Bamboo Forest floor independently proven to be the most sustainable floor in the market
Delft University of Technology, a renowned independent research institute, has performed an update of the Life Cycle Assessment executed in 2011, following the ISO 14040 and 14044 standard, based on the latest MOSO production figures. The LCA report, which includes a full carbon footprint assessment, concludes that the assessed MOSO® products (all solid bamboo flooring, decking, panels and beams) have an improved environmental footprint and are still CO2 neutral or better (CO2 negative) over the full life cycle.
Bamboo products as net carbon sink
Pablo van der Lugt, head of sustainability & innovation at MOSO International comments: “ This report further highlights the role of bamboo as an important and very fast CO2 ‘fixator’. Not only because of the fast growth, but also because – as a result of increasing adoption of bamboo products in the market - the area of giant bamboo forests where MOSO sources from, is expanding at a high rate of 5% each year, acting as additional carbon sinks. After harvesting this CO2 remains in the material and will only be released when this material is burnt in a biomass energy plant where it can act as substitute for fossil fuels such as coal and gas, even resulting in negative CO2 emissions (‘carbon credit’).
To determine the CO2 balance of a product, two values are compared. On one hand the carbon credits during growth plus the fossil fuel substitution in the end-of-life phase; on the other hand the emissions of CO2 during production, transport and use. If the first is bigger than the latter, the CO2 balance is negative. In the case of MOSO® products, all is proven to be CO2 negative or (worst case) CO2 neutral. This conclusion is also important for green architects to achieve additional credits for leading sustainable building certification programs such as the recent LEED version 4 and BREEAM International.”
Continuous improvement in the production chain
Van der Lugt carbon footprint continues: “As a result of analysis we have made the several 2011 improvements in our production process. Besides increasing efficiency in production and transport (higher volumes produced and transported for less energy and gasoline per unit), this relates to lowering the amount of resin in our products to as little as 1% for some products and increasing the percentage of completely formaldehyde free resins complying with the most stringent E0 norm. We are even actively investigating the use of 100% biobased resins for our products...
...One of our other recent eco-innovations is the introduction of the MOSO® Bamboo Forest floor, this new flooring product is made of the original bamboo bark flattened in a very innovative and efficient process with hardly any waste and as little use of resin and energy as possible. Where the other bamboo products are already performing very well from an environmental point of view, this product is our flagship in terms of environmental performance, outperforming any other flooring product in the market, as the TU Delft report clearly points out."
Ideal alternative for tropical hardwood
Recently, bamboo has quickly gained interest in the interior decoration sector in applications such as flooring, table tops, wall covering and ceilings. Here the sustainability argument increasingly gains the interest it deserves. Van der Lugt: “As a result of several innovations bamboo is now considered more often as a serious alternative for tropical hardwood in the building industry in the form of solid beams, cladding and decking. Besides the CO2 neutrality, bamboo has some huge additional advantages over increasingly scarce tropical hardwood. Most importantly, because of the very fast growth, giant bamboo is managed as an agricultural crop: the annual harvest of the 4-5 year old culms – compared to 80 years for good quality tropical hardwood! - provides steady annual income to farmers and even stimulates the bamboo plant to reproduce stems even faster. Therefore, in contrast to tropical hardwood, there is no deforestation taking place. In contrary, because of the extensive root system bamboo is an ideal reforesting crop for rehabilitating degraded and deforested land...
...Furthermore, the fast growth does not compromise the performance; the technical characteristics of several MOSO® products even exceed the performance of tropical hardwood in terms of durability, hardness and dimensional stability. In several demanding applications such as cladding, doors and window frames industrial bamboo may even substitute carbon intensive building materials such as aluminium and PVC. We are convinced that bamboo will be one of the promising solutions in the required shift to a more sustainable, bio-based economy based on rapidly renewable resources.”