An ongoing journey - mafi and its Living Product Challenge

"There is a myriad of certification structures in the building products industry. Certificates can be a confusing labyrinth of acronyms and requirements.

mafi has been doing the most common sense and lawful protection of resources and producing a completely natural product using as maximum efficiency as a business model already for 101 years. We believe that it is of utmost importance to use a certificate to proof of our legitimate claims of conservation, efficiency and responsibility but also highlight the difference between the competition.

The Living Product Challenge (LPC) through the ILFI is the best and most stringent certification platform. This confirms that we use power from renewable sources, our stewardship of the natural resource wood, using red list free ingredients only, reducing and recycling to a zero waste policy, providing our employees a happy workplace and great benefits. 

We are using this process to create a platform that architects can use for total project transparency in interior products industry wide

mafi wood planks are produced with a net negative impact of -8,09 kg COeq. This is very important for all Net Zero Buildings in the future. We believe in a better Living Future."

Florian Fillafer, CEO mafi America

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The Living Product Challenge (LPC), which is run by the International Living Future Institute, is the most advanced sustainability certification for products today.

The program re-imagines the design and construction of products to function as elegantly and efficiently as anything found in the natural world.

Living Products are informed by biomimicry and biophilia: made completely from non-toxic inputs, manufactured by processes powered only by renewable energy across their lifecycle and within the water balance of the places they are made.

The thought of mafi taking the Living Product Challenge (LPC) certification was a logical step. Mafi as a company has operated in a responsible way for over 101 years. The LPC does require a great deal of effort including gathering information and research into our suppliers as well as prove our dedication to the environment. The steps we needed to take to fulfill the stringent requirements put forth by ILFI were extremely challenging.

These are the 11 imperatives we have completed:

  • Responsible Place
  • Living economy sourcing
  • Water Footprint
  • Energy Footprint
  • Red List
  • Human Thriving
  • Responsible Industry
  • Regenerative Materials
  • Ethical Supply Chain
  • Equitable Investment
  • Inspiration and Education.

The Living Product Challenge - Imperatives

This is a short breakdown of what is required for compliance to these imperatives. For further investigation into the specifics, feel free to look at the LPC website for all of the information related to the imperative requirements.

The summary below includes a little of what we have done to comply. Our case study can be found at the mafi Living Product Challenge page.


Responsible place

Responsible place confirms you haven’t built your factory in a natural area, which could disrupt a crucial local ecology or a place that has value as a undisturbed place.

Mafi has cooperated with the environment by building around the streams and fields and also built a pond and encouraged wildlife in and around the factory.

Living Economy Sourcing

Living Economy Sourcing means mafi must purchase most, if not all of its raw material from local sources.

At least 75% of mafi materials are coming from within the required distance measurements. 

Additionally, we buy from families that we have had a sources for generations right near the factory.

Water Footprint

Water Footprint is a measurement to ensure that we are not using more water than is necessary.

Mafi actually recycles some the water we use in our greenhouses, which grow food on the factory grounds.

Energy Footprint

Energy Footprint is the measurement of the use of power and its source, especially what cannot be generated on site. We buy our energy from renewable sources only and we also generate some of our own power through a solar array on the facility roof.

In addition to our production of pressed pellets from our waste wood that we use to heat the offices and the drying kilns.

Red List

Red List is a disclosure of our product ingredients. Our Declare Red List Free label covers all of our products. This means that if anyone wants to know what is used to make our products, down to 100 part per million (ppm), this information can be viewed on the declare label website.

Because mafi wood products only are composed of Wood, simple white glue and plant-derived natural oil, it is easy to see how organic and toxin free our products are.

Human Thriving

Human Thriving imperative requires that you are allowing the employees free access to nature and a healthy human-positive work environment.

Our factory has natural day lighting in every building and includes as many views to the outside world. These views includes the beautiful rural Austrian countryside, a farm only 30 meters away and the original stream that used to power the sawmill during the first generation in the early 1900’s.

We have a scheduled nature engagement exercise every Tuesday and everyone volunteers to participate.

Responsible Industry

Responsible Industry is important because it requires that we buy our raw materials from traceable, responsible suppliers.

Our products are FSC® and PEFC certified which means we can tell where the trees come from and whether they are part of a sustainable forest now and forever.

Regenerative Materials

Regenerative Materials are materials that have an earth friendly end-of-life.  Not only is mafi wood product compostable after it has been used, it can be used as a food preparation material e.g. cutting board.

Mafi products have no negative health ingredients and are derived from the earth in every respect.

Ethical Supply Chain

Ethical Supply Chain imperative requires a disclosure of all our suppliers of raw materials and they are not from critical social risks areas. This means that the employees at our supplier facilities are treated fairly and ethically.

Also that our supply is not being produced in an area with disadvantaged peoples or forced labor.

Mafi has a long history with multiple family owned companies and through this process we are assured that these suppliers are following fairness and equality standards in writing.

Equitable Investment

Equitable Investment requires an applicant to open up the finances of the company to ensure fair pay standards as well as demonstrate equitable charitable donations to the local community and we are giving back to the community at large.

Perhaps this was the easiest to comply for mafi as our company is dependant upon the employees and the community to support us.

There is nothing more worthy of support than our own employees and community.

Inspiration and Education

Inspiration and Education is how we tell the story of how important the transparency of the company is to anyone who wants to see or hear from mafi.

This requires that an open house be performed for anyone to see all parts of the production at least every year. 

We are required use signs and our media platforms to indicate the steps we have taken for integration into the program and explain what we have done for a better future through the requirements within the Living Product Challenge. 





mafi is official transformative sponsor of the ILFI

For this, and many other reasons, we have decided to support the Institute with a donation as transformative sponsors.

There is an obviously clear advantage to taking care of the resource, the earth and the people who helps us make our products but also the ILFI. It is the best platform for supporting the health of the human occupants in their Living Buildings.

mafi is proud to stand behind and support the organization that wants to put positive and restorative products into the industry.

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