48 (143) 2021

Green Transformation

Made to last – Kinnarps’ interior design solutions

by Aleksandra Krawsz-Kubica, marketing & PR director at Kinnarps Polska
Header dom idei 10latdesign alive warsow home by paradisekistch by ula koska design alive da176 v2

How do you create an attractive, well-functioning and successful working environment where everyone’s happy and healthy? Along the journey to the new working environment, there are a number of factors that affect how sustainable and future-proof the solution will be.

For us at Kinnarps, this is a natural part of our day-to-day work, and has been since we started our company in 1942. Together with our customers, we create long-term sustainable solutions that are attractive, inspiring, and encourage creativity and efficiency. Today, more and more people and organisations want to make sustainable choices. People want to see what difference they are actually making – and they want proof. That’s why we have to make it easier to understand how sustainability works and the process behind the making of a product.

Kinnarps creates products that can be used for a long time. This generates real benefit for the planet and for our customers. With a product design that facilitates refurbishment and updating, we make it possible to extend the life of the products even further by simple means. By offering circular services and business models, we help our customers to ensure even longer life cycles and to utilise interior design as a resource even more effectively. Delivering in a durable way and creating interior design solutions that are made to last, we help making organisations sustainable. Well-thought out, flexible and multi-functional workspaces strengthen employer brand and attract talents to the organisation.

To be sustainable and promote the well-being and success of employees and business, the workspace has to be tailored according to specific needs and goals. Supporting tasks on an individual, team and group level. Together with our customers, we map and analyse their business. This is to help them get the right furniture and interior design solution from the start. We involve management and employees in the process and create a sustainable workspace that lasts over time.

We develop our products in collaboration with researchers, designers, ergonomists and other experts. This is to ensure that the furniture has an inclusive design with the user in focus. By making the products multi-functional and easy to adapt for each individual, we make sustainability easy and accessible. We also use pure materials such as certified fabrics, and primarily water-based lacquers with zero or a low solvent content for surface treatment to ensure very low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions for healthy indoor air.

To be sustainable, our customers want an interior solution that lasts over time – in terms of design and quality. We design our products to be used, refreshed and reused in an easy way. You can easily extend the product service life by adding new parts, such as removable upholstery for sofas, replaceable tabletops or new seats and backs for task chairs. Our initiatives focus on creating solutions and products that last a long time and are also circular. It is important to keep in mind that circularity does not automatically equate to sustainability, since circular flows with short product life cycles merely fuel the rapid consumption of products and materials. We place great emphasis on ensuring that our products are manufactured and delivered in a sustainable way.

Johanna Ljunggren, Kinnarps AB’s sustainability manager, says “We create products that are built to last and that can be updated to meet changed needs or trends. We help our customers prolong the service life of products. Many can easily be upgraded or refurnished by replacing tabletops, upholstery or other spare parts.” Kinnarps’ products are manufactured and delivered with a continuous quality process in place. Our six production facilities are all located in Sweden. High quality and low environmental impact feature across the entire chain – from raw materials to finished solutions. We have a very high percentage of certified or third-party inspected raw wood (96%). We also optimise use of resources and also deal with waste mate¬rials in various climate-smart ways. For example, some of our factories are heated with wood waste from their own production.

We have extremely high environmental requirements for both our products and associated materials. This results in great security and safety for our customers. As all our furniture is tested according to a series of different certifications and ecolabel systems. For example, it does not contain any unnecessary or harmful chemicals. This ensures both wholesome working environments and better indoor air quality.

The market wants products that are functional and durable to be both environmentally and financially sustainable. We want that too. At our own accredited Test & Verification Centre, products pass tough tests to ensure top quality. They are tested following statutory requirements but also according to our experience. We have extensive knowledge in the development of sustainable products, and always test the products to ensure that they will last well in the uses they are intended for. That is why our height-adjustable desks are tested three times more than the industry standard. Tested for you to use year after year. Kinnarpsʼ height-adjustable desks are tested three times more than the industry standard (15,000 cycles instead of 5,000 cycles) to guarantee their longevity. This means that our customers receive products that last longer, which also reduces their investment costs over time and significantly reduces their climate footprint.

Blue Trucks is Kinnarps’ own delivery system. It gives full control over the distribution process, while our customers can benefit from logistics efficiency and a stronger environmental profile. Our trucks run on the highest available level of renewable diesel, which provides the largest reduction of CO2 emissions (equivalent to about 358 times around the world by car). The way we load our trucks means we can load more products on each one. And instead of single-use packaging, we wrap blankets around our products, and we take these blankets away with us again and reuse them. This saves us and our customers 270 kg of packaging per journey. This way of distribution make transportation more efficient and sustainable. Our logistics system is unique in the industry and is characterised by efficiency. Where others require three lorries, we can manage with two.

At Kinnarps, we view sustainability from a holistic perspective. To us, sustainability includes everything from reducing our climate impact and taking care of the environment, supporting people to feel healthy and be the best they can at work, to helping organisations to be attractive and successful. When designing and manufacturing our products, and creating our interior design solutions, we always focus on the whole picture.

Our sofa and armchair Scandinavia have a simple and timeless design that stands the test of time. It has removable upholstery, including on the carcass, which makes it easy to refresh its appearance with new fabric in a simple and cost-effective way. It’s easy to increase seat comfort simply by flipping the seat cushions.

Our screen system Vibe has been developed with strict requirements regarding raw materials and resources, climate, pure materials, social responsibility, reuse and ergonomics. The screens also have a removable fabric, making it easy to update when needed.

Our Capella desk chair has 100% recycled magnesium in the mechanism. Capella is designed to be a part of the workplaces for a long time. After many years’ use its service life can be further extended by replacing the seat, back, headrest or armrest. It has been developed with a completely unique seat that provides well-balanced micro-movements and promotes active sitting.

Another good example is the Rocca stool, with a playful design that encourages movement, as a means of increasing well-being and improving energy levels. This enables to create workplaces that enhance people’s well-being, and minimise sick leave and occupational injuries.

Our chair Embrace, another a timeless design, is made of pure materials and comes in a wide range of models. All components meet the requirements of the leading environmental standards and can be separated and recycled. The chair is designed with one key part for all models. A great example of sustainable design with fewer parts for the whole family of chairs.

RE:FILL is an innovative material, developed by Kinnarps in-house, which is used as a filling in our sound absorbers – including the Prim room divider and Vibe desk screens. The material is 50% recycled. While 25% is waste fabric from one of the Kinnarps factories, another 25% is recycled plastic bottles.

Last autumn, we launched the Tinnef table, in association with designer Charlotte von der Lancken. The table has an underframe in ash or oak, with a top made of 100% recycled plastic bottles. Each tabletop then has its own unique pattern made with discarded plastic waste in a beautiful new guise.

Dahlia is a family of embracing sofas and easy chairs with a wonderful homely feel. They combine all the necessary features for maintaining good hygiene, including rubber weave, removable and washable fabric, and a gap between the seat and back to avoid dirt and bacteria collecting. Sustain-ability has been front and centre during the development of Dahlia, and the range has been designed to be circular at all stages, since this furniture is easy to reuse, reup¬holster and repair. The range also carries the Möbelfakta label and is FSC® certified.

Kinnarps’ contribution to sustainable development is to create long-term sustainable solutions that benefit our customers, with the smallest possible environmental footprint. Every year we summarise our efforts and report on both long-term and short-term goals in our sustainability report called The Better Effect. The report is also available in a shorter version, Sustainability in Brief, providing you with an overview of our sustainability work. To read and download the sustainability reports, please visit our website at https://www.kinnarps.com/about-kinnarps/sustainability


More in Green Transformation:

Green will be the new normal. A view of the new world - one that may be brave too?

By Dr Allan Lawrence, a director of Projects Beyond Borders has a doctorate in Environmental Botany awarded by the University of Greenwich and is a lecturer in social policy and business-related programmes

BPCC member, Projects Beyond Borders Ltd (PBB) is a micro-business based in the North of England that has been a member of BPCC for four years and like most fellow members is wondering about how to adjust to life after Covid-19, when that will be, or even whether the word ‘after’ even applies.

Role of courts in addressing the climate crisis

By Maja Frontczak, attorney, and Łukasz Ostas, trainee attorney, Gessel Attorneys at Law

COP26, the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow will be held for the 26th time. This, in itself, indicates that climate change is perceived among the international community as a threat to be treated seriously and monitored every year. Although the Paris Agreement (2015) is often regarded as a breakthrough in the fight for climate preservation, many take the view that enactment of the document has not been followed by sufficient action by the signatory states to limit global temperature increase to not more than 2ºC (or, optimally, 1.5 ºC).

Polish RES Tax Issues

By Dariusz Stolarek, partner, Tax Advisory Group, Dentons

The Polish renewable energy market, in particular that based on wind and solar power, has recently enjoyed a boom. This is the result of global trends, EU regulatory requirements and the government's decision to support green energy, after, to put it mildly, its initial conservative approach to renewable energy sources.

Sharing best British practice in renewable energy

By Michal Sobczyk, senior trade advisor at Scottish International Development, with Angelika Gronowska, senior political advisor, and Janusz Bil, director, Energy and Mining, British Embassy Warsaw

For all of us, 2021 will be a unique year. In November, the UK will build on its climate leadership as host of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow. As we are still recovering from the coronavirus pandemic, we have a historic chance to build back better and even more resilient through a clean recovery that unlocks growth and creates jobs in green technology.