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Vestre Introduces the World’s First Furniture Made from Fossil-Free Steel

20 June 2023

Vestre, a Norwegian urban furniture manufacturer, has recently made a significant stride towards sustainability by launching the world’s first furniture made from fossil-free steel. This groundbreaking achievement was accomplished in collaboration with designer Emma Olbers, who sought to create a piece of furniture that not only eliminated carbon emissions but also exemplified durability and aesthetic appeal.

The Tellus Bench

Crafted from steel forged by Swedish steelmaker SSAB, the Tellus Bench distinguishes itself by being produced in a converted blast furnace that relies on green hydrogen instead of coal for heat, making it an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional steel production methods. Vestre’s utilization of fossil-free steel has positioned the brand as a pioneer in the furniture industry, marking an important milestone in their ongoing sustainability efforts.

The decision to focus on steel aligns with Vestre’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and achieving sustainability goals. Preliminary estimates suggest that converting their steel to fossil-free sources could reduce the company’s overall carbon footprint by approximately 60 percent.

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Designing for Minimal Carbon Footprint

To further minimize emissions, Olbers meticulously designed the bench to utilize as little material as possible without compromising its structural integrity. Although SSAB’s fossil-free steel is forged without coal, carbon emissions are still associated with other stages of the value chain, such as mining and transportation. Consequently, every gram of material used in the bench was carefully considered regarding its carbon cost.

Additionally, as an outdoor bench intended for public spaces, it had to withstand considerable wear and tear. Olbers skillfully balanced the goal of minimizing material usage while ensuring the bench maintained a robust construction. She incorporated wide armrests into the design to create an inviting aesthetic and provide ample space for individuals to rest and enjoy a cup of coffee.

Vestre’s collaboration with SSAB on developing fossil-free steel stemmed from a long-standing partnership focused on sustainability initiatives. Øyvind Bjørnstad, Vestre’s chief sustainability officer, emphasized the close dialogue between the two companies, facilitating the realization of several sustainability projects. The decision to involve Olbers in the design process was driven by her unwavering dedication to sustainable practices, which Bjørnstad described as scientific and meticulous.

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Olbers’ dedication to sustainability is exemplified in her previous work, including the Now or Never – 1kg CO2e exhibition at the Stockholm Furniture Fair. In this exhibition, she visualized the carbon emissions associated with common materials, raising awareness about the environmental impact of different manufacturing processes.

Revolutionizing Steel Production

The iron and steel industries account for approximately five percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. SSAB’s announcement in 2016 to produce steel free of fossil fuels marked a significant step towards mitigating this issue. By employing Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology (HYBRIT), SSAB successfully manufactured fossil-free steel with identical properties to traditional steel. The HYBRIT process involves burning green hydrogen instead of coal and coke, and the green hydrogen is obtained through the electrolysis of water, which emits no greenhouse gases.

SSAB has plans to convert all of its factories in Sweden, Finland, and the USA to HYBRIT and aims to phase out its other steel products by 2045. This ambitious endeavor is estimated to reduce the total CO2 emissions of Sweden by around ten percent and Finland by approximately seven percent.

advertisement


Vestre’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond the use of fossil-free steel. The company has implemented various initiatives, such as CO2 emissions product labeling and the reuse of old fair stands for new installations. Additionally, their production facility in Norway is heralded as the world’s most environmentally friendly furniture factory, incorporating Passivhaus strategies, solar panels, and geothermal wells.

With the launch of the Tellus bench made from fossil-free steel, Vestre, and Emma Olbers have demonstrated their commitment to sustainability and set a new standard for the furniture industry. This remarkable achievement showcases the potential for incorporating innovative and eco-friendly materials into everyday products, paving the way for a more sustainable future.

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Vestre Introduces the World’s First Furniture Made from Fossil-Free Steel

20 June 2023

Vestre, a Norwegian urban furniture manufacturer, has recently made a significant stride towards sustainability by launching the world’s first furniture made from fossil-free steel. This groundbreaking achievement was accomplished in collaboration with designer Emma Olbers, who sought to create a piece of furniture that not only eliminated carbon emissions but also exemplified durability and aesthetic appeal.

The Tellus Bench

Crafted from steel forged by Swedish steelmaker SSAB, the Tellus Bench distinguishes itself by being produced in a converted blast furnace that relies on green hydrogen instead of coal for heat, making it an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional steel production methods. Vestre’s utilization of fossil-free steel has positioned the brand as a pioneer in the furniture industry, marking an important milestone in their ongoing sustainability efforts.

The decision to focus on steel aligns with Vestre’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and achieving sustainability goals. Preliminary estimates suggest that converting their steel to fossil-free sources could reduce the company’s overall carbon footprint by approximately 60 percent.

advertisement


Designing for Minimal Carbon Footprint

To further minimize emissions, Olbers meticulously designed the bench to utilize as little material as possible without compromising its structural integrity. Although SSAB’s fossil-free steel is forged without coal, carbon emissions are still associated with other stages of the value chain, such as mining and transportation. Consequently, every gram of material used in the bench was carefully considered regarding its carbon cost.

Additionally, as an outdoor bench intended for public spaces, it had to withstand considerable wear and tear. Olbers skillfully balanced the goal of minimizing material usage while ensuring the bench maintained a robust construction. She incorporated wide armrests into the design to create an inviting aesthetic and provide ample space for individuals to rest and enjoy a cup of coffee.

Vestre’s collaboration with SSAB on developing fossil-free steel stemmed from a long-standing partnership focused on sustainability initiatives. Øyvind Bjørnstad, Vestre’s chief sustainability officer, emphasized the close dialogue between the two companies, facilitating the realization of several sustainability projects. The decision to involve Olbers in the design process was driven by her unwavering dedication to sustainable practices, which Bjørnstad described as scientific and meticulous.

advertisement


Olbers’ dedication to sustainability is exemplified in her previous work, including the Now or Never – 1kg CO2e exhibition at the Stockholm Furniture Fair. In this exhibition, she visualized the carbon emissions associated with common materials, raising awareness about the environmental impact of different manufacturing processes.

Revolutionizing Steel Production

The iron and steel industries account for approximately five percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. SSAB’s announcement in 2016 to produce steel free of fossil fuels marked a significant step towards mitigating this issue. By employing Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology (HYBRIT), SSAB successfully manufactured fossil-free steel with identical properties to traditional steel. The HYBRIT process involves burning green hydrogen instead of coal and coke, and the green hydrogen is obtained through the electrolysis of water, which emits no greenhouse gases.

SSAB has plans to convert all of its factories in Sweden, Finland, and the USA to HYBRIT and aims to phase out its other steel products by 2045. This ambitious endeavor is estimated to reduce the total CO2 emissions of Sweden by around ten percent and Finland by approximately seven percent.

advertisement


Vestre’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond the use of fossil-free steel. The company has implemented various initiatives, such as CO2 emissions product labeling and the reuse of old fair stands for new installations. Additionally, their production facility in Norway is heralded as the world’s most environmentally friendly furniture factory, incorporating Passivhaus strategies, solar panels, and geothermal wells.

With the launch of the Tellus bench made from fossil-free steel, Vestre, and Emma Olbers have demonstrated their commitment to sustainability and set a new standard for the furniture industry. This remarkable achievement showcases the potential for incorporating innovative and eco-friendly materials into everyday products, paving the way for a more sustainable future.

advertisement


Newsletter Sign-up

Thank you for signing up!

"*" indicates required fields

Name*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

advertisement


Latest Articles

 

Popular Posts   
Transforming Homes with Multifunctional Furniture
arrow

2024 Furniture Trends
arrow

Baby Furniture (and Items) I Never Knew I Needed
arrow

Categories   
arrow

arrow

arrow

arrow

arrow

 

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