LHT Holdings uses recycled waste wood instead of natural resources to manufacture wooden pallets. The company also utilises a biomass-fired cogeneration system to generate electricity from waste wood; thus reducing its carbon footprint by almost half. Read their #ClimateActionSG story here!
LHT Holdings Limited started out as a sawmill in the 1970s, but it has since grown into one of the leading home-grown manufacturers of wooden pallets and cases for the packing of industrial products.
They are a local pioneer in the manufacturer of Technical Wood, which is made of recycled waste wood materials using modern technology and serves as an environmentally friendly alternative to timber.
LHT’s journey to greening their business
To enhance its competitiveness, the Group sought to reduce wastage and ventured into the manufacture and sale of recycled wood products. In 1997, the Company entered into a purchase contract with a German corporation and purchased a production line at a total cost of approximately $13.0 million in order to develop the Group’s wood waste recycling capability. This plant, which was commissioned in March 1999, enabled the Company to convert wood waste to a new product called ‘‘Technical Wood’.
Technical wood pallets provides numerous advantages over timber ones. They are (i) high density, (ii) have low moisture content, (iii) resistant to pests and (iv) have higher consistency of its final products compared with timber products as timber comes with natural inconsistencies and defects. The products are therefore ideal for furniture, building material and heavy-duty industrial usage.
The Production Process
Waste wood from the Company’s production processes, discarded pallets and other waste wood from the Group’s customers as well as other companies is collected and sorted visually. Wood which is of useable condition is segregated and sold as re-conditioned grade wood while the balance is used for the production of Technical Wood.
Advantages of Technical Wood
In addition to the inherent advantages Technical Wood enjoys over timber, the production of Technical Wood offers several business advantages.
Firstly, as the Company utilises waste wood materials from its manufacture of pallets and cases, its wastage and disposal costs may be reduced.
Secondly, the Company also procures waste wood materials from its customers apart from third party waste wood suppliers, thereby solving its customers’ waste wood disposal problem and providing yet another value-added service.
Moreover, the utilisation of Technical Wood will reduce the Group’s dependence on the supply of natural timber.
In 2002, International Standard Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) required all wood pallets to be heat-treated before export/shipping. With the new regulation, LHT took the opportunity to redesign its pallets to one that is wholly made of processed wood pallets.
This new production line, known as “Innovative Processed Product Conversion (IPPC)” produced pallets and crates that are pest-free and exempted from heat-treatment processed, and were partially or wholly made of wood waste material. Sales of IPPC products were initially slow over the first few years, but gradually grew.
By achieving “zero waste manufacturing”, we are able to use our manufacturing waste wood like wood chips, cut-off timber, wood shaving and saw dust for cogeneration purposes. As an NEA licensed waste wood collection centre, we are also able to convert unwanted wood waste into green products like fire-rated doors, flooring stripes, IPPC pallets and crates. As natural wood has many defects like worm holes, warping, split, shake, fungal attack etc, as compared to IPPC pallets and crates, most of our customers had switched to IPPC.
Deforestation is one major cause to climate change. Recycling is one of the many efforts that reflects our commitment toward mitigation climate change and global warming.
Embarking on sustainability journey is always challenging, costly and ROIs can be risky in business sense. The objective is to reduce our carbon footprint. The low-carbon shop floor machineries, equipment and processes could come at high price tags which may make your final product costly and uncompetitive. But, if we could recycle waste and convert it into some raw materials in our processes, we can be a game changer in our sustainability journey.
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