and one of the most significant ways to do this is by reducing our carbon footprint. This starts with monitoring our carbon emissions, by following GHG’s comprehensive guide.

What is the
GHG protocol exactly?

GHG Protocol supplies the world's most widely used greenhouse gas accounting standards. These standards are designed to provide a framework for businesses to measure and report their greenhouse gas emissions in ways that support their missions and goals.

According to GHG, a company’s greenhouse gas emissions are classified in three scopes:

All direct emissions from the activities of our organisation or under our control.

Indirect emissions from electricity purchased and used by the organisation.

All other emissions from activities of the organisation, occurring from sources that we do not own or control.

Mapping our own carbon footprint has revealed that scope 3 is where our efforts need to be focused

Scope 1 & 2 yearly emissions

Scope 1, 2 & 3 yearly emissions

*Scope 3 for years 2017 and 2018 complemented with estimates based on in-depth mapping completed in 2019

Key indicators show that there’s room for some improvement on carbon intensity

Scope 1 & 2

Scope 1, 2 and 3

So, what do we need to do to reach our goal?

Vestre firmly believes that every company needs to look into its core business primarily, but also to extend global solidarity through external partnerships. Let’s dive into what we do internally first.

The internal section encompasses the entirety of the value chain, from raw material through production up until end of life and recycling the materials to give them new life again. We aim to be a business that contributes a net positive to society, and through full transparency we invite you to take part of that journey.

According to the stats above, to achieve our goal of becoming the world's most sustainable furniture company, we need to…

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Materials

Increase recycled content and source with minimal impact
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Production

Produce our own electricity and minimize wastage
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Transport

Utilise carbon neutral fuels short term and achive zero emission on all transport medium long term
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End of life

Take back and give new life to products and take responsibility for all materials
 

Cutting carbon emissions is paramount in the situation we find ourselves in, and the longevity of products is a vital part of the solution. Anti-throwaway has been in our backbone since we started, and our goal is that all Vestre products shall have the possibility of "eternal life"

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In the 1950s, Vestre manufactured park benches for the town hall of Haugesund, the coastal town in Norway where the company was founded. They are still in use.

This is one of the rare cases where environment and economics go hand in hand. We need to move away from considering the price solely at the time of purchase and into a lifecycle perspective. After all, if you must buy two items for a slightly lower initial cost over the same period as an alternative single item would have lasted, which is really more economical?

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Certifications

A certain way to know that what you are buying is a good product also for the environment is to look for a type 1 ecolabel, such as the Nordic Swan. To know the business is well run, and wood is sourced sustainably, look for ISO and FSC certifications. It can be hard to know which ones are the real deal though, so Vestre is pushing for international alignment on this

  • Artboard 1 copy 2 2x Sustainable forestry management
  • Artboard 1 copy 4 2x Quality & environmental governance
  • Artboard 1 copy 3 2x Type 1 ecolabel ISO14020

Although we believe all businesses need to have a sustainable core business should they be allowed to survive and thrive in the future, that is not all. In deep contradiction with Milton Friedman’s pursuit of profit mantra we deem it high time that business took global solidarity seriously. We set aside 10% of profits every year to initiatives that support the SDGs.

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No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. We are supporting initiatives locally and globally, and aim to follow the ‘Patagonia-model’ of supporting initiatives and activism to achieve maximum impact. We believe a combination of direct grants and impact investing will be the best way forward

We have come far, but we still have a way to go

Vestre is currently focusing on the goals lined out above, and through the mapping of our carbon footprint we have found where our main contributors to global warming lie. Steel in particular and transport will need to become carbon free over the coming years.

The longevity and anti-throwaway culture is something most people get intuitively, but there is quite a bit of unlearning to do, if we are to stop rampant consumerism. Through our external partnerships a small Scandinavian furniture company can become part of global solutions, even if our dollar contribution is but a drop in the ocean. After all, everyone can do something.

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If you want to dig deeper into the hard facts, you can find the full report here

Quote
Institutional structures are legitimate insofar as they enhance the opportunity to freely inquire and create, out of inner need; otherwise, they are not.
Noam Chomsky