The Earth at heart project

Committed to a sustainable future

At Kiefer Von Zoe we are proud of all our achievements and especially of the efforts made to reach the highest standards of sustainability and eco-compatibility. After many years of dedicated work and improvement our much beloved project has finally become a reality: taking care of the environment through our creations. Hence the name of this project: The Earth at Heart.
At Kiefer Von Zoe, we believe sustainability is an integral part of everything we do. The foundation of Kiefer Von Zoe’s values lies in the ability to create a competitive advantage through innovation, new ways of thinking and the development of new ideas. When these new ideas and innovations can contribute to reduce our environmental footprint… then everyone wins.
Our employees and local communities are a key part of our business and environment. Ensuring the health and safety of these individuals and groups for the future is imperative to us. Organizations of all sizes need to create sustainable business practices and manage resources more effectively. By balancing sustainable practices and business success, Kiefer Von Zoe strives to ensure that we and our customers continue to minimize our impact on the world around us by using our products. Our sustainability initiatives are deeply rooted within our corporate strategy, in our company values, and practiced both internally, by our employees, and externally, through the products and services we supply to our customers.

The tangible proof of all this is KPB and its evolution: NPU Green.

KPB is a cardboard made of 100% pure cellulose, thus highly efficient and resistant and, above all, 100% eco-friendly and 100% biodegradable, with no added adhesives, dyes and chemical products of any kind, unlike the cardboards normally used in footwear.

NPU Green is our top product, our pride and joy: NPU stands, in fact, for Non Plus Ultra. Entirely made of 100% pure cellulose, just like the other cardboard, not only is NPU Green totally recyclable, biodegradable, eco-friendly and sustainable but, as the hardest and best-performing cardboard currently on the market, it makes even the most extreme productions possible. The cellulose used for its production comes from FSC and PEFC certified suppliers and its biodegradability is certified by a study carried out by an important European university.

These certifications are important because:

FSC promotes an environmentally friendly, socially useful and economically sustainable forest management all around the world. A responsible forest management means protecting the natural environment, bringing real benefits to populations, local communities and workers, and ensuring economic efficiency as well.
Respectful of the environment: an environment-friendly forest management must ensure that the harvesting of wood and non-wood forest products maintains biodiversity, productivity and ecological processes.
Socially useful: a socially useful forest management helps both the local population and the society to take advantage of long-term benefits.
Economically sustainable: an economically sustainable forest management means that forest operations are structured and managed in such a way as to be sufficiently profitable, without generating financial gain to the detriment of the forest resources, the ecosystem, or the communities concerned.
FSC ensures that forests in the world satisfy the social, ecological and economic needs of the present generation without compromising those of future generations.

PEFC guarantees that the wood raw material for paper and wood products comes from sustainably managed forests. Certified forests are regularly checked by independent inspectors. The PEFC forest management is based on:

  • protecting the forest as a habitat for the flora and fauna;
  • maintaining the protective function of forests as far as water, soil and climate are concerned;
  • protecting the biodiversity of forest ecosystems;
  • verifying the origin of wood raw materials;
  • ensuring that the cutting of plants respects the natural growth cycle of the forest;
  • providing that areas subject to cutting are wooded again or, preferably, regenerated and naturally renewed;
  • protecting the workers’ rights and health;
  • encouraging short supply chains;
  • ensuring the rights of indigenous peoples and forest owners.

Biodegradability

A study carried out by an important European university analysing NPU Green in the two thicknesses mostly used in footwear (1mm and 3mm) proves that this product is 100% biodegradable. This study was conducted using several techniques such as visual and mechanical analysis, electron microscopy, infra-red spectroscopy and thermogravimetry. As highlighted by the images captured during the analysis phase (here is an example) and the graphs shown in the university report, NPU Green fully degrades within 2-3 months, in case of 1mm thickness, and 3-6 months, in case of 3mm thickness.

Chemical control

Not only these materials are eco-friendly, they are also completely safe for both the user and the consumer. In fact, accurate chemical analyses are carried out on each production batch to search for potentially dangerous substances identified by the regulations. These analyses are performed by specialized and accredited laboratories to certify that all products meet the most restrictive regulations and have values far below the required limits. This means the goods delivered to our customers have always been checked before they use them.
Here follow some of the substances checked:

  • azo dyes;
  • heavy metals;
  • organostannic compounds;
  • phthalathes;
  • dimethyl fumarate (DMFu);
  • chlorinated phenols;
  • cadmium;
  • formaldehyde;
  • perfluorooctysulphonic acid (PFOS);
  • perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA);
  • alkylphenols.

Sustainable plants

The sustainability of the production is also very important for us. For years now, Kiefer Von Zoe has been committed to reducing its impact on the surrounding environment, as well as at its suppliers’.
A few examples:

  • the CO2 emissions of the KPB production plant have been reduced by 18% over the past 10 years, for a total of more than 3,000 tons of CO2 per year;
  • we encourage our staff to travel by train and promote bike-to-work days, reducing the CO2 emissions of employees by 5 tons per year;
  • by receiving raw materials directly via rail from our European cellulose suppliers, we cut CO2 emissions by up to 50% compared to road transportation.

The past is history, the present is past, the future is now!

Transformers 4