Recently, an FSC certificate covering nearly 814,000 hectares was issued by the Rainforest Alliance for the company ZAO Zapkarelles, the majority share of which is owned by the FLEXA group.
The main commercial tree species produced by ZAO Zapkarelles is pine. And the large production of pine was the reason why FLEXA acquired the majority stake in the timber concession ZAO Zapkarelles in 2006. FLEXA is a manufacturer of children's furniture exclusively based on Nordic pine.
Director of FLEXA Søren Lykke Jensen explains: "We made this investment partly in order to support our sawmill and production unit in Estonia. Due to timber shortage in that country, we have been importing timber from Russia during the past 6-7 years. However this is now less feasible due to the increased export duty on round timber imposed by the Russian authorities. Our solution is to harvest and process the timber in Russia".
FLEXA also plans to invest further into on-site processing in Russia: “We want to upgrade two existing sawmills, and to establish processing facilities in order to produce furniture components within Russia”, explains Søren Lykke Jensen.
The long-term plan of FLEXA is to install FSC Chain of Custody certificates for all of its subsidiaries in Denmark, Estonia, China and the USA. In the short term, however, the FSC certification of ZAO Zapkarelles will not be marketed actively. "We are waiting with that until we are able to offer a larger certified volume", says Søren Lykke Jensen. "However, if we receive a concrete request for FSC products, we're ready to carry the label through to the customer".
Flexa and corporate responsibility
FLEXA is a family-owned Danish enterprise established in 1972. The main product is modular children's bedroom furniture solutions. The company has subsidiaries in Estonia, USA, and China.
The decision to have ZAO Zapkarelles FSC certified is based on the overall business philosophy of FLEXA, emphasizing a responsible approach to production. For example, according to the company a water-based lacquer is used in production which secures a healthy environment for the FLEXA factory workers. Fabrics and rugs are certified according to Eco-Tex, a European standard for ecologically-friendly textile manufacturing, mattress materials contain no formaldehyde, and waste is minimized by recycling sawdust and wood chips left over from production into sawdust pellets.
The certificate registration code of ZAO Zapkarelles is SW-FM/COC-002932. NEPCon conducted the professional third-party FSC assessment on which the certification of ZAO Zapkarelles was based. The area is located in the Republic of Karelia, Russia, within the territory of Suojarvskiy and Porosozerskiy Leskhozes.