Jeld-Wen opens door to sustainable products
By Andy Giegerich, Business Journal Staff Writer
Business Journal Staff Writer
Jeld-Wen has decided to wait out the soft bond market, which could delay a deal with Onex Corp.
While many manufacturers have adopted sustainability tenets within the last 10 years, the practice is old hat to one of Oregon’s most venerable companies.
"We've used recycled wood fiber on our interior and garage doors since the early 1970s," said Elizabeth Souders, Jeld-Wen Inc.'s sustainability certification manager. "Doing things that are positive for the environment isn't new for us."
Yet Klamath Falls-based Jeld-Wen hasn't rested on its laurels.
• The $2 billion-plus company has developed "no added formaldehyde" doors and windows that feature none of the strongly odored resins. Formaldehyde is a common element that occurs in the manufacturing of composite wood doors when the materials are heated. Jeld-Wen determined a way to prevent that, making its products chemically safer and more pleasant on the nose.
• Jeld-Wen also developed AuraLast, a proprietary treatment process. Unlike the industry-standard dip treatment, which protects the wood surface only, the AuraLast treatment penetrates 100 percent of the wood. The water-based process decreases the release of volatile organic compounds by 96 percent.
"It makes the products durable, which is good for the environment because you don’t have to replace the treated wood so often with something new," Souders said.
• The company further pioneered the creation and manufacturing of Juniper doors. Juniper, which is common in Southern Oregon, grows abundantly while sapping rangeland of moisture.
The plant is blamed for harming productivity, biodiversity, water quantity and quality. Yet when used functionally, it’s a pretty good wood strain.
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