BCFA Member and Europe’s leading flexible foam solutions provider, The Vita Group, has won two prominent awards at the world leading furniture trade fair Interzum in recognition of its sustainable foam innovations.
Based in Middleton, Manchester, Vita has developed a range of foams that utilise fossil fuel alternatives and recycled post-consumer mattresses to reduce the environmental impact of bedding and furniture.
The two products that won awards at this year’s Interzum event were:
- Orbis™, the latest addition to Vita’s sustainable foam collection, was recognised for its advanced, environmentally friendly properties and received the ‘Best of the Best’ Interzum Award. This foam is created out of a partnership with Dow that will see 200,000 mattresses a year recycled into material for brand new bedding and furniture as part of the RENUVA™ Mattress Recycling Program.
- The VitaRest Origin pillow, incorporates castor oil to help achieve a better night’s sleep and is made using bio-polyols, won the prestigious ‘High Product Quality’ award at Interzum 2021.
Vita has a long heritage of exploring sustainable options and in 2000 became the first in Europe to manufacture flexible foams using sustainably sourced polyols. Today it has a collection of sustainable PU foams that includes: Origin™, made using plant-based bio polyols; Nemus™, which is created using polyols derived from captured CO2; and Orbis™, a new flexible PU foam solution made from RENUVA™ polyols, which are sourced from recycled post-consumer foam mattresses.
The RENUVA™ Mattress Recycling Program aims to recycle up to 200,000 mattresses a year in France. The recycled PU Foam mattresses are processed through Dow’s in-house technology which converts the foam back into a base raw material that Vita can use in its production of brand new foam for many applications including mattresses, pillows and furniture. The foams produced from this ‘re-polyol’ will have similar properties to products based on ‘virgin’ raw materials and will be used in all of the same applications.
This innovation stems from The Vita Group’s commitment to reducing the environmental impact of its products while ensuring its customers receive high-quality materials. A central aspect of this is driving circularity by reducing the amount of waste created during the production process, transitioning to more sustainable raw materials, increasing recycling and decreasing the use of fossil fuels.
Today, 100% of Vita’s trim foam is recycled and rebonded into a range of products such as carpet underlay, foam shock pads for sports pitches, landscaping and children’s playgrounds. These are engineered by controlling the chemistry and process to produce products that have superior performance. Currently over 30,000T of its own and its customer’s process trim goes back into Vita’s recycling processes to be turned into new products. All of these products reduce raw material purchases and stop tens of thousands of tons of material going to landfill every year.
Ian Robb, CEO at The Vita Group, said: “We pursue sustainable alternatives and these efforts have been recognised in two leading industry awards – the ‘Best of the Best’ for Orbis foam and ‘High Product Quality’ for VitaRest Origin pillow. We’ve set some tough sustainability targets for the next several decades as part of our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy. These targets include all plants being able to manufacture sustainable polyols by 2030, sending zero manufacturing waste to landfill by 2040 and achieving demanding carbon neutrality benchmarks by 2050.”