VESTRE Deep Decarbonisation Report 2023
Status on progress
Vestre aims to become recognized as the world’s most sustainable furniture company. Although future reports will rest on a double materiality assessment, the focus will be on concrete actions. The last materiality assessment (2020) uncovered topics which remain relevant for Vestre: climate footprint, quality, and inclusive design. This report will present progress and obstacles relating to these topics, as well as the decarbonization plan outlined as a roadmap to reaching our 2030 goals.
Absolute emissions have gone up by 8 percent, on account of solid volume growth in 2022. We expect this percentage to increase in the short-term, before decreasing rapidly in line with our decarbonization plan. The plan is largely based on technological advances and business model changes.
As a growing company, one of the ways we measure our climate footprint is through carbon intensity. Carbon intensity is the product of total carbon emissions divided by total revenue, and this figure decreased by 14 percent in the reporting year. This is due to both to price increases and changes in the value chain. Among the highlights are a switch to
low-carbon zinc in July 2022, which reduced the footprint of that input factor by 60 percent.
As Vestre has insourced a lot of processes and taken control of over 90 percent of the value chain, emissions in scopes 1 and 2 have gone up. This is a good thing, as these scopes cover matters over which we have more control and are therefore easier to do something about.
As materials are responsible for the majority of Vestre’s impact, the number one goal must be to keep them in use for as long as possible. Vestre’s long-term position has been to create furniture that lasts for decades. The market currently incentivizes companies to make lower quality goods which break easily to keep growing top-line revenue. Vestre believes this needs to be shifted to a lifecycle perspective. Where companies are incentivized to create products of higher quality, which can stand the test of time, and eventually
come back into the material loop. At Vestre, this is called Vision Zero. This approach means that care, repair, and taking back for a second life is offered for all standard products.
Vestre’s vision is to create social meeting places where people can meet regardless of their social, economic or cultural background. Cities are increasingly densely populated and require spaces where we can relax and take a break from the daily hustle. These spaces enable meetings that allow people to build tolerance and understanding, as well as meeting old friends for some quality time together— hygge, as we call it here in Norway.
Value chain transparency is paramount to ensure that all aspects of the business are performing according to standards. Read more about this in Vestre’s 2022 report for Ethical
Trade Norway, focusing on workers’ rights and anti-corruption in the value chain. Norway’s Transparency Act—a framework in which all companies must subject themselves and their value chains to requests for information from the public—is a pioneering piece of legislation. Keynotes for good Vestre keeps delivering keynotes on the company philosophy, sustainability, and inclusive design. In 2022, we reached a record 3,000 people in close to 50 lectures. The lectures collected a total of NOK 40,000, a significant portion of which was donated to Gyaw Gyaw, one of our 10% for the goals partners.
10% for the goals: 2022 marked another year in which Vestre donated to partners that support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since the program’s inception in 2018, Vestre has donated close to NOK 9 million to these initiatives, see detailed overview in the appendix
On this occasion Bjørn Fjellstad, VESTRE CEO wrote:
“In 2022, Vestre’s Norway based factory The Plus went into operation, and we experienced the challenges of producing at industrial scale processes we had previously outsourced. The Plus is probably the world’s most environmentally friendly furniture factory, and will soon be awarded the BREEAM Outstanding certification. This new factory gives Vestre control over 90 percent of the value chain. It also results in emission increases in scopes 1 and 2. After a steep learning curve, products started flowing out of the factory towards the end of the year.
Vestre’s stance on carbon offsets shifted, and we doubled down on decarbonization with Value Chain Interventions (VCI). This means that Vestre is fully aligned with the Science
Based Target initiative’s protocol for companies aiming to reach net zero. Instead of purchasing offsets of questionable quality, Vestre uses those funds to invest in the decarbonization of its own value chain, and in high-quality removals.
Glad to have you aboard this journey!”
Full Report available https://vestre.com/uploads/files/Vestre-impact-2022-1.pdf