The mafi I CARE program is a synopsis of our big and small steps towards a better, sustainable world.
We are continuously working on processes, products and innovations that improve our ecological balance sheet and ideally also that of our customers.
The project runs through all of our corporate divisions and should also be established in our global sales network in the medium term.
I CARE is not a greenwashing marketing tool, but rather a transparent development around the mafi brand. For us it is less about perfection than about a continuous improvement process and the visualization of sustainable, honest business.
Every step in the right direction counts. We firmly believe that issues such as overcoming the climate crisis and the social change that is inevitably associated with it can be achieved not through bans, but through positive examples and visions. As in any successful change process, you need achievable, small milestones and a positive drive.
The mafi I CARE program stands for individual people as well as companies who care about sustainability rather than neglecting them. We want to bring these concerns to the fore and, in the best case, make them reproducible.
Because WE CARE is even better than I CARE.
Below is an initial overview of our efforts and challenges:
The wood for our products comes from European, sustainable forestry. The middle layer of softwood such as spruce comes largely from the surrounding area. In addition to our own sawmill, we can fall back on many surrounding sawmills and thus keep the transport routes short. In addition, we are constantly working on establishing attractive alternatives to oak, relying on ash and softwood, among other things.
mafi does not use any tropical wood regardless of its origin. Rather, with our Vulcano technology, we offer an alternative to tropical wood based on local wood species. With the special heating process, the basic color of the wood is darkened, resulting in light brown to almost black shades - completely without chemicals, only with wind, water and heat.
Perhaps the most important technology at mafi is based on our air-dried, oiled surface of our wooden floors. We do not use layer-forming substances such as lacquer or wax, but instead rely on vegetable linseed oil.
In addition, we let the oil dry in the air and do not use any accelerators. Our customers save the environment every year a 3m high beach volleyball field full of plastic paint, and thus a lot of hazardous waste. (260,000 m² x 150 g / m² = 39 tons of paint). The necessary grinding and resealing every 5-10 years is not taken into account.
Waste is one of the biggest problems for our environment, an even bigger one when it comes to problematic substances like paint & plastic. We completely do without plastic and rely on a non-layer-forming surface. As a result, we not only avoid paint, but also make the wooden floor easy to repair. Even after many years, our wooden floor can be cleaned and, if necessary, reconditioned - without sanding or losing its value.
If the mafi floor has had its day, it goes back into the cycle and becomes part of nature again - without posing a burden on the environment.
Even if you work with a renewable raw material such as wood, this is not a carte blanche. mafi processes the entire tree trunk and makes maximum use of the wood resource. This also includes giving a sense to more optically sophisticated parts of the wood, such as those with cracks. We have developed our Koral collection from this, where the cracks are highlighted in color, even according to customer requirements. The demand generated in this way also creates sales for these parts of the tree and thus improves the utilization of the wood.
In addition to our wooden floors, mafi produces natural wood pellets from wood waste. Inevitably, when processing wood, there are sections or chips that can no longer be used. In order to give this "waste" a meaning again, we produce pellets from it and sell it within our region. We have set up a modern pellet factory at the Steindorf location, where we produce both bagged and loose pellets.
In general, we pay attention to our waste and, above all, how it can be avoided. As part of the Interseroh certification, we compare our performance in this area year after year. Thanks to the natural oil surface and the formaldehyde-free white glue, our wooden floors are not hazardous waste but can be returned to the natural cycle.
On 6 roofs of our production halls there are now PV systems with an output of 180kWp at both locations. The residual heat from the drying and thermal chambers is used to heat the company. Our wooden floors are a de facto CO2 negative product, which means that more CO2 is saved for this product than is emitted.
As part of the e-mobility promotion by the federal, state and local authorities in Austria, we have largely converted our company car fleet to electric drive and operate our own electric charging station with electricity from our own generation. We understand that electromobility is not free from environmental impacts, but we still see it as an improvement over internal combustion engines.
As part of our felt collection, we offer placemats, storage boxes and slippers. The felt comes from Tyrol, Austria from mountain sheep and is also the material of choice for polishing our wooden floors.
Giveaways and advertising materials are another important component of our I Care program. On the one hand, we want to use processes that are as gentle as possible during production and, on the other hand, we want to use materials that preserve or protect the environment. With our soulbottles and drinking straws made of glass, we also set standards for sustainable and really sensible alternatives to plastic.
Independently checked, our certifications show different areas of the company and how these affect the environment. Be it FSC for sustainable wood, the Declare Label for avoiding harmful ingredients or the Living Product Challenge, which assesses the entire company and its ecological footprint.
The largest position in terms of water consumption in our company is the toilets. This is extraordinary for a manufacturing company. We generally get our water from a local water cooperative. The use of rainwater, for example for our toilet facilities, is one of our future projects.
Thanks to our symmetrical 3-layer structure and the associated stability, new, environmentally friendly installation options open up. A not insignificant part of the mafi natural wood floors are laid floating, i.e. only connected by tongue and groove and not glued to the sub-floor. This saves you and the environment the parquet adhesive.
Another advantage? The wooden floor can easily be removed and used again elsewhere, as our customer Fratelli Villa has already successfully implemented.
We see clear potential for improvement for the future in the areas of packaging and transport. Despite our symmetrical, stable board structure, storing wooden floors is a challenge when it comes to moisture. In this area, we are currently still using plastic for packaging - a fact that we would like to change as soon as possible.
The subject of transport is even more difficult. We act as an international brand and supply customers all over the world. Sea and air freight are also part of the truth here. Here, too, we try to find better solutions and also operate our own small fleet of trucks in order to implement the best possible and therefore gentle delivery routes, at least in the immediate vicinity.