PEFC feels at home in Malaysia
28 January 2020 Furniture
Sustainable manufacturing and responsible sourcing are at the centre of Malaysian firm One-Tech, that recently became the first manufacturer in Malaysia producing PEFC-certified homeware under its DAPO brand.
Founded in 1993, One-Tech has been strongly advocating ‘green manufacturing’ and sustainable design since 2013, in a desire to be a more responsible producer. It has future ambitions to make Malaysia the South-East Asian hub for sustainable timber products. One-Tech obtained Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) chain of custody certification in April 2018 and have adopted four goals in an effort to be become a world-class green lifestyle provider, putting design, durability, sustainability and community/industry engagement to the front of its activity.
DAPO offers a unique selection of sleek customised kitchenware, from chopping boards to coasters, serving trays and menu boards plus an array of products for kitchens and dining. One of its top selling products is the stylish phone holder made from PEFC-certified Balau.
The DAPO range carries the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) and PEFC labels and is helping raise the profile of both the MTCS and PEFC in national and ASEAN markets. In September 2019, One-Tech won the MTCC Sustainability Award for Product Innovation and Diversification.
Harith Ridzuan, Director and CEO is committed to producing eco-friendly wood products using sustainable timber and recycled materials, saying: “We have created a sustainable homegrown Malaysian brand that we want to grow internationally. About 10-15% of the wood we use is PEFC-certified. In general in Malaysia, if people want to buy something green, they don’t know where to go, so it’s not that the public don’t want sustainably sourced products, it’s that they are not widely available. We are changing that.”
One-Tech is also dedicated to developing the next generation of skilled woodworkers and green advocates by giving young students a grounding in furniture manufacture through a series of learning modules. “Students are an important part of the workforce and a big help, adds Harith. “We expose them to green practices and hopefully they take that knowledge with them for the future. Our internal culture is about influencing, creating awareness and best practice surrounding sustainability. We are also trying to use rainwater harvesting, go paperless, reduce our plastic packaging and only use natural coatings.”
The One-Tech factory adopts lean manufacturing processes to reduce waste and maximise efficiency and is one of Malaysia’s Top 10 Lean SMEs, with material wastage less than 5%. The company also produces a wide range of furniture for schools and offices from a range of sustainable materials including recycled wood, locally-grown bamboo, bio-composites and Kenaf – a fibre similar to hemp or jute.
Under the company’s ‘Green Hammer’ initiative, One-Tech engages with grass-roots audiences and industry to highlight the importance of moving towards a greener lifestyle in both consumption and design.