TEDx Talk how bamboo can save the world
MOSO’s head of sustainability Pablo van der Lugt has presented a TED...
Bamboo is one of the fastest growing, renewable resources in the world. It absorbs CO2 in large quantities. With its properties comparable to hardwood, Moso bamboo is the ideal alternative to increasingly scarce tropical hardwoods. Below we will explain why MOSO® is the most sustainable choice in every phase of its life cycle.
The giant bamboo species Moso belongs to the fastest growing plants in the world. It reaches its final length of up to 20 meters within a couple of months (with a speed of up to 1 meter a day during the growing season!). It takes the stem around 4-5 years to mature and acquire its excellent hardwood like characteristics (hardness, strength, dimensional stability). This stands in stark contrast with hardwoods. These take over 50 years to mature, are increasingly scarce and often more expensive.
One bamboo plant consists of several poles. New shoots will grow from the mother plant every year. Typically, 20-25% of the poles in a sustainable bamboo forest or plantation can be harvested each year. Incredibly, this does not decrease the number of poles per hectare or 100 square acres! Unlike trees, the bamboo plant does not die after harvesting, eliminating deforestation. In fact, by harvesting the mature plants, the yield and quality of the plantation actually increase.
In addition to sustainable sourcing, MOSO® takes great care during the production process to ensure not only the quality of the product but the safety and well-being of the people involved. Naturally, we comply with the most stringent norms and procedures regarding quality (ISO 9001) and health and safety (FSC®, ISO 14001).
A healthy indoor climate is essential. In Europe and the United States, strict rules and norms apply to indoor emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). In Europe the emission of formaldehyde is regulated in the EN717-1 norm. The maximum tolerated level is E1, and all MOSO® products comply. Several MOSO® products even comply with the strictest level E0 where no formaldehyde emission is detectable. In fact, all MOSO® Bamboo floors are rated A and A+ in France with respect to emissions of VOCs. This is the best classification possible!
Durability is an important yet often overlooked aspect of sustainability. Simply put, the longer the product lasts, the longer it will take before it needs replacing, thus lowering the environmental impact. Durability greatly depends on the quality and characteristics (hardness, density, stability, etc.) of the product. When it comes to durability, MOSO® products are unsurpassed, resulting in great sustainability.
Undoubtedly, you’ll enjoy your MOSO® product for many, many years. Eventually, though, there will come a time or need for change or replacement. You may worry over how and where to discard the old materials. MOSO® has great news! Bamboo is easily recycled. It can be chipped to make particle board or burned in a biomass energy plant, creating green electricity and further reducing the use of fossil fuels.
MOSO® is the only bamboo producer worldwide that has thoroughly assessed the exact environmental footprint of its products following leading international standards for environmental reporting. Official Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies (ISO 14040/44) administered by Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have confirmed that all solid MOSO® Bamboo products are CO2 neutral or better over their full life cycle from start to finish. Additionally, the latest LCA results were presented by MOSO® with the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) at the 2015 COP 21 Climate Conference in Paris.
Furthermore, in 2016 MOSO® released their first Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) following EN 15804 for its product range. These EPDs were updated in 2022. As a result of its transparency in environmental reporting and the low environmental impact, MOSO® Bamboo products also contribute to a higher score in the leading sustainable building certification systems LEED and BREEAM, for more information see certifications.
One of the key benefits of bamboo is the rapid renewability, with stems growing to maturity within 5 years. To put this into practice and understand this benefit even more, MOSO® gives a 25 years warranty on Bamboo X-treme® for outdoor applications. During the warranty period, the bamboo has already grown back 5 times. It is clear that MOSO®’s industrial bamboo products, made from upto 98%* of sustainably sourced bamboo material from the fastest growing plant on earth, is therefore a natural fit with the biocycle of the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) concept. MOSO® is actively working in collaboration with leading glue manufacturers to develop a bio-based adhesive to bind the bamboo strips.
*depending on the product.
Would you like to receive more information about the sustainability of MOSO® Bamboo Products?
Please feel free to contact us!
Dr. ir. Pablo van der Lugt
Sustainability Manager MOSO International B.V., the Netherlands