At University Loft, we’ve made a conscious and strategic decision to do what we can to help preserve our environment. We feel certain that if we do not protect the environment, we will have nothing for future generations to inherit. And as a manufacturer, we know that we must guard our natural resources even as we maximize our production capabilities. With this in mind, ULC uses environmentally farmed timbers in our furniture production so we do not contribute to deforestation.
Why is this important?
Worldwide, more than 3/4 of the planet’s original primary forests have already been destroyed or degraded. Still, irresponsible transnational corporations continue to engage in destructive logging for wood and paper production. The result? Each year tropical rainforests alone are reduced at a rate equivalent to an area the combined size of the Netherlands and Switzerland. Worldwide, forests are under attack due to harvesting practices widely used by logging industries. Deforestation and the destruction of the environment has become an enormous problem. That’s why, in 1998 with Executive Order 13-101, President Clinton mandated that Federal agencies use any resources available to them to “green” the government. At University Loft Company, we recognize the urgency of this issue and support environmentally responsible efforts at all levels.
Advantages of Environmentally Farmed Timber
At ULC, we know that our customers expect only the best from us. That’s why in support of our environmental commitment we use Hevea Brasiliensis (HB), an eco-friendly species of tree we refer to as Environmentally Farmed Timber, or EFT. Classified as a hardwood, HB has been proven stronger than Northern Red Oak in independent lab testing.
Another benefit of HB is that when finished, it looks virtually identical to natural oak. With mostly straight grain with few concentric markings, it’s an attractive and durable solid wood furniture material.
HB is also the environmentally responsible choice. During its growth cycle, HB produces a natural form of latex that is tapped from its trunk to be used in the production of rubber. Hevea Brasiliensis produces latex for 20 years, after which it is cut down for timber use. Since the late 1800s, HB trees have been farmed, grown for their rubber and then harvested for timber.
Hevea Brasiliensis is kiln dried. This process subjects the wood to temperatures that kill any insect that might be in the wood. That means that a smaller amount of chemical treatment is necessary.Because our HB is pressure treated rather than dipped, the process also ensures absorption at the cellular level as opposed to surface-only absorption. Another advantage of this treatment is that it actually helps make the wood harder, contributing to its greater-than-oak strength. In addition to being ideal for furniture production, HB has been proven safe by the United States Environmental Protection Agency; and is approved for use in retail as a base material for bowls, tables, spoons, knives and more.
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University Loft’s Green Plan
To maintain commitment and focus in our environmental initiatives, ULC utilizes a Green Plan. A Green Plan is a resource the Greenpeace organization defines as containing long-term environmental strategies that ensure a high quality of life for present and future generations.
A successful Green Plan considers all aspects of the environment and is developed through consultation with major social sectors. It pulls together a society’s intellectual, scientific, and economic resources to implement a responsible, workable plan for environmental prosperity. Green plans can be developed for a country, a state, a region, a city, or as with University Loft Company an environmentally-responsible company or organization.
Under the direction of ULC’s President and CEO James Jannetides, University Loft Company was an early adopter of green initiatives. In January 1999, Jannetides drove the company to become a model for all businesses in caring responsibly for the environment, now and for future generations. The ULC plan, encouraged by the establishment of the Governor’s Green Government Council, represented the first step of any furniture manufacturing company toward environmental protection.
The true and continuing effect of this initiative is that it changes how businesses purchase products. Working cooperatively, businesses find new ways of sharing “green” knowledge and best practices while involving an ever-increasing number of employees, suppliers and clients. By purchasing furniture of environmentally sound material produced in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner from an eco-conscious producer like University Loft Company customers can help support a healthier global environment..