At Auping, we are constantly innovating. Not only in terms of design or ergonomics but also in terms of sustainability. Taking good care of the environment is very important to us and in the spring of 2020 we achieved ‘B Corp status’. Everyone does their bit in their own way to make the world a little more sustainable. We do this through circular entrepreneurship. That means we reuse as much as possible, produce very little waste and consume as little energy as possible. We are aiming for a fully circular product range by 2030 at the latest.
Recycling, upcycling, downcycling and circularity. Many different definitions are being used when it comes to sustainable mattresses. So much that if you want to remember all of them, it could keep you up nights. Therefore a simple explanation of this matter.
Recycling is the umbrella that includes various forms of reuse. Upcycling is a form of recycling in which a high-quality material is made from low-grade material. Think of the plastic waste that sports brands use to manufacture sneakers or mattresses of which the cover is made of ocean plastic.
Downcycling is the form of recycling in which the material is used once or twice in a low-grade product. The foam from the comfort layer of mattresses is then reused to make a judo mat, underlay or sound insulation. It is positive that such a mattress does not end up directly in the garbage dump. However, after a new life as a mat, the ingredients of this mattress still end up in landfill. Such a shame.
Circularity is the highest form of recycling. All the materials in a product can then be reused endlessly. Time and time again they can be recycled at the same high-quality level. The loop is closed, no value is lost and there is no waste. That is circular. And that starts with the design of a product. And this is exactly what Auping does.
Certain terms are common in the world of sustainability and circularity. However, what is actually meant and what is the context?
A footprint in sustainability terms is about the extent to which there are consequences for the planet. The word is used because a footprint shows where people have been. Similarly, a sustainable footprint stands for the impact of an organisation on other people, nature, future generations and the world. The smaller the footprint, the better.
Certificates for responsible forest management
This covers an annual surface area of 16 million hectares, equivalent to 4 times the size of the Netherlands. Every year, deforestation causes 15% of global CO2 emissions and therefore plays a major role in climate change. Furthermore, 80% of all the world’s animals depend on the forest, along with millions of people who live or work in the forest (Source: FSC) Even so, there is no international law relating to responsible forestry. That’s why there are various systems in the world to ensure sustainability. The two most important ones are FSC and PEFC. They both have the same objective, but apply different methods.
FSC is an international organisation and stands for Forest Stewardship Council. The FSC system targets responsible forest management worldwide. This means that there is a balanced consideration of ecological, social and economic aspects related to forest management. Examples include
• Giving the forest time to recover after the wood harvest.
• No harvesting in forests of great natural and cultural value.
• Respecting and establishing the rights of indigenous people.
• Proper treatment of forest workers (working hours, wage, safety, training).
• Providing employment opportunities and strengthening the local economy.
PEFC stands for Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification and has the same ambitions as FSC. The differences between these labels concern the decision-making on which the certification is based. In this way, FSC sets its own standards, whereby the forest owner wishing to be certified must demonstrate his compliance (top-down). PEFC begins by aligning with existing rules and legislation, adding further criteria and standards for sustainable forest management (bottom-up). Naturally the standard must satisfy the PEFC scale.
What is most important is that both labels focus on responsible forest management and ensuring that the area of certified forest in the world is increased. After all, there is a whole world of work to be done.