Green production with upcycled wood

From tables to cutting boards and utility boxes, The Green Factory manufactures products with upcycled and recycled wood, and wood sourced from sustainably managed forests. Beyond that, the Malaysian manufacturer is committed to embracing sustainable practices in their entire business model, from design to management, education and more.

By Yap Shi Quan

Wood processing enterprises around the world have begun adopting greener, more sustainable practices as means of mitigating climate change. One such practice is the use of timber certified by organisations such as the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) or Forest Stewardship Council, that ensures the timber is sourced from sustainably managed forest.

At The Green Factory, the Malaysian manufacturer of sustainable wood products practices Proactive Green System, a framework it developed for sustainable manufacturing. Speaking with Panels & Furniture Asia, Harith Ridzuan, founder of The Green Factory, explained that the system looks into all operational aspects of a circular manufacturing chain, such as ethical manufacturing sourcing, green design, eco-packaging, waste management, education, and stakeholders involved in each process.

“How we make this into a successful venture is through our market understanding, sales strategies, branding and storytelling, and overall business operations. Even with nine years of experience in the green space, we are still finding ways to become a better company.” – Harith Ridzuan, Founder of The Green Factory

Sourcing ethically, using sustainably

Upcycled wood, plantation timber, and certified forest sources – these are the three main sustainable wood The Green Factory utilises in its products. Particularly, certified wood is sourced from forests that are certified under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS), a local certification scheme endorsed by PEFC. According to Ridzuan, around 30% of Malaysia’s forests are currently certified under the MTCS.

For plantation wood, The Green Factory sources it from Sarawak, Malaysia. Plantation wood is a sustainable alternative to forested-harvested timber, whereby rubberwood from the rubber industry is reused for woodworking purposes – a practice endorsed by PEFC in Malaysia.

And on upcycled wood, he highlighted that such wood originates from pallets or crates used for overseas shipments. Other types of upcycled wood that The Green Factory have worked with originated from old houses, buildings, or furniture. Compared to using certified wood, however, Ridzuan pointed out that data for upcycled wood “is much trickier to gather” if there is not enough data tracking of its origin and movement across time.

This article first appeared in the January / February 2022 issue of Panels & Furniture Asia. To read on, click here.