Sustainability & the Environment

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Committed to helping New Zealanders thrive

We're helping New Zealand and our people thrive through sustainability and caring for the environment. We use low-emission materials and dispose of our waste thoughtfully. We have also supported a number of charitable organisations who make a real difference to the lives of New Zealanders, and we will continue to do so.

Materials Environmental Information

The MDF board we use for our Durostyle products is Customwood E0 MR MDF. This is specially designed medium density fibreboard (MDF) with moisture resistant (MR) properties and very low formaldehyde emission.
It is made from sustainable resources and meets the requirements for E0 product as detailed in AS/NZS 1859.2:2004 Reconstituted wood based panels Specifications. Customwood E0 MR MDF is in conformance with the Global GreenTag Scheme Standard - GreenRate Level A
The MDF board we use for Touchtex products is Customwood E1 MDF. This is standard medium density fibreboard (MDF) with moisture resistant (MR) properties and low formaldehyde emission and meets the requirements for E1 product as detailed in AS/NZS 1859.2:2004 Reconstituted wood based panels Specifications.
This MDF core uses FSC® controlled wood fibre and is Environmental Choice NZ certified. It complies with ISO 14001 and contributes to Green Star Credit: MAT-4;MAT-6 and Home Star Credit: MAT-1; MAT-2.
StyleLite is a co-extruded, semi-rigid thermoplastic polymer sheet, which is intended as a lamination material suitable for bonding to a wide variety of substrates including E Zero MDF. StyleLite consists of an ABS (acrylonitrile butadienestyrene) coloured layer, which is permanently fused with a clear ultra high gloss Acrylic (Poly Methyl Methacrylate) top layer. StyleLite polymer sheet is an inert material and does not release any emissions to the environment during manufacture or in use.
StyleLite is hygienic and does not promote bacterial growth or transmission. StyleLite offers significant environmental advantages compared with other high gloss finishes. StyleLite manufacture produces no VOCs unlike two pack spray paint, and StyleLite can be recycled. StyleLite is wholly manufactured under the EGR Environmental Management System, which has been independently accredited to ISO 14001.
The stipulated limits for formaldehyde emission potential are 1.0 mg/L for E1 and 0.5 mg/L for E0. Samples of these products are routinely submitted by suppliers to an independent NATA registered laboratory for formaldehyde emission testing in accordance with NZS4266.16 Reconstituted wood-based panels Methods of test - Method 16 - Formaldehyde emission - Desiccator method.
Green Star environmental ratings both E1 and E0 Customwood are eligible to earn points under the Indoor Environment Quality section of the Green Star Office Interiors program
Cabinetry Components
For our cabinetry components we use either E1 MDF or MR E1 Particle board. MR E1 MDF is standard medium density fibreboard (MDF) with moisture resistant (MR) properties and low formaldehyde emission and meets the requirements for E1 product as detailed in AS/NZS 1859.2:2004 Reconstituted wood based panels Specifications. MR E1 PB is standard medium density particle board (PB) with moisture resistant (MR) properties and meets the requirements for E1 product as detailed in AS/NZS 1859.1:2004 Reconstituted wood based panels Specifications.
MDF is a safe product to dispose of to landfill; however landfilling is the least preferable option to use to dispose of any unwanted product. 
The most environmentally friendly way to manage MDF waste is to firstly reduce the amount of waste produced and secondly to reuse as much waste as possible.
Do not burn MDF in a household fire, only in an industrial incinerator, furnace or boiler. MDF should be burnt at about 1000C in order to reduce emissions. Burning MDF can produce 17 GJ/tonne of energy. There are no wood preservatives such as Cresote and therefore the ash doesn't contain any hydrocarbons and has very low heavy metal content.
MDF does not contain any significant amount of heavy metals. In order to compost large pieces, they must first be cut into smaller chips. Sawdust is very suitable for composting. Because of a high carbon/nitrogen ratio in MDF (300:1 to 700:1), the chips/sawdust must be mixed with a high nitrogen material such as grass trimmings or food waste in order to speed up the composting process.
Formaldehyde information:

The dust from MDF is no more harmful than ordinary wood sawdust. When working with any dusty situation it is a good idea to minimise your exposure to it by having good extraction and/or a dust mask as lungs don't like dust.
If the MDF is sourced from New Zealand suppliers then formaldehyde emissions from a whole panel of raw board will be well below the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for within a house.
Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring substance found in all kinds of living organisms including wood. The body is quite capable of metabolizing it and it does not bioaccumulate. Formaldehyde is also produced by wood fires, cars, lawn mowers, permanent press drapes, and some other fittings. It is only at really elevated levels found in manufacturing operations that it causes stinging of the eyes and nose. These are levels 10 times or more above the WHO guidelines for within a house.
If you are still worried, paint the cut surface as this significantly reduces the already minimal emissions.