Sustainability

Responsibility

ZEITRAUM was founded in 1990 on the premise that quality, design and sustainability should always go hand in hand. Until now that has not changed. We have always manufactured our furniture in fair cooperation with mid-sized enterprises in the wider region. The contribution to a world worth living in is a basic element of our corporate strategy.

Well-made wood joints, an expert and material-friendly construction in combination with high-quality craftsmanship make our furniture tough, durable and repairable. It contributes to a sustainable lifestyle, in which objects have an ecological source and can be repaired instead of replaced. The timeless design makes our furniture independent of trends. Our goal is that it can be used for several generations. One of our priorities is a socially responsible and resource-friendly production process.

For more than 30 years we have stood for ecological commitment and respect for nature. In addition, we strive unceasingly to further reduce any negative environmental impact from our production, and to replace our secondary materials with even more ecological alternatives based on the latest research. We see it as our responsibility to protect the environment and the health of the producers and the customers. Hence we require the same ecological commitment of our production partners. Only thereby sustainable action is possible.

Furniture Footprint

A Future-Oriented
Sustainability Assessment

To offer complete transparency about our products, we have developed a future-oriented sustainability assessment, the “FURNITURE FOOTPRINT” for our furniture. As far as the sustainable value chain is concerned, a natural product is not necessarily “a good product”!

Our product assessment is based
on these criteria:

  • The three pillars of sustainability
  • Life cycle assessment data by Ökobaudat of the Federal Republic of Germany

The Three Pillars of Sustainability

Economic
Sustainability

Regionalism

The origin of resources,
prudent business management,
ecological economic structures,
ability for repair, timeless design

Ecological
Sustainability

Recycling management

Responsible and environmentally-friendly use of natural resources,
create something „permanent“ – longevity

Social
Sustainability

Independence

Work environments that are fair and observe occupational health standards,
equality, respect for human rights, personal customer and supplier relations,
comprehensive transparency

Sustainable products shall be assessed on these levels and
at any product life­cycle stage.

Life cycle assessment (LCA) Data of Ökobaudat

The Ökobaudat is an information portal for sustainable construction issued by the Federal Ministry for the Interior, Building and Community (BMI) and provides a unified database for ecological balancing according to DIN 15804.

Data are subject to stringent quality criteria and set the independent benchmarks of our assessment system. The Life cycle assessment Data provide precise information about the sourcing of raw materials, the environmental impact of the material, transport routes, and processes at each stage of the product lifecycle all the way to its disposal.

 

Assessment System and Methodology

We calculate the outcome of any specific material assessment using the weight (in percent) of the individual component in a piece of furniture as well as independent ecological balance data and existing certifications. Over 90 % of the environmental impact of a product is determined by the material.

European oak

  1. Life Cycle Assessment, Production
  2. Life Cycle Assessment, Transport
  3. Longevity
  4. Biological reproduction | Recycling material
  5. Potential for circular economic use
  6. Material usable in native state
  7. Socially compatibility

American walnut

  1. Life Cycle Assessment, Production
  2. Life Cycle Assessment, Transport
  3. Longevity
  4. Biological reproduction | Recycling material
  5. Potential for circular economic use
  6. Material usable in native state
  7. Socially compatibility

Materials

We also ensure that all materials meet the highest standards with respect to toxic emissions. These so-called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are components that can be emitted from materials. We only use such compounds that are manufactured without noxious chemicals and release no volatile, organic components during use.

At ZEITRAUM we use only
raw materials that
are renewable, biodegradable
or recyclable.

We also make every effort to maintain transparency with respect to the materials we use. Despite our high standards we must sometimes use raw materials with a negative ecological balance. In these cases, there is no ecological alternative with similar outstanding properties. We therefore continuously search for better solutions to improve the environmental accounting of our products.

About the materials

Repairing & recycling

Repair and Maintenance
deepens the relationship
between person and product

On the one hand, the DIY-movement is on the rise and people’s awareness for ecological problems is stronger than ever. On the other hand, technological advancements make it even more difficult to repair cars, phones and laptops without special tools and equipment. Society has become more and more of a throwaway culture in which people would rather replace something that is defective than have it repaired.  Manual skills are neglected in education, so that the young generation often have no idea how to fix a flat tire on a bicycle and therefore resort to a youtube video clip for help.

We live in a world
with an over-abundance
of things and in which
people are losing the
ability to help themselves.

Our products are separable and repairable from the very beginning – because these two aspects constitute a sustainable, self-sufficient way of life.

Our furniture can be repaired – either in our in-house workshop in Wolfratshausen or by yourself. By having a close look at their furniture, our customers will take pleasure in discovering small traces of life. We provide them with a care set, which they can use to make small repairs by themselves. Customers who live greater distances from our workshop are advised to take their furniture to the nearest specialist, to minimize logistical expenses and environmental impact.

For us, a repair is not a financially expedient solution, but rather a sustainable attitude toward life, which results in more independence and self-determination.

Prospects & targets

Working sustainably
and 100 % ecologically

We will strive for these targets
in the coming years:

Naturland

The most stringent seal in Germany for ecologically sustainable products is awarded by Naturland. It prohibits the use of pesticides in wood, deforestation and planting of non-indigenous trees.

UN sustainable
development goals

These 17 goals by the UN for sustainable, economical, social and ecological development took effect on 1 January 2016. Our goal is the highest possible approximation to the areas that are relevant for us.

Resource efficiency

  • To use only green electricity and natural gas in production
  • Smaller transport volumes, such as introducing the flatpack for the OKITO chair
  • Full material utilisation in the manufacture of products and the use of remnants for small parts
  • Reduction of paper in administration to a minimum, using electronic means instead
  • Become more economical in the design process and further reduce the quantity of material

Material innovations

  • Replace filling materials in upholstered furniture with material produced using modern moulding technology
  • Use recycled metal only
  • Replace adhesive tape for packaging with alternatives made of paper
  • Manufacture small parts from bioplastic
  • Find alternative adhesives for wood
Certificates of manufactures and suppliers

High-quality material –
from the outset

In our product development, every design is accomplished with minimum use of materials. In the interest of material recycling we not only think about the input material for the furniture, but also about how it is manufactured, transported and packaged. By constantly analysing all process and production levels for an object, in continuous exchange and innovative planning with the production partners, we can think and act in an ecological manner.

Seals and certificates make it easier for us and our customers to evaluate the ecological quality of a product. ZEITRAUM places value on transparency. At the same time, we know that a seal is not only a guarantee for quality. That is why we continuously test, analyse and revise the quality of our raw materials, in order to remain true to our claims.

MaterialCertificates of manufacturers and suppliers

European solid wood – Ash, Oak, European walnut

American solid wood – Walnut, Cherry > AHEC

Derived timber product

Oils

Lacquer & stain

Glue

Linoleum from Forbo

Ceramic

Fabrics from Kvadrat

Fabrics from Rohi

Leather from Elmo

Leather from Reinhardt

Cushioning material

Mattresses

Slatted base system

Lampshade coverings

Cable socket & plug

Metal

Metal fittings from Blum

Moulded fleece

Cardboard packaging

Certificates
Engagement

Tree by Tree

The global destruction of our forests continues unabated. We are losing countless habitats and sensitive ecosystems in the process. It endangers not only many animal and plant species but also our livelihood.

Our interconnectedness with nature heightens our sense of responsibility and its long term effects. As a producer of solid wood furniture, our values are rooted in the respect we have towards our natural environment. In order to protect it and contribute to global reforestation as well as the maintenance of our forests, we support the environmental organisation OroVerde.

What is OroVerde?

OroVerde means “Green Gold” in Spanish and refers to the tropical rain forests that span the globe at the latitude of the equator like a living ribbon of green. OroVerde has been actively supporting the protection of this exceptional treasure for over 30 years – the foundation develops, finances, and tests innovative projects aimed at protecting tropical forests in Asia, Central and South America. OroVerde’s support combines the protection of the tropical rain forests with development aid, and it is precisely this area of engagement by the foundation that is very successful since poverty is one of the biggest contributors to the destruction of the forests.

Together with the local population, OroVerde is reforesting the rain forest, setting up protected areas and developing alternative sources of income that spare the trees. OroVerde is also active in Europe: environmental awareness campaigns in schools and consumer information create a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness between consumer behavior and the rain forest. OroVerde has been recognized for its accountability – it was one of the first environmental organizations in Germany to be awarded the DZI badge for charitable donations in 2015 and every year since.  We support the work of OroVerde and are actively engaged in protecting the precious tropical rain forest.

Learn more about the reforestation projects of OroVerde