How committed are we to sustainable development here at Oakywood? Our environmental initiatives
Building a sustainable brand is not a simple task, but it is one worth making the effort for. With the Earth Day fast approaching, we are reminded that the decisions we make with the good of the planet in mind, are the best investment in the future. At Oakywood, ecological initiatives are deeply ingrained in our day-to-day operations. Let us tell you a little bit more about them.
Using responsibly sourced materials
One of the key indicators of our products’ quality – besides their well thought out, unique design and remarkable precision – is the fact that they are made using natural materials. Oakywood’s staple ingredient, FSC certified wood, is sourced only from sustainable and responsible suppliers. Rest assured that buying one of our ergonomic desks, a laptop stand, or a wireless charger helps you equip your workspace in an environmentally friendly way.
Some of our accessories, such as desk mats or laptop sleeves, are made from biodegradable merino wool felt. The felt we use has a 100 OEKO-TEX® certificate and is ethically sourced, meaning it doesn’t subject the sheep to a painful procedure called mulesing.
Both our desk mats and some of the wooden accessories have a cork layer at their base, making them more stable and preventing surface scratches. The eco-friendly cork we use in our products is obtained by removing the outer layer of Portuguese oak’s bark, in a way that guarantees the tree’s full regeneration.
Here at Oakywood we walk our talk by letting go of accessories that fail to satisfy our sustainability requirements, despite their commercial success – for example, the smartphone cases we stopped producing last year.
Planting trees, protecting forests
Using renewable resources – such as wood – is of immense importance when making eco-friendly products. A way to truly participate in the sustainability efforts is becoming directly involved in ‘renewing’ those resources. Since 2018, we have been working with One Tree Planted, an organization seeking to reforest the planet and simultaneously improve the lives of local communities. We donate a portion of profits from each product to planting trees; 1 product sold = 1 tree. One Tree Planted lets us choose the region we wish to support: each time we discuss it within our team and try to pick places in most desperate need for help, for example areas affected by natural disasters. Here are a few initiatives Oakywood has supported:
Florida 2020 – Etoniah Creek State Forest
- Restoring longleaf pine
- Improving habitats for native species, including the endangered Gopher Tortoises
- Protecting freshwater sources
- CO2 sequestration – preventing excess carbon dioxide emissions
California 2021 – forest restoration after Camp Fire
- Planting 867 500 trees across 1400 hectares (almost 3500 acres)
- Restoring biodiversity on fire-damaged land
- Improving water quality
- Controlling soil erosion
- Restoring indigenous habitats
Uganda 2022 – Albertine Rift
- Supporting long-term reforestation and establishing a forest management model
- Amplifying sustainable development
- Protecting endemic species
- Seeking to balance forest protection with the socio-economic needs of the local communities
Romania 2022 – forest restoration in Transylvania
- Reforesting areas affected by hurricanes
- Restoring indigenous species, especially spruces, beeches, and firs
- Increasing biodiversity
- Controlling soil erosion
- Involving local communities, young people, and students, organizing educational and recreational events related to planting forests
We also believe in taking care of our environment here in Poland, so in 2021 we partnered with the Las na Zawsze (forever forest) foundation. For every item sold we plant 1 m2 of forest complete with trees, undergrowth, and bushes. Las na Zawsze aims to maintain biodiversity and ecological balance in their newly planted forests which are regularly monitored.
A huge perk of working with Las na Zawsze is being able to personally participate in reforesting. In November 2022, a delegation from our OakyTeam went to Tarłowo to help with tree planting – we hope to make adventures like this our new tradition!
Green energy in the workshop
Air pollution caused by our dependence on fossil fuels is, according to the WHO, one of the biggest modern threats to the climate and to human health – it contributes to, for example, heart attacks and heart disease, lung cancer, as well as acute and chronic respiratory diseases. Green energy allows us to reduce pollution, which, in turn, improves the quality of life and overall health of billions of people – both those alive now and for the future generations. Using renewable energy contributes to minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, consequently slowing global warming.
Green energy is, therefore, one of the key elements of sustainable development – this is why we had to bring it to Oakywood. In early 2023 we got a new energy supplier who guarantees that a 100% of our Ciche workshop’s needs will be covered with renewable energy. We are proud to say we just leveled up our sustainable production game ;).
Reducing carbon footprint
Another important step we took in ensuring our brand grows more sustainably is introducing a climate neutral delivery option. Together with DHL Express and UPS we permanently put in place a ‘carbon neutral’ delivery method to gradually shrink our carbon footprint. By choosing this option at the checkout you can be sure that the items you’ve ordered are delivered via low- or zero-emission vehicles, while the parcel service uses renewable energy, reduces paper consumption, and participates in the closed-loop box reuse system.
The above-mentioned initiatives are by no means an exhaustive list of our eco-endeavors. As Earth Day approaches, we evaluate our efforts and think of new ways we can help our planet – how to make our production even more sustainable and how to raise the awareness of environmental responsibility in all aspects of our work.