Circularity at the core of our Unilin story
Unilin Group's origin lies in what we now call circular economy. Our company started in the 1960s as a manufacturer of flax shive boards using flax straw, a waste product from the flax industry. Circularity has been in our DNA right from the start. We have continued to incorporate these circular principles into our processes throughout our growth, and in our One Home initiative for sustainability, Unilin wants to create a sustainable future on three different levels: Planet Home, Your Home and Our Home.
Planet Home: For our planet
Unilin Group focuses on circular technologies, renewable energy sources and recycled materials.
Your Home: For our customers
Our goal is to create healthy, comfortable and sustainable living envirmonments.
Our Home: For our employees
Unilin Group wants to create a positive, motivating and safe environment for its 8000 employees worldwide.
Unilin Technologies, the IP division of the Unilin Group, wants to emphasize the importance of using circular, sustainable technologies and takes its responsibility towards a greener world. We strive to share the knowledge from Unilin Group's innovations and the innovations of our partners with other parties so that we can create a tidal wave of sustainable solutions in the industry.
Licensable sustainable technologies
Unilin revolutionized the flooring industry with the introduction of the Uniclic locking technology. This groundbreaking innovation – along with further innovations on locking technologies – not only facilitated the installation of a floor enormously, but it also enhanced the sustainable properties of flooring.
When installing a floor with a locking system there is no need to use any glue or nails, which already has a great impact on the ecological footprint of your flooring.
This is certainly true for all our basic and fold down locking systems, but also for grout imitation technology Unigrout. This technology offers the look and feel of a ceramic tile, and the grout imitation groove eliminates the need for grouting, which enables the tiles to be easily installed, quickly dismantled and reused.
Uniclic for furniture
Creating a sustainable society means we have to focus on prolonging the life cycle of products on the one hand and on limiting the use of non-renewable materials on the other hand. Our click connection contributes to these aspects in an innovative way.
Thanks to our Uniclic for Furniture system, you can de-install and re-install your furniture very easily without any damage. This ensures the easy reuse of your furniture that will facilitate the transition from a single-use product economy to a reuse product economy, maximizing the lifespan of your furniture.
And since the click connection is milled into the material/wood itself, you don't need any non-renewable raw materials such as plastic connections, metal screws or nails, glues,... This not only keeps the ecological footprint of your furniture to a minimum, but also maximizes the recycling possibilities at its end-of-life.
Protecting your floors
PVC-free core materials
Next to the mainstream resilient flooring category, Unilin Technologies also has PVC-free core technologies in its patent portfolio.
The P-SPC core technology is a new type of PVC free alternative to SPC. PET-SPC, or P-SPC as we call it, is made from recycled materials, such as recycled PET-bottle and hence is by itself perfectly recyclable, offering immense opportunities for the circular challenges in our industries. With an increased focus on sustainability, environmentally friendly components and recyclability P-SPC will contribute to a more durable resilient flooring market.
Unilin Technologies partnered up with the UK-based company IOBAC to manage and commercialize their magnetic flooring technology. Magnetic flooring offers a sustainable flooring from different angles.
First of all, the technologies that are developed to create a magnetic floor contain recycled components.
- The award-winning Ezy-Install Underlay is made from recycled rubber tires
- A high grab resin coating is manufactured from plant-based renewable castor oil
- Metal additives are made from recycled scrap iron
- The MagTabs can be re-used and recycled after use
Secondly, flooring that has been installed with the magnetic flooring solution becomes enormously easy to reuse or recycle. Thanks to this solution, there is no residue of either the tile or the floor after deinstallation. The metal floor remains uncontaminated and ready for installation of new tiles straight away, without the need for any preparation. Flooring that has been deinstalled, is perfectly safe to be reused or to be more easily recycled.
For the ceramics market, we developed an eco solvent-based ceramic ink together with our partner SICER (a world-renowned ink manufacturer).
It is a licensable technology for the production of new, innovative eco-solvent inks that significantly reduce harmful emissions and odor while retaining the same printing performance as the best traditional inks currently available.
Ecolor Ink is more environmentally friendly than other inks as it contains odorless components that significantly reduce harmful emissions: 60% less FORMALDEHYDE, 50% less ALDEHYDE, 50% less VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and 20% less COT (total organic carbon).
Digital printing direct to board
Digital printing offers a sustainable alternative for decor printing as it eliminates the need for gravure cylinders. The startup time is reduced and as the products can be made on demand, it eliminates waste of massproduction to cut costs.
The Digitouch technology package allows for printing directly onto the board, further eliminating the need of film or printed paper. The package also includes water-based inks that have a very low ink consumption.