Some ideas are way ahead of their time. In 1947, Bolon’s founder Nils-Erik Eklund had just such an idea. Why not take the waste material from a neighbouring factory and create rag rugs? So it began – and almost 70 years and three generations later, the company continues to lead the way in environmental innovation and sustainable business.
Bolon has a very clear vision for its’ current and future environmental performance and in recent years the company has invested 90 million SEK in a production facility that allows it to execute its green strategy. Pointing the way forward for Bolon, partners and customers, it commits Bolon to creating and manufacturing products that respect the environment from every perspective. For many years, the Bolon Green project has encouraged a holistic approach by focusing on the areas of raw materials, products, manufacturing and after-use.
Bolon Green and the program ‘A Future Without Footprints’ give us a clear sight of where we want to be in the years to come. However, we are determined to ensure that words are backed up by concrete action. Only by doing so can we fulfil our commitment to exceed our responsibilities and current legal requirements and realise our vision.
– Malin Andén, Quality and Environmental Manager
In terms of concrete action, Bolon can point to a long history of environmental progress when it comes to both products and processes. All production is centred in Sweden, resulting in reduced transport requirements and more oversight. Since 2014, all the company’s flooring has been phthalate free, the factory, warehouse and offices are powered by green electricity and uses geothermal cooling with locally sourced water and a new, advanced filter system reduces the release of emissions by 98%. Bolon also produce their own raw material and mainly work with suppliers within a 25-mile radius.
However, it is Bolon’s investment in a new recycling facility that perhaps offers the most exciting glimpse into the future. Commissioned in 2014, the plant recycles the company’s own waste as well as that from other industries. The recycled material is then used in backing for new flooring. The first collection to feature this new backing was Flow, which consists of 33% recycled material. Furthermore, a strategy to use recycled backing in every collection is in place. Malin Andén continues -
“As well as representing a significant investment, our new recycling plant is a real statement of intent. Here at Bolon, we’re constantly asking ourselves what we can do to get even better. The recycling plant is living proof of the kind of progress we can make if we continue to focus on our vision and innovate.”
Sustainability has always been high on the agenda for Bolon and the next step is an even more ambitious vision connected to all levels of the company – its’ people, business models and products.
Sustainability is in the heart and DNA of Bolon. We are a family company and care deeply about the well-being of our colleagues, about being an ethical company and practicing what we preach, both now and in the future. Taking our responsibility is crucial in a world where the economic, political and social landscape is changing rapidly.
– Annica Eklund, CEO
Bolon is a Swedish cutting-edge design company managed by sisters Annica and Marie Eklund, the third generation of the family to own the company. They have developed the company from a traditional weaving mill into an international design brand, with a focus on innovative flooring and creative interiors. Bolon's list of clientele includes Missoni, Armani, Google, Mercedes and Sheraton as well as leading architects and designers such as Tom Dixon, Jean Nouvel and Cappellini.
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