In this interview, AZoBuild talks to Jan Terje Nielsen, Head of Marketing at Kebony AS about Kebony's Sustainably Grown Wood - Adapted and Developed to meet Tropical Hardwood Standards.
Kebony AS was founded in 1997, what were the key aims of the company at that time and how have they shaped the products and services you offer today?
The aim of the company was to revolutionise the way people view wood by offering a sustainable, environmentally friendly alternative to tropical hardwood.
‘Kebonization’ is the term used to describe Kebony’s unique process of adapting sustainable wood into more durable, harder and stable products – could you give us some more detail on the process and how it improves the properties of the raw material?
The Kebonization process alters the cell structure of non-durable softwoods through the injection of a bio based liquid and heat. This results in the polymer being permanently grafted into the cell wall improving is density by up to 35%.
What are the main benefits of the Kebony range of products for the consumer?
In addition to the environmental credentials Kebony offers improved durability, stability and increased life-cycle of the product.
The trade and demand for Tropical Hardwoods puts increasing strain on already depleted resources, have you seen an increase in demand for your products and how has this changed over time?
We have seen an increased awareness of sustainable alternatives through architects specification and increasingly from the consumer.
There are other methods of impregnating wood to improve the physical properties of the material, how does the Kebony method compare?
Kebony alters the cell structure permanently, traditional chemical treatments using heavy metal based products leach out into the environment over time.
Can you highlight some recent projects that you worked on and why the Kebony product was used over its competitors and the more traditional natural hardwoods?
Clients often state the cost savings of our maintenance free products as the final decision maker. Treatment costs make alternatives significantly more expensive over the life cycle. Public sector clients often state environmental reasons.
The environmentally friendly aspects of Kebony have recently been recognised by the Rushlight Awards. Could you give us a little more information about the award, what it means to Kebony and why your products were picked for such a prestigious honour?
The Rushlight awards bring together the top organisations at the forefront of developing new clean technologies and innovations. Kebony won the Responsible Products or Service Award which is awarded to the product or service which has achieved the most impressive reduction in its environmental impact.
This award is the latest in an impressive string of recent award wins secured by Kebony. These include the Best Business Award for Best Innovation in 2012, nomination as a fastest growing clean technology company in the 2012 Cleantech Connect Awards and acknowledgement as one of the world’s most promising cleantech companies in the Guardian Global Cleantech 100 in 2010 and 2011.
Lastly, what is next for Kebony? Do you have any plans for future products and services that you might like to feature here?
Our next project will be the delivery of KREOD as the press and information centre at Ecobuild. We are also optimistic about the effect of the new EU legislation coming into force in March – which will mean that all imported wood has to be certified.
On a more general level Kebony will continue its campaign to develop environmentally sound wood solutions that are aesthetically pleasing and long lasting.
About Jan Terje Nielsen
Jan Terje Nielsen - Head of Marketing at Kebony. Sales and Marketing Director Minera Norge AS, Director of Marketing Vital Forsikring ASA/DnB, Marketing Manager Norske Skog Flooring and Project Manager for EURO RSCG.
Diploma in Marketing and Communication from IFM (Now BI/Norwegian School of Management), specialised in Brand Management at NHH (Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration).