About Vestre

Vestre is a Norwegian manufacturer of urban furniture. For more than 70 years, we have helped create social meeting places for millions of people.
There is much talk about the triple bottom line, recording social and environmental, as well as financial results. We are happy to join in, and for a long time we have followed this motto: Everyone can save the world. A little. We have made long term sustainability a prerequisite in all parts of our operations. To be more specific, we have tied this commitment to nine of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

Make things that won't break

What is best for the environment can also make the most sense financially. We are well aware that other manufacturers offer outdoor furniture at a lower initial cost than us. But in the long term, taking product lifetime into account, we believe we are unbeatable.

An anti-throwaway-attitude

An anti-throwaway-attitude is central to our philosophy. We make products that will last a long time, that can be repaired if they break, and we offer spare parts without a time limit.

What is best for the environment can also make the most sense financially. We are well aware that other manufacturers offer outdoor furniture at a lower initial cost than us. But in the long term, taking product lifetime into account, we believe we are unbeatable.

In the 1950s, Vestre manufactured park benches for the town hall of Haugesund, the coastal town in Norway where the company was founded. They are still in use.

Build an industry for the future

It is possible to operate a profitable manufacturing firm in Scandinavia. It is possible to build a business based on longevity and sustainability. It is possible to self-generate sufficient solar power for all operations. It is possible to phase out materials that are harmful to the environment.

“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 1949. 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 30 per cent 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 climate gas emissions. Climate gas emissions from steel production in the Nordic countries are 30% below average.

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 30% below 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.

Sustainable timber

For our furniture we use high-quality PEFC-certified pine from Norway and Sweden (Pinus sylvestris).

Sustainable timber

For our furniture we use high-quality PEFC-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 2–2.5 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.

Hot-dip galvanisation

All steel components are hot-dip galvanised in a bath of liquid zinc at 450°C. Vestre uses Norwegian zinc with 98.98% purity. This process produces an anti-rust coating that enables our products to remain outdoors for several decades. It is carried out in accordance with the strict environmental requirements defined in ISO 1461.

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.

Hot-dip galvanisation

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

The powder-coating process was developed to satisfy the tough requirements of the Norwegian offshore industry. The finish must be of very high quality and also conform to corrosion class C5-M (EN 12944).

Vestre offers more than 200 standard RAL classic colours at no extra charge.

Powder coating

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)

Corrosion Class
(EN ISO 12944)
Examples
C1 Heated buildings
C2 Outdoors in inland areas or in warehouses where condensation
may occur
C3 Outdoors in coastal climates with little salt content or indoors in production facilities with high humidity levels
C4 Outdoors in coastal climates with moderate salt content or in
indoor swimming pools
C5–I Outdoors in coastal climates with high salt content
C5-M
(Vestre Standard)
Outdoors in coastal climates with high salt content, high
humidity levels, and aggressive atmospheric corrosion

Assembly and quality control

Vestre’s furniture is delivered more or less ready-assembled from the factory.

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.

Environment and sustainability

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.

We demand 100% renewable energy throughout the supply chain, and plan to be self-sufficient in energy by 2025. In the course of 2018 alone, we installed 600 solar panels on our factory roofs, and will gradually be able to feed surplus energy back into the grid.

Nine years ago, we became the first climate-neutral outdoor furniture manufacturer in the world, and we have set ourselves a target of zero climate gas emissions. Between 2014 and 2016, we cut our CO2 emissions by nearly 40% in relation to production value. We still generate climate gas emissions equivalent to 2,500 cars a year, however. We compensate for this by funding rainforest conservation in Papua New Guinea.

Download the climate certificate

We are working for long-term industrial development through a project that aims to create value chains for collecting and recycling ocean plastic. This is a joint undertaking with Fjordfiesta and Ope.

Total electricity production

125 835 542 Wh

Output now

0 Wh

Production today

0 Wh

We demand 100% renewable energy throughout the supply chain, and plan to be self-sufficient in energy by 2025. In the course of 2018 alone, we installed 600 solar panels on our factory roofs, and will gradually be able to feed surplus energy back into the grid.

Be a part of something bigger

Global solidarity. Two very big words, but words that have a tangible meaning for us at Vestre. We can even quantify it. Every year, we give 10% of our profits to outside sustainability measures, and if all Norwegian companies had done the same, the business community would have contributed in excess of NOK 6 billion more than the entire aid budget. As we say, everyone can save the world a little.

3 500 CHILDREN AT SCHOOL

Knowledge trumps everything. We therefore support UNICEF by giving up to 3,500 children in areas of conflict the chance to attend school. In Scandinavia, we offer grants for newly qualified designers and cooperate with local vocational colleges on internships.

EVERYONE CAN CONTRIBUTE

We offer job training for people with gaps in their CV and no access to the ordinary labour market, including through cooperation with the Church City Mission charity. We now plan to offer microloans and knowledge transfer for people in developing countries. This will enable more people to set up their own small business, just like Johannes Vestre did in 1947. Vestre was the first furniture manufacturer to join IEH - Ethical Trading Initiative Norway, and we have strict requirements for all our suppliers regarding human rights, labour rights and sustainable development.

OPERATING ROOM FOR 700 PATIENTS

In order to reduce health inequalities in the world, we cooperate with Doctors Without Borders on funding an operating theatre in the field that can treat up to 700 people a year.

Make the Nordic way the global way

The public right of access has a long tradition in the Scandinavian countries when it comes to outdoor recreation. But it is also a cornerstone for urban development. We take it for granted that urban spaces belong to everyone, and this is a mindset that seems to be taking hold internationally.

We have found that the Nordic way of urban planning can be a valuable export proposal. To us, this confirms that focusing on meeting places instead of just outdoor furniture has been a sensible strategy. We are happy to see that our solutions are in growing demand internationally.

Today, Vestre`s solutions can be found in many places around the world, among them New York's Times Square, King's Cross in London and Forum des Halles in Paris.

Please take a seat!

Design everything

As cities keep growing, living conditions are getting more cramped. To us, this means that design must encompass much more than pure aesthetics. We collaborate with renowned Scandinavian designers, and it is equally important for our products to look good, serve a practical function, and cause the least possible impact on the environment.

Our designers

Our design philosophy affects the products all the way from conception to completion and placement. We give free rein to designers in the concept development phase, where they often collaborate closely with landscape architects and other planners.

Nordic design includes a social element – the notion that design should be accessible to everyone. This is the reason why we always refuse to do hostile design, like benches with spikes to prevent people from lying down.

Being recognised is a great inspiration for further innovation. In 1987, our bench Hvilan was the first outdoor furniture ever to win the prestigious Norwegian Award for Design and Architecture. Since then our solutions have won numerous awards all over the world.

Contact us

Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. We also have open offices / showrooms, so feel free to drop in for a chat.

Tel. + 44 (0)7780 770945

[email protected]