2020-02-07 - Kährs Group

Kährs receives Sustainable Biomass Program certificate for its wood pellets

Kährs is proud to announce that the process of certifying its wood pellets biofuel offering under Sustainable Biomass Program (SBP) has just been completed. This means that a rigorous process for control of wood sources has been implemented and reviewed. Kährs can now provide third party assurance that its pellets are produced according to the SBP standard to mitigate risks of illegal harvesting and unsustainable sources.

Kährs, a manufacturer of premium hardwood flooring, started its production of wood pellets in early 2019. Kährs had for decades been providing carbon neutral biofuel energy in the form of wood powder to the market and decided to invest in a more refined and standardized energy product - wood pellets, from its own, state of the art plant, adjacent to the wood floor factory in Nybro, Sweden. 

The SBP certification builds on established forest certifications such as Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification™ (PEFC). Kährs was already certified to both FSC and PEFC but needed to carry out further risk mitigation activities, involving 450+ suppliers in more than 25 countries, to be compliant also with the SBP framework (more about SBP below).

The scope of the certification is the production of wood pellets at AB Gustaf Kähr’s wood pellet plant in Nybro, including transportation to the port in Kalmar. Kährs management system was evaluated to ensure compliance with the requirements specified by the SBP standard including; review of the production processes; production site visits; review of PEFC systems and review of the total supply base for wood to follow the SBP Standard to mitigate risks.

In late 2019 the final audit was made by the auditing body NEPCon.

“Kährs produces pellets as a bi-product from its wood flooring manufacturing in Sweden mainly, but also in Romania. Additionally, they source wood directly or indirectly from 26 countries world-wide. It turned out to be one of the more complicated pellet producers to SBP certify. We are impressed with their efforts and dedication to comply with the SBP requirements to receive their certification. It is also exciting to see a new type of player in the biomass market: – Kährs has set up a modern pellet plant from scratch to produce pellets from bi-products only. They have put lots of hard work into all stages related to their pellet plant from development of processes to the comprehensive risk mitigation measures of its supply chain”, said Rebecka McCarthy Tune, Responsible Sourcing Specialist – EUTR, and Lead auditor at NEPCon in Sweden.

“Kährs entered a totally new business area when starting its pellets production and being a company with high sustainability ambitions, achieving SBP was an ambition from the start as the certification was essential to us. I want to thank the team involved, mainly staff at our flooring production sites in Sweden and Romania, who has worked incredibly hard and dedicated during the last 12 months to make it possible”, said Bruce Uhler, Sustainability Manager at Kährs Group.    

“We are working in many areas with the Group to make our flooring production as sustainable as possible. Our goal is to constantly develop and optimize our operations while minimizing our environmental impact and with the pellet plant we have taken an important step. The fact that Kährs pellet products now exist as a certified, sustainable fuel alternative in the bioenergy market makes me very proud", said Johan Magnusson, President and CEO of Kährs Group.

Kährs focuses its environmental and sustainability work on six selected UN Agenda 2030 global goals, 3) health and well-being 7) sustainable energy for all 11) sustainable cities and communities 12) sustainable consumption and production 13) fight climate change and 15) ecosystems and biodiversity. A number of initiatives are being undertaken within this framework, where the project, including the pellet factory and its transport, is part of the initiative to help achieve objective 7) to provide access to sustainable, reliable and renewable energy and clean fuels.

Read more about Kährs pellet production here
Read more about Kährs SBP certification here

About SBP
The Sustainable Biomass Program (SBP) is a non-profit standard setting organisation, which manages a voluntary certification system designed for woody biomass used in energy production. SBP was created to enable certified companies to demonstrate that they produce, trade or use woody biomass from sustainably-managed forests.

SBP certification is founded on principles of legality, sustainability and independent auditing and verification.

There is no global definition of sustainability. Therefore, like all other sustainability certification systems, SBP has developed its own set of 38 sustainability indicators which address forest-specific objectives, including:

• Maintaining or increasing forests; 
• Conserving biodiversity; and 
• Preserving forests of high conservation value.

Read more at: https://sbp-cert.org/

For more information, please contact:
Helén Johansson, Corporate Communication, Kährs Group
Tel: +46 70 364 60 30
E-mail: helen.johansson@kahrs.com

Bruce Uhler, Sustainability Manager, Kährs Group
Tel: +46 70 253 04 76
E-mail: bruce.uhler@kahrs.com  

About Kährs Group
Kährs Group is a leading manufacturer and distributor of flooring with the aim of providing customer experiences beyond expectations. Kährs innovations have shaped the industry throughout its history and the company is dedicated to offering flooring solutions for every room, environment and need. The company delivers sustainable and durable flooring solutions to more than 70 countries, being a market leader in hardwood flooring in Sweden, Finland and Russia, and having strong positions in other key markets, such as Norway, the UK and Germany. The Group has approximately 1,700 employees and annual sales of more than SEK 3 billion. www.kahrsgroup.com

About NEPCon
NEPCon is an international non-profit organisation that supports better land management and business practices that benefit people, nature and the climate in 100+ countries.  NEPCon’s vision is a world where human choices ensure a sustainable future. Find out more at: https://www.nepcon.org/

Press release as pdf