Industry, innovation and infrastructure
It is possible to operate a profitable manufacturing firm in Scandinavia. It is possible to build a business based on longevity and sustainability.
“Everything is possible for Our Lord and a mechanic.” With this motto, Johannes Vestre founded a small machine shop in the Norwegian town of Haugesund in 1947. After seven decades, all our manufacturing still takes place in Norway and Sweden, and our future goals are more ambitious than ever.
Materials and production
We source local materials for our products, partly for environmental reasons and partly to ensure quality. Scandinavian pine is harder and better suited for outdoor furniture than wood from warmer climates. Nordic steel is produced with more than 20 % lower emissions than average, when compared to steel from other countries.
High-quality Nordic steel and aluminium
Vestre uses high-quality Nordic steel and aluminium that are sourced as locally as possible. The global steel industry is responsible for 7% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions from steel production in the Nordic countries are more than 20 % lower than average. This is made possible by state-of-the-art production plants and the high proportion of renewable energy used in production. Vestre furniture is solidly built and can withstand extensive wear and tear and use for many years. The steel we use is between 3 and 16 mm thick (1/8 and 5/8 of an inch). Steel plates and tubes are cut using advanced laser machines, which are extremely accurate and minimise resource wastage. Welding is carried out both manually and using automated robots. All components are processed and assembled with a view to achieving optimal strength and durability.
We use Hydro CIRCAL which consists of at least 75% recycled aluminium. This is the highest content of recycled material on the market, which means drastically reduced energy consumption, while the product is also of high quality and durable.
For our furniture we use high-quality FSC-certified pine from Norway and Sweden (Pinus Sylvestris). Owing to the cold climate the trees grow slowly and can only be felled after 80–120 years. This means that Scandinavian pine is harder and more suitable for outdoor furniture than pine from warmer areas, which generally grows 3–5 times faster. Scandinavian pine has a hardness of 1,7 on the Brinell scale. Scandinavian forestry is amongst the most sustainable forestry in the world. The felling of virgin forest is prohibited by law and, consequently, timber production in Scandinavia has doubled over the last hundred years, with an annual increase in stock of 10%. Vestre's timber is impregnated with natural linseed oil which offers lasting protection against rot and virtually maintenance-free use. After some time outdoors, the surface will develop a grey patina.
Vestre standard, self-healing sink
If the surface is damaged, hot-dip products repair themselves by shrinking the zinc and forming a new coating in the damaged area. This is called cathodic protection.
International standard, powder-coated steel
When the powder-coated surface is damaged, the steel will rust and the rust will spread under the lacquer. Then bubbles that you often see on older cars will arise and eventually burst so that the rust becomes visible.
All steel components used by Vestre are hot-dip galvanised in a liquid zinc bath at 450 °C / 840 °F. The bath is exclusively heated using renewable energy, meaning zero emission of harmful greenhouse gases. This process provides a rust-free coating (80–120 μ) that enables Vestre's products to remain outdoors for several decades. Around 2–4 μ of the coating is lost in the first year as a consequence of use and climate impact and then the loss decreases to 1–2 μ per year. This guarantees a lifespan of at least 30–40 years outdoors. Steel that is powder-coated after hot-dip galvanising will have an even longer lifespan, as the powder coating protects the zinc. If the surface is damaged, hot-dip galvanised products repair themselves through the zinc contracting and forming a new coating in the damaged area. This is called cathodic protection. Hot-dip galvanising is a method that was patented by the French engineer Sorel in 1837, and which these days is carried out in accordance with the strict environmental requirements defined in ISO 1461. Zinc (Zn) is an important renewable construction material that occurs naturally in stone, water and human beings.
Powder-coating developed to cope with the North Sea
Before Vestre's products are powder coated, they are subject to extensive cleaning and processing in multiple phases. This process takes place in a series of immersion tanks and comprises degreasing, purified water and activators. The powder coating does not contain any solvents and is applied electrostatically through sophisticated nozzles. The powder is then melted in an automatic curing oven that gives the product its final appearance. The process was developed for the Norwegian offshore industry to ensure a very high finish that meets the strict requirements of Corrosion Class C5 (coastal areas with high salinity).
LT = Lifespan in years
LZn = Estimated lifespan of zinc plating exposed to the environment in question
LM = Estimated lifespan of lacquer coating exposed to the environment in question, if applied directly to steel
K = environmentally-dependent synergy factor, which can be set at:
1.5: for exposure in Environment Class C5
1.6 – 2.0: for exposure in Environment Class C3 – C4
2.1 – 2.3: for exposure in Environment Class C2
Example: a product surface treated with Vestre’s Duplex technology and exposed to Environment Class C5, will have a lifespan of more than 80 years*: * (=1.5*(40 years + 15 years)
Vestre’s unique surface treatment consists of wet zinc and powder coating. This process ensures a considerably longer lifespan than that obtained by separate systems.
The lifespan can be calculated by this formula:
LT = K(LZN + LM)
(EN ISO 12944) Examples
|C1 Heated buildings|
Outdoors in inland areas or in warehouses where condensation
|C3 Outdoors in coastal climates with little salt content or indoors in production facilities with high humidity levels|
Outdoors in coastal climates with moderate salt content or in
indoor swimming pools
|C5–I Outdoors in coastal climates with high salt content|
(Vestre Standard) Outdoors in coastal climates with high salt content, high
humidity levels, and aggressive atmospheric corrosion
Assembly and quality control
Only screws and attachments made from stainless or acid-resistant steel are used. The assembly process takes place both manually and by using robot technology. Prior to packaging and transport the products are subjected to a thorough quality check in order to ensure that they comply with our strict craft and finishing requirements.
Environmentally friendly transport
Vestre will have emission-free internal transport by 2020. We have already implemented new generation biodiesel and are going to transition to electricity. We are one of the first companies in Norway to order the Tesla Semi, which has a range of 800 km.
This is how we work with UN sustainability goals
Knowledge conquers allRead more
Affordable and clean energy
We give back clean energyRead more
Decent work and economic growth
Everyone can do somethingRead more
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
It is possible to operate a profitable manufacturing firm in Scandinavia. It is possible to build a business based on longevity and sustainabilityRead more
Less inequality creates greater trustRead more
Sustainable cities and communities
Green cities are smart citiesRead more
Responsible consumption and products
Vestre Vision ZeroRead more
Nine years ago, we became the first climate-neutral outdoor furniture manufacturer in the worldRead more
Life on Land
Vestre almost exclusively uses environmentally certified Scandinavian timber from what may be considered the world’s most sustainable forestsRead more