Tell us about Woodsafe!
“Woodsafe Timber Protection is the link between a client and the wood industry where the company performs an impregnation process on different types of wood, which means that the wood’s natural fire properties are raised to the highest possible to achieve for wood and plywood. This means that when a multi-storey building is built with the desire to use wood as a facade cladding, it would not have been possible if it were not for our refining process. The same applies to wooden panels indoors in e.g. evacuation routes, concert halls, sports halls and more. Ordinary wood could not have been used in such applications, but it is now possible. The Woodsafe factory is located outside Västerås in Sweden, which has been completely adapted, developed and made efficient for fire impregnation. The production is CO2 neutral where our total need for electricity is produced from our own solar energy system and our heat is produced from wood pellets which are also CO2 neutral. Woodsafe was founded by Thomas Bengtsson, who owns 100% of the company 31 years ago and is today considered by the industry to be the leading manufacturer of fire-impregnated wood in Europe with the whole of Europe as its market.”
Who is your customer?
“Our customer is a selected partner with cutting-edge expertise, e.g. a planer with a fingertip feel for the best possible wood product and ditto production. Another customer may be a sawmill that focuses more on projects and special products, not bulk. Our customers’ customers, on the other hand, are wholesalers, e.g. Optimera and Beijer, but also construction companies such as NCC, Skanska, Veidekke, Peab and Serneke. Woodsafe also has industrial customers who build or deliver modules under their own auspices, e.g. Moelven Byggmodul and Derome Plusshus.”
Sustainability is an important issue for you at Woodsafe. How do you work to ensure that your production chain is sustainable?
“Our attitude to sustainability is a priority at all levels. Woodsafe operates the entire factory with electricity produced from our own solar energy system, which is Västmanland’s largest single roof-mounted system. We heat the entire factory with locally produced wood pellets, a residual product from sawmills with certified sustainable forest management. All waste is sorted and recycled as far as possible. All trucks are electrically powered. All chemical products have been mapped and no “toxic” chemicals are used. Our production chain fulfills the chain for traceability through our in-house developed WQS quality system, where each package is registered in all stages. In total, over 100 items or procedures are quality assured in the chain. Our suppliers are audited and hold all the required permits. Woodsafe is also ISO 9001: 2015 certified by RISE and works actively with the UN global goals, Agenda 2030. Woodsafe has a CSR agenda implanted in our ISO 9001: 2015 quality and management system.”
Do you have any tips for other companies that also want to include sustainability in their company?
“Sustainability is something all companies must take responsibility for. Being sustainable costs money, but it’s worth it. Invest in sustainable measures, large and small. It’s better with a small investment, than no investment at all.”
Do you have a dream project you would like to be involved in building?
“Great question, but the fact is that every project for us is a dream project. We have so many projects that I actually don’t know if I have one dream project. As an example, we have delivered to the world’s tallest wooden house (Mjöstornet), we have delivered to the world’s largest roof on Gardermoen’s PirNord, we deliver to Europe’s largest inner city block in wood – Hagastaden in Stockholm, we are the official sponsor and have delivered all wood that can be impregnated to Sweden’s Pavilion in World Expo Dubai 2020 (moved to 2021 due to C-19). So if I was to wish for something more, it would be to build with Swedish wood in space, that would be something! ”
And what about the future?
“Woodsafe has never lost sales or volume in 31 years, we have increased our business every year and last year when the whole world was upside down was our best year ever. So, the future looks very good. Our strategic goal is to establish ourselves in more countries when we reach maximum capacity and when the demand for our services is hundreds of miles from Sweden. Today, we have inquiries and great interest from players in Greece, Poland, Chile, Belgium, Italy, France, Great Britain and more. Already today, we deliver to most countries outside our home market Sweden, Norway, Denmark, such as Iceland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and more.”
How do you work to keep your motivation up during the ongoing pandemic?
“The company is generous to the staff through generous salary increases despite times of crisis, we offer free weekly lunches to avoid boring lunch boxes and at the same time we support local restaurants that are having a hard time in these times. We are a close-knit team that takes responsibility for each other and took C-19 very seriously early on (February 2020) and introduced restrictions, which is greatly appreciated by our staff and we have not been affected by C-19 at all. At the end of 2020, the company offered “Christmas table catering” with a Christmas gift that was greatly appreciated. Woodsafe’s generous attitude towards staff and the fact that we dare to invest despite C-19 and a close-knit team help keep the spirits up.”
The picture shows the architect Gert Wingårdh’s project Kilströmskaj in Karlskrona. The facade consists of cedar shavings that have been colored in different shades.