Choosing a wood floor is a great way of being environmentally responsible. Choosing one from Kährs means making an even smarter, greener choice. Kährs is one of the oldest producers of wood flooring in the world – and the most innovative. During the last century, our many inventions have transformed the production of wood floors globally. Throughout this time, we’ve continued to capture the beauty and expression of wood. We combine its natural character with cutting edge innovation, to produce the highest quality wood flooring.

Green Product

The multi-layer wood floor, that we invented in 1941, proved not only to be the best and most stable flooring on the market; it was also the most environmentally friendly construction. It optimizes the use of the raw material, it is made from renewable resources and it is recyclable. Our production process is designed to have minimal impact on the environment. Over the years, Kährs has introduced a number of manufacturing and flooring innovations that have enabled a more responsible, green production. We work hard to reduce our impact to nature, in terms of air quality, water discharge and noise control, to the benefit of our employees and neighbours.

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Multi-layer construction

Multi-layer construction provides more stability than solid flooring, even when temperatures and ambient humidity vary according to season. This is because crossed layers counteract the natural movement of the timber. By varying the direction of the fibers in the timber throughout the various layers, floors are less affected by changes in humidity in the indoor climate and are more durable.

Engineered flooring – better than solid wood floors

Kährs’ engineered flooring is also more eco-friendly than solid wood flooring as we use fast-growing wood species such as Pine for our core material, thereby using less of the valuable hardwood surface layer compared to solid wood flooring. Kährs patented its parquet technology in 1941, and since then we have been using it in all our flooring. By applying different characteristics and a variety of thickness of layers in our different product ranges we have created a variety of floors to suit every application.

Our multi-layered construction means that we can use the raw material more effectively, utilizing the whole log.

Kährs – sands like a solid

Kährs’ multi-layer construction uses hardwood down to the joint only, with fast-growing timber below, which means it can be refurbished in exactly the same way as a solid floor.

Less raw material

Our multi-layered construction allows us to use the raw material more effectively, utilizing the whole log.

Solvent free

We constantly strive to find the most environmentally- friendly stains and lacquers, free from solvents. And our surfaces are easy to clean and maintain without the use of strong chemicals.

The best climate stability

Since wood is a natural material, that is affected by climatic changes, a wood floor moves with the seasons, i.e. it swells in high humidity and shrinks in low humidity. Kährs’ multi-layered construction minimizes this movement. It provides the correct balance between the layers – top, core and back – and ensures the floor remains stable in all conditions.

Nothing is wasted

At our production plant in Nybro, nothing goes to waste. The portion of the logs that we’re not able to use for floor production are turned into biofuel. Some of this fuel is used to heat our own facilities. The rest goes to a local energy company. About 45,000 people in our neighbourhood enjoy the warmth of our recycled wood.

Healthy production healthy floor

Back in 1984, Kährs was the first wood flooring manufacturer to utilize a water-based lacquer system to reduce emissions. Kährs meets European E1, Eo and California Air Resources Board – Airborne Toxic Control Measure (CARB-ATCM) Phase 1 and 2 standards.

LEED and Kährs

Kährs products are FloorScore®-certified, contributing to LEED construction projects 

Since 2012, Kährs Original, Kährs Avanti and Kährs Activity Floor are certified under the FloorScore® standard. Kährs Linnea received the FloorScore® certification in 2015. All these products can contribute to several points for LEED 2009 and LEED V4 projects.
Please contact your local Kährs representative for your specific market information.

What is LEED?

LEED, Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a voluntary, consensus-based, market-driven program that provides third-party verification of green buildings. LEED is used for a variety of building types and is a tool for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. The most recognized and widely used green building program across the globe, LEED certifies over 148,000 square meters of building space each day in 147 countries and territories. Today, nearly 50,000 projects are currently participating in LEED, comprising more than 800 million square meters of construction space.

What is FloorScore®?

FloorScore® is a system for certifying low VOC emissions of resilient and hardwood flooring systems.
When it comes to indoor air quality (IAQ), a primary concern is the emission level of specific volatile organic compounds (VOCs). FloorScore® IAQ Certification means that a flooring product is independently certified by Scientific Certification Systems, to comply with the volatile organic compound emissions criteria of the California Section 01350 Program. Any product that has met these stringent standards is a product that will contribute to good indoor air quality. The FloorScore® certification means healthier, cleaner air. And that means healthier people.

FloorScore labelled products meet the indoor air emissions criteria of:

  • ANSI/BGi o1-2010 Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings
  • ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1 Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings
  • California Department of Public Health (CDPH) 01350 Standard
  • Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS)
  • CSI Green Format
  • EPA Tools for Schools Program
  • Florida Green Home Standard
  • Green Guide for Health Care.
  • HBN Pharos Project
    - LEED for Healthcare
    - LEED for Homes
    - LEED for New Construction
    - LEED for Schools
  • LEED® Green Building Rating Systems 2009 and v4.
  • NSF/ANSI 332-2010 Sustainability Assessment for Resilient Floor Coverings

Documents:

FloorScore-certificate

Kährs LEED Points Contribution

The Lacey Act & Kährs

The Lacey Act was passed by Congress as a tool to protect forests, people and wildlife worldwide. Companies in the US lose an estimated $1 billion each year due to illegal logging. In Indonesia alone 70% of the logging is estimated to be illegal according to GreenPeace. We feel that the Lacey Act is a positive step towards achieving global sustainability of our natural resources.

We are pleased to let you know that Kährs’ is fully compliant with all the requirements of the Lacey Act. When implemented, the Lacey Act requires that importers electronically file declarations that certify that their imported products comply with the Lacey Act. Although mandatory declaration filings for Phase III have been delayed by the USDA until October 1, 2009, with full implementation by March 31, 2010, Kährs commenced making electronic declarations prior to the start of Phase II implementation of the Lacey Act, which was April 1, 2009. In addition, Kährs is participating in the “Blanket Declaration Pilot Program” which is the expedited border release program.

Kährs spent a substantial amount of time preparing and obtaining the documentation for the Lacey Act and as a result the implementation of Kährs’ declaration filings has been a relatively easy process. As you are all aware, forest sustainability practices and policies have been in place for many years at Kahrs and these ideals are entrenched in our Swedish culture.

CARB Compliance Information

More information may be found at the USDA's Animal and Plant Inspection Services and US Customs and Border Pretections Services sites listed below:
USDA-APHIS: The Lacey Act

Our everyday environmental work:

• We put our hearts into the crafting of every wood floor, aiming for the highest quality in terms   of both design and performance, for you and for generations to come.

• We only make wood floors – and wood is a renewable flooring material (a raw material that can be replaced within years).

• We only work with suppliers holding an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) certificate, or with those who are able to demonstrate that they operate environmentally-aware timber procurement.

• We invented the modern wood floor in 1941. This multi-layer wood floor construction means that the raw material is used in the most effective way. This method proved instant popular and is now used in wood floor manufacturing worldwide.

• In 1984, we became the first flooring manufacturer in the world to have an entirely solvent-free production process.

• Kährs floors are installed using the Woodloc® method, producing tight, secure joints without the use of glue.

• We only use the best stains and finishes available.

• The surfaces of our floors are easy to clean and maintain, without the use of strong chemicals.

Green Production

Our production process is designed to have minimal impact on the environment. Over the years, Kährs has introduced a number of manufacturing and flooring innovations that have enabled a more responsible, green production. We work hard to reduce our impact to nature, in terms of air quality, water discharge and noise control, to the benefit of our employees and neighbours.

Read more >>

Healthy production healthy floor

Back in 1984, Kährs was the first wood flooring manufacturer to utilize a water-based lacquer system to reduce emissions. Kährs meets European E1, Eo and California Air Resources Board – Airborne Toxic Control Measure (CARB-ATCM) Phase 1 and 2 standards.

Nothing is wasted

At our production plant in Nybro, nothing goes to waste. The portion of the logs that we’re not able to use for floor production are turned into biofuel. Some of this fuel is used to heat our own facilities. The rest goes to a local energy company. About 45,000 people in our neighbourhood enjoy the warmth of our recycled wood.

Green Mindset

Environmental, social, governance (ESG) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) matters impact the communities where Kährs operates. We have made a public commitment to incorporate these ethical principles into the way we behave locally and globally.

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Our commitment

Our commitment to the environment starts with the selection of the best raw material. This is achieved with the support of our 3000+ timber suppliers who share in our commitments. We are dedicated to optimizing the use of raw material, in order to minimise waste and emissions to the environment. Nothing goes to waste. By pre-cutting the logs that we ship to our factory, we achieve more efficient packaging and use of space – keeping transportation to a minimum and reducing waste material. The parts of the logs that can't be used in the production of wood floors are converted to biofuel. Some is used to produce energy to heat the Kährs factory.

The rest is sold to a local energy company and used to heat the whole neighbourhood. We are, in fact, a major producer of energy – whilst we also strive to reduce the energy that we use. Even the ash from the heating plant is re-used for fertilizing purposes in local forestry operations. During the last few years, we have managed to reduce our use of raw material by some 25%, through our dedicated environmental work.

Planting ahead

Kährs is working with local, national and global organizations to ensure the foreststock is sustainable for generations to come. In Sweden, the total forest volume is 60% larger today than it was in the 1920’s. Kährs is working with leading global programs, reforestation programs and leading environmental groups to support globally responsible forestry.

The basis of our environmental policy is to:

• Contribute towards responsible forestry and facilitate the same.
• Reduce our environmental impact by constantly improving the ways in which we handle chemicals,   raw materials and energy.
• Develop and manufacture wood flooring on the basis of a lifecycle perspective, in accordance with
  conditions for sustainable development.
• Understand and comply with laws and other environmental requirements, applicable to the entire   supply chain.

Environmental Standards

We have environmentally and quality certified our operations since the 1990’s. And, we have been publishing a transparent, audited EMAS Environmental report since1997. Many of Kahrs’ products contribute to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) points on construction projects.

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Environmental pioneers

Kährs' long-term dedication to the environment has been internationally acknowledged. In 1993, we were the first wood floor manufacturer in the world to obtain ISO 9001 certification, and in 1997 we also achieved ISO 14001 certification.

Sustainability

We are dedicated to optimizing the use of raw material, in order to minimise waste and emissions to the environment. Nothing goes to waste.

By pre-cutting the logs that we ship to our factory, we achieve more efficient packaging and use of space – keeping transportation to a minimum and reducing waste material. The parts of the logs that can't be used in the production of wood floors are converted to biofuel. Some is used to produce energy to heat the Kährs factory.

The rest is sold to a local energy company and used to heat the whole neighbourhood. We are, in fact, a major producer of energy – whilst we also strive to reduce the energy that we use. Even the ash from the heating plant is re-used for fertilizing purposes in local forestry operations. During the last few years, we have managed to reduce our use of raw material by some 25%, through our dedicated environmental work.

We use the wood from next door

Almost 70% of all the wood in production used comes from Swedish forests, while only 3% originates outside of the European Union. The oak logs that are bought directly from forest owners come from forests in southern Sweden, which are in average within a 160 kilometers radius to our sawmill. There are several environmental advantages of using locally-produced raw material. An obvious one is a reduction in transport. Another is being able to thoroughly check forestry methods and timber sources.

Transparency

We constantly strive to further underpin our commitment to the environment and to create operations that are sustainable in the long term, in order to benefit both present and future generations.

Environmental and quality declarations and certificates

We follow the industrial standard of the Swedish Flooring Trade Association (GBR) for environmental declarations, so that we can provide environmentally relevant information on our products. Every production unit at Kährs applies environmental and quality systems in accordance with ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 and holds EMAS registration.

EMAS - voluntary EU eco-management

EMAS is the EU's voluntary eco-management and audit scheme. EMAS aims to streamline and constantly improve environmental work at companies and organisations and to pass on reliable messages to the market concerning the results of environmental work, by means of audited and approved environmental reports and other forms of environmental communication in advertising and marketing. Kährs has been registered with EMAS since 1997.

Download the Kährs EMAS environmental report 2015.

Kährs report has been audited and approved by DNV Certification AB in accordance with EMAS. Download the approval document (in Swedish).

Last year's is available for download:

Kährs EMAS environmental report 2014
Kährs EMAS environmental report 2013
Kährs EMAS environmental report 2012
Kährs EMAS environmental report 2011

ISO — the international environmental management system

ISO 14001 is the international environmental management system, while ISO 9001 is the international quality control system. Below are the quality and environmental accreditations relating to all Kährs plants.

Download the Kährs ISO 14001 certificate
Download the Kährs ISO 9001 certificate

Responsible forestry

FSC - Forest Stewardship Council is an international membership organization that promotes the responsible management of the world's forests. Kährs has been certified since 2005.

PEFC - Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes - is the world's largest organization for forest certification. Kährs is certified since 2013.

Find Kährs FSC-certification 1, FSC-certification 2, PEFC certificateAppendix certified sitesPEFC public document.

 

From the forest to the living room

The long road to a perfect floor.

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