Kebony is dedicated to minimizing its environmental footprint. This includes being mindful of how and where timber is produced as well as other resources used in manufacturing, shipping, and waste. Kebony provides noticeable environmental benefits as an alternative to building materials that have a much higher carbon footprint, and also realizes there is still room for refinement.
Recently, Kebony Norge AS (our global company) released a comprehensive sustainability report in an effort to be transparent about how we are impacting climate change now and what we plan to do in the future. Here is a summary of the report:
What We’re Already Doing
The Kebony technology is an environmentally friendly, patented process that enhances the properties of sustainable wood with a bio-based liquid. Developed in Norway, the process permanently modifies the wood cell walls, allowing Kebony to take on premium hardwood characteristics. Using wood in general reduces the need for materials with high carbon dioxide emission intensity like concrete, metals, and tropical hardwoods. In addition, Kebony’s enhanced strength and durability come directly from plant-derived waste.The process is based on impregnation of the wood with furfuryl alcohol, which is produced from agricultural crop waste.
Kebony also takes their environmental footprint into account when selecting wood to treat. Only fast-growing woods from temperate forests with FSC or PEFC certifications are used, and their lifetimes are extended in Kebony production. Through this process, carbon sequestration can be achieved with the regrowth of the forests and Kebony’s extended product lifetimes. For example, replacing ceramic tiles or tropical hardwood ipe with Kebony Clear has potential carbon emission savings of more than 1,000 and 7,000 kg CO2 eq per cubic meter product, respectively.
What We’re Working Toward
There are several areas Kebony is still working to improve, with the aim to be Net-Zero in 2035. When taking into account the entire process, from manufacturing to finished product, there are some indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with production, transport, and sourcing of raw materials for products. Kebony has carried out life cycle assessments of all products to map emissions at each point in their life.
One of the significant contributors to Kebony’s carbon footprint is the emission from the production of organic additives used in manufacturing. These additives may account for as much as three quarters of Kebony’s indirect GHG emissions. By 2030, Kebony plans to switch to furfuryl alcohol produced from biogas or green hydrogen instead of hydrogen that comes from natural gas, which has the potential to reduce their carbon footprint by approximately 25%.
Finally, water is of important concern, and Kebony aims to reuse as much of its water as possible. In 2021, approximately 10,000 tons of water were reused in production, and an additional 221,100 tons were discharged to sea without significant environmental impacts. The goal is for Kebony’s waste to be the input of another company’s production.