Working towards a more beautiful world is a continuous process. For every initiative, Leolux Furniture Group works hard to find the most sustainable solution.
The better choice
LFG is introducing a list of alternative upholstery materials in 2022. This ‘better choice guide’ offers suggestions for more sustainable, wiser, environmentally-friendlier and vegan options. We offer fabrics made from recycled materials, such as Merit from producer Maharam, which is made from 100% recycled PET bottles, or Re-wool from Kvadrat and Twin Wool from De Ploeg, both made from recycled textiles. For consumers who opt for an animal-free lifestyle, we are offering ‘Artificial Leather, such as Puxx from Oniro and Sotega from Skai.
The list is being developed together with our permanent materials’ partners and includes an overview of quality marks.
We aim to optimise our material use. However, the use of raw materials continues to create waste. We have been working hard for many years to minimise these waste streams. And we succeed in this by using increasingly efficient machines. But wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could actually use 100% of all raw materials? We are currently collaborating with CooLoo on technologies to transform these waste streams into high-quality coatings that can be used to give pre-loved LFG furniture a responsible upgrade. These coatings are currently being tested.
Innovations can also make a valuable contribution. For instance, we are currently investigating the possibility of replacing some of the sheet material with promising new materials.
Sheet material is already being manufactured from fast-growing plant-based fibres (such as coconut), which can replace scarce wood. We are currently investigating the scale on which we can use these innovations.
Using ‘Octaspring’ is another application we are investigating. This innovative application improves the comfort of traditional foams and ensures improved ventilation. Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that this innovation will enable us to reduce our material use by 50% and can significantly reduce the amount of foam (a petroleum-based product) in our furniture.
New joinery department
Construction of a new Mechanised Joinery department started in September 2021, with a new and innovative machine fleet (Homag), which enables us to saw entirely to order. As well as minimising the wood waste stream, we will also need less stock. The machine fleet, including vacuum pumps and extraction systems, runs on self-generated solar power (like the rest of the production).
As the department is being constructed next to the other production locations, it will no longer be necessary to transport wood between the locations, further reducing the number of transport movements (and emissions) within the municipality of Venlo.
Leolux introduced eco design on the market as early as the 1990s. We have continued to use the knowledge from these projects in subsequent years. Leolux is now working on recyclable products. The presentation of this design (Studio Truly Truly) is planned for 2023.
New fabric and leather cutting machines
LFG continues to invest in new machinery to help our employees produce our furniture. The new fabric and leather cutting machines installed by LFG in 2021 result in an even more efficient use of raw materials and result in less waste. These computer-controlled cutting machines also use significantly less power than previous generations.
LFG regularly updates its fleet. Most of our sales managers already have electrical cars and the rest of our team will change to electrical cars as soon as possible. Our (diesel) trucks and hybrids meet the highest environmental standards (Euro 6). We are encouraging commuting by company bike between the production locations. Cycling is also being stimulated generally, with a financial contribution towards the purchase of a bicycle.
LFG is building a green Campus in Venlo. Most of the production facilities are now located here. The final production departments and offices will also be accommodated here within a few years. All buildings will then be together and there will only be electric commuting traffic between them.
The green campus has its own Wadis, a natural drainage system in which rainwater does not drain into the wastewater system, and there are enough solar panels on the roofs to provide power for the complete production. The campus is also making a positive contribution to employee well-being as the planting of trees and plants has reduced the heat stress characteristic of such business parks.
LFG has committed itself to an initiative that will make all business parks in Venlo greener. The green campus being constructed by LFG will make an important contribution to this. According to the Green Deal these business parks must be fully CO2 neutral by 2050.
New-build in Breukelen
Construction started on the new Experience Center Breukelen (NL) in September 2021. All LFG brands will be presented in the building. Innovative energy consumption technologies are being used in the Experience Center (reuse of heat and solar panels. The Center only uses a small part of this and the rest is supplied back to the grid). The building will open its doors in September 2022.
New-build in Hungary
LFG doubled its existing production location in Szolnok (H) in 2020. This factory will be equipped with solar panels in 2022, which will generate enough electricity to power the entire facility.
Focus on powder coating
More and more products are finished with a powder coating. There has been an increased focus on this technology since 2020 and LFG is expanding its production capacity yet further. The large collection of ‘Epoxy’ colours continues to offer customers a wider choice. This further reduces the use of wet lacquer coatings, which also reduces Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions.
Recyclable cover material
We always introduce a soft layer between the foam and the upholstery but the current material we use is difficult to recycle. By 2023 we aim to have achieved our goal of using 100% recyclable cover material.