Responsibility is actions. Responsibility is reflected throughout the life cycle of our products: material selection, design, production and final product.
Isku’s continuous improvement in environmental management is built on the foundation of complying with environmental legislation and regulations, along with the wishes and expectations of customers and other stakeholders.
At Isku, taking the environment into consideration is a matter of course for all Isku employees. The reduction of the environmental effects of operations and products is monitored as part of the monitoring of business development. Efforts are being made to reduce the amount of waste generated and airborne emissions released. The aim is to operate in the most energy-efficient way possible. Environmental communications are utilised to steer the choices of customers and partners towards more environmentally-friendly options. At Isku, environmental issues are discussed openly within the company and with suppliers. All employees are aware of the environmental impacts of their work and make every economically feasible effort to devise work methods that conserve the environment and resources.
Product development takes into account all environmental effects of a product from the raw material phase to final disposal. The goal is to continuously improve the environment-friendliness of the raw materials used in the manufacture of our products. The long lifespan of the products saves natural resources and reduces the amount of waste.
Isku has also made long-term efforts to develop waste management. All waste containers used in Isku’s production processes feature RFID identifiers. They can be used to accurately monitor generated waste volumes according to each collection point and waste type. Staff members are provided with systematic training on waste sorting. By paying attention to the environmental friendliness of materials and monitoring and reducing the use of chemicals, the amount of hazardous waste created can be minimised.
In Isku’s production operations, environmentally-hazardous waste, such as solvent, paint and lacquer waste, is primarily generated by the surface treatment departments. The safety structures, instructions and cleaning equipment of Isku’s hazardous waste storage facilities are compliant with legal regulations. A statutory record of the inventory is also maintained at hazardous waste storage facilities. Responsible persons have been appointed for each of these facilities, and the entire staff have been trained to handle chemicals and hazardous waste appropriately.
Over 97% of waste generated at Isku factories can be recycled as material or energy. Mixed waste that ends up at a landfill amounts to less than half a percent (0.35%) of the annual waste volume (year 2012).
Environmental effects of the materials used by Isku
Isku has imposed strict environmental requirements regarding materials on its suppliers. We continuously work to ensure the environment-friendliness and healthiness of all materials used in our products. Our aim is to continuously improve the environmental friendliness of the raw materials used in our products, and ensure that these materials can be recycled at the end of their life span.
Origin of wood materials and PEFC certificate
The wood materials used in the products manufactured by Isku come from forests managed according to the principles of sustainable development. No protected wood species are used in the products. Isku employs the certified tracking system for wood origin, PEFC (Chain of Custody).
The wood-based boards used in furniture manufactured by Isku (chipboard, MDF and HDF board, plywood and hardboard) meet the limit values set for formaldehyde (e.g. E1 classification), specified according to standard EN-120 or EN 717-1. Melamine and laminate coated boards belong to construction material emission class M1, which indicates a low level of interior air emissions (e.g. formaldehyde, VOC, ammonia, odours).
Surface treatment agents
The surface treatment portion of Isku’s product utilises 100% UV lacquers and water-based stains, lacquers and paints. As regards heavy metals, the pigments used in the stains meet the requirements in section 3 of the Toy Standard EN 71. All surface materials treated with water-based and solvent-free lacquers meet the requirements of construction material emission class M1, which indicates a low level of interior air emissions (e.g. formaldehyde, VOC, ammonia, odours). Powder paints are used in the painting of metal parts, which ensures that solvent emissions are not created in production.
The glues used in the assembly of Isku furniture meet the European Commission’s recommendations for green public procurement (GPP). The glues contain less than 10% by weight of volatile organic compounds.
Isku employs strict environmental and health requirements with regard to textiles used in furniture intended for public spaces. The amount of free or partially hydrolysed formaldehyde in the finished textiles of our upholstery fabrics may not exceed 300 mg/kg (specified according to standard EN ISO 14184). In addition to this, phthalates that are detrimental to reproduction, such as the softeners DEHP; DBP and BBP, may not be intentionally added to the fabrics. Furthermore, our upholstery fabrics do not contain halogenated flame retardants or azocolourants, which may generate carcinogenic acrylamines or colours that have been classified as carcinogenic. We use fire-safe fabrics.
Foam rubber and plastics
CFC, HCFC, HFC or methylene chloride, which are considered greenhouse gases that destroy the ozone layer, have not been used as blowing agents in the foam rubber included in products manufactured by Isku. Our products contain PVC plastic only in certain rare cases where its use is justified based on the requirements placed on the component. PVC plastic cannot be disposed of as energy waste due to the chlorine it contains. The plastic parts of our products do not include phthalates that are detrimental to reproduction, such as the softeners DEHP; DBP and BBP.
All plastic parts over 50 g in weight carry the plastic recycling symbol in accordance with standard ISO 11469 or equivalent provisions. This is to ensure that the products are recycled as efficiently as possible at the end of their life span.
In terms of metals, the products primarily include steel and aluminium, which can be naturally recyclable. According to information provide to Isku by the foundries, the steel pipes contain 25–40% of recycled material depending on the thickness of the pipe. The recycling percentage of aluminium is much higher.
For chroming purposes, we utilise the more environmentally-friendly, trivalent chromium plating process.
Isku’s financial responsibility refers to proper financial management and efficient use of resources as well as producing financial gain to the various interest groups. The foundation for the management of financial responsibility is formed by the ethical principles of the Group, risk management, and the practices and principles of procurement.
In June 2011, Isku initiated a development programme that aims for operational efficiency and improved competitiveness. The organisational structure of the company has been streamlined. We focused on serving our customers as a unified company. The development programme has also entailed other operational reformations and development projects.
The starting points of Isku’s HR management are the company values and responsible operating methods. HR management are guided by the HR strategy and HR plan. The HR strategy draws the guidelines for staff development and related goals. The company has also drawn up an equality plan as part of the annual HR plan. The equality plan has been reviewed together with staff representatives.
Occupational health and safety
The basis for Isku’s safety management policy is the continuous development and improvement of occupational health and safety in support of result and development goals. The company has an occupational safety unit, which coordinates the management of occupational safety. Isku employs an internal safety system, the Isku TTM (Työterveys- ja turvallisuusmalli, Occupational health and safety model). Isku’s early support operating model is important in supporting the development goals set for occupational well-being.
Human rights and society
At Isku, the basis for managing issues related to human rights and society is formed by the Isku Code of Conduct and the procurement principles. The Isku Code of Conduct is incorporated into every procurement contract made with partners. The aim is to develop and maintain a supplier network that is always ready to actively promote ethically sustainable development. Isku undertakes to observe all acts and decrees related to its operations in all countries where the operations take place. Isku supports and encourages its partners towards responsible operations. Isku also requires its suppliers to observe local legislation in all of their activities.
As an employer, Isku acknowledges the basic workers’ rights laid down by the International Labour Organisation: freedom of association, freedom of organisation, right to employment contract negotiations, prohibition of forced labour, and equal opportunities and treatment for workers. Isku’s Code of Conduct also includes a clause through which the company undertakes to observe the principles of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Global Compact. In addition to this, the Code of Conduct addresses issues, such as equality, fair treatment, working conditions, honesty, fair competition, conflicts of interest and environmental responsibility.
According to Isku’s principles the products must be safe for the users and fulfil all quality and other promises provided by Isku. Isku is responsible to its customers for ensuring that all products meet the requirements of Finnish and EU legislation. Isku wants to maintain an extensive network of outlets in its native country, in order to support local communities as an employer and service provider. Adherence to competitive rules is highly important to Isku.