Earth Day – every day
Earth Day happens every year on April 22 and this year for the 50th time. Earth Day is a way to shed light on the biggest challenge to the future of humanity – climate change. We are going to use this Earth Day to tell you some of what we do to meet our climate crisis, while at the same time emphasizing that it is ours. It is everyone’s, and it requires a shared responsibility and a joint effort – and not just a days’ effort, a lifetime one.
Close to heart
In Vestre we follow this motto: Everyone can save the world. A little. We have made a long term sustainability a prerequisite in all part of our operation, and will now go through some of the measures we have taken to make sure we become a part of the solution, and not the problem.
Green Steel Factory in Torsby
«Everything is possible for Our Lord and a mechanic» was Johannes Vestre motto when he 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.
Vestre uses 100% renewable energy in our production process, most of which comes from clean hydroelectric power. Our plan is to become completely self-sufficient by using only renewable energy from sun and wind. Already the roof of our steel factory in Torsby, Sweden has over 600 solar panels and produces enough power to be energy self-sufficient – at least on sunny days. But this isn’t good enough for us, which is why our goal is to be able to feed surplus energy back into the grid, and by 2025 we will be producing 120% of what we consume.
Zero products that do not live forever
In Vestre an anti-throwaway-attitude is central to our philosophy. So of course we have our own Vision Zero, which is to make zero products that do not live forever. We do so by making no compromises when it comes to quality and environment, even though it costs more. We take no shortcuts in production, which allows us to offer a lifetime anti-rust warranty, a 15-year paint adhesion warranty, and a 15-year anti-rot warranty on all components made of wood. And, we offer replacement parts indefinitely. If we don’t have them, we’ll make them for you. Our products have no expiration date. We also believe that our vision zero is possible through proper use and maintenance, but also through offering the option of returning worn furniture to our factory, after years of faithful service, to be restored and given a new life.
One story we like to tell when it comes to our products having no expiration date, is the one about the park benches in Haugesund. In the 1950s Vestre made park benches for the town hall of Haugesund, the coastal town in Norway where the company was founded. And they are still in use to this day.
Not stopping at 150
We also source local materials for our products, both to ensure quality and for environmental reasons. We almost exclusively use environmentally certified Scandinavian timber from what may be considered the world’s most sustainable forests. As the loss of rainforest is a global issue, we’ve made a conscious choice not to incorporate tropical woods in our products. Three years ago, our sustainable ways led us to become the world’s first manufacturer of urban furniture with the Nordic Swan Ecolabel certification. Three years later, we now have more than 150 eco-certified products, and we’re not stopping there.
Fun in the name of sustainability
We cannot talk about the sustainability measures we’re taking without mentioning our soon to be Tesla Semi truck. Vestre has a goal of emission-free internal transport, and have already implemented new generation biodiesel. But in the strive to always do better in the name of sustainability – things like buying a Tesla Semi can come your way. This is the first fully electric long-haul truck in the world, and Vestre was actually one of the very first companies in Scandinavia to order the Tesla Semi.
Do your part
We want to round this off with a final call to all businesses out there, regardless of size: This is our climate crisis and you too should do your part. Not just one day a year, but on all of them. As we say, everyone can save the world. A little.