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ECO-FRIENDLY, ECO-SUSTAINABLE, BIO: WHAT DO THESE TERMS MEAN?

Respect for the environment is a value today understood as transversal to every industry and considered very important for consumers. Companies are therefore required to operate accordingly: processes, operations and production systems must now more than ever take into account the impact on the planet and its resources, help to reduce pollution of soil, water and atmosphere and, consequently, to limit global warming. However, it may not be easy to navigate between the various terms now in common use - environmentally friendly, eco-sustainable, biological, sustainable, natural, organic, just to name a few - that can sometimes seem very similar despite having extremely different meanings. Understanding these differences is essential to make conscious and targeted purchases, especially with a view to using products that are truly virtuous and environmentally friendly. Let’s see what the main terminologies related to environmental sustainability and related to the world of windows, the sector in which CAIFRAME operates. The word "eco-compatibility", when referring to materials, examines both characteristics related to the direct impact on the ecosystem at the time of disposal and indirect effects related to processes and manufacturing. In short, any material of natural origin can be considered environmentally friendly as long as it is properly managed and not transformed into a polluting product. Therefore, the concept of eco-compatibility is not only linked to the choice of a natural material, but rather an overall approach that runs through the entire relationship between man and the environment, starting from the phase of collection, and then continue during a production phase that controls the phenomena induced on ecosystems (such as pollution), continue with the use/consumption and, finally, with the disposal of the waste product. Environmentally friendly materials should always ensure the required performance while minimising the impact on human health and the environment throughout their entire life cycle. Another term linked to the production of windows and now considered very important is "eco-sustainability". When referring to materials and processes, it refers to their low ecological imprint and thus to a polluting production that can easily be tolerated by the environment. At the same time, an eco-sustainable material is one that, during the supply, production, consumption and disposal phases, does not cause excessive alterations of the environmental system (and can rebalance them in a natural or artificial way) or the unbridled consumption of non-renewable resources. An eco-friendly material is also recyclable and/or reusable and, therefore, does not automatically turn into a waste at the end of its use. Almost always eco-friendly materials are also biocompatible (a typical example is wood); however, a biocompatible material may not be environmentally sustainable if its supply irreversibly alters natural resources or ecosystems. The word "bio" in production and construction refers instead to materials that have a biological origin, such as biomass, and that do not include components of fossil origin. Their main advantage is to be obtained from renewable sources. Similarly, a bio material can be considered such because it is safe for use by living beings and the environment.

WHAT ARE FSC AND PEFC CERTIFICATIONS

Now that we have clarified the main terms related to environmental sustainability in the production field, it is important to explain why certifications such as FSC and PEFC will play an increasingly crucial role in the purchase decisions of products and construction materials. Both of these acronyms refer to international standards aimed at companies operating in the field of wood and derivatives, and have the aim of spreading the principles of proper forest management. More specifically, the acronym FSC means Forest Stewardship Council and refers to a non-profit NGO that has coined an internationally recognized forest certification system. The purpose of the latter is for the traceability and identification of products containing wood from forests managed correctly and responsibly according to strict environmental, social and economic standards. The acronym PEFC instead means Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification scheme and refers to a certification of sustainable forest management based on compliance with the criteria and indicators defined in the Ministerial Conferences for the Protection of Forests in Europe (Helsinki 1993, Lisbon 1998). The PEFC standard therefore allows designers and end consumers to choose products that are actually coming from responsibly managed forests, offering an important tool to contribute to a better conservation of these important resources.

CAIFRAME WOODEN WINDOWS: ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY PRODUCTION

CAIFRAME has always paid the utmost attention to the sustainability of its solutions and, for this reason, chooses to create environmentally friendly wooden, wooden-aluminium and wooden-bronze windows, moving along three main lines:
  • Use of FSC and PEFC certified wood: it means that the raw materials used for the production of CAIFRAME windows come from forests controlled and certified according to these two prestigious standards, that is managed in a sustainable and responsible way (reforestation, land conservation and protection of local populations).
  • Eco-compatibility and eco-sustainability: replacing the trees felled with younger ones that, growing, will transform carbon dioxide faster than mature specimens would do.
  • Use of water-based paints and bio cycles: this means that CAIFRAME wooden, wooden-aluminium and wooden-bronze windows are painted with products and completely water-based cycle, and with organic paints that use non-toxic and ecological raw materials such as water and organic resins. This significantly reduces CO2 emissions during the production phase of our products.
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