What is Green Manufacturing?
At The Green Factory, we adopt a Proactive Green System (PGS), a green holistic approach that covers each aspect of our manufacturing chain, from ethical sourcing, green design, and non-toxic coatings, to waste management, green building elements, in-house culture, and outreach initiatives.
Our commitment to be a green manufacturer means that sustainability is at the core of what we do, driving every decision we make as we move along the manufacturing chain.
In support of United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, we are advocates for Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production.
With more than 25 years of carpentry experience, we have spent the past 7 years championing for sustainable practices in the local wood industry and hope to inspire more Malaysians to be responsible makers and consumers.
Culture & Community
We want to cultivate a culture of conscious consumers and makers who, through their own curiosity, can discover how things are made, the materials used, and ultimately how a product can offer a positive impact to both the user, the makers, and the environment.
Now, more than ever, is the time for us to pay more attention to our consumption and the impact it has on our surroundings. As we continue to be more mindful, we can all do our part to lessen the harm and increase the healing of our planet.
Pride in Craftmanship
At The Green Factory, we encourage our team to have pride in what they make, giving care and attention to every item they work on, no matter how big or small.
We place great importance on quality assurance, as we believe each customer deserves to own something that has been worked on with immense care. With great precision, comes great quality, which ultimately extends to longer longevity. And that’s exactly what we hope to offer. A great product that can sustain with time.
The Green Factory is not your ordinary wood factory. Our 13,000 sqft space is an industrial playground for crafting, experimenting, perfecting, and sharing knowledge about our discoveries towards becoming a more responsible manufacturer.
Located just 15 minutes away from Kuala Lumpur’s city centre, we are nested in Ampang - the home town of The Green Factory’s founder Harith Ridzuan.
Step into our compound and you'll be welcomed by our diverse collection of local botanics that decorate our factory courtyard. And in keeping with the green theme, we feature eco elements to our structure, such as light harvesting (to reduce electricity consumption) and water harvesting (reuse of rain water). Our open-concept structure also allows for fresh air to circulate the compound.
To organise our space utilisation, the factory adopts a Lean system and 5S (Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain). This is done to improve the movement, flexibility, and efficiency of our team as they work across their production zones as well as across multiple projects. Factors taken into account include strategic placement of machinery, ample storage for tools & products, as well as workstations that provide a good source of natural light. We also adopt Kaizen practices, a concept that focuses on continuous improvement.
Light & Water Harvesting
Harvesting natural resources for our workspaces & production zones allow us to reduce our daily electricity emission and use of water.
The factory's special courtyard garden provides a natural touch to our industrial compound.
Fresh air circulates our production zones, allowing our team to enjoy the fresh breeze when working hard on those hot days.
Our machines are strategically located in accordance with our manufacturing flow, from rough milling, fine milling to finishing and packaging.
Storage organisation is an essential part of our work flow, helping us to improve our production efficiency.
The Green Factory practises LEAN manufacturing, 5S, and Kaizen. Having these systems in place helps us to work more efficiently and be better organised.
Since the early dawn of time, wood has played an important role in our civilizations. Humans have used timber to produce fuel, buildings, tools, furniture, paper, and even weapons. But in more recent times, the discovery of other materials such as plastic, glass, cement, bronze and steel have overshadowed timber, and sometimes not for the better.
Today, due to global concerns on climate change and the increasing need for renewable materials, we are noticing a renewed interest in wood. Many are looking to timber as a more favourable resource since wood is the only carbon-negative material and can be harvested sustainably (when done correctly). As the demand continues to rise, it is vital for us to understand how this natural resource can be ethically harvested or sourced in Malaysia as well as around the world.
At The Green Factory, we want to shed some light on what is considered 'sustainable wood' and have categorised our materials based on 3 main types of sourcing:
1. Certified Wood
We are a PEFC-certified manufacturer (an internationally-recognised certification for forest management), which means we're able to source for wood that comes from sustainably managed forests.
Currently, close to 30% of Malaysia's forests are certified under the PEFC forest certification programme but much of our local certified timber are commonly exported. The Green Factory aims to make locally-sourced certified wood products more accessible to Malaysians as well as regional, and global consumers.
Working closely with the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC), an independent organisation endorsed by PEFC, we're working hard to increase awareness and activities that support sustainable forest management as well as sustainable consumption in our country.
2. Upcycled wood
According to a local study, almost 70% of construction waste in Malaysia consists of wood waste. As a lot of industrialisation continues to happen across Malaysia, waste such as shipping pallets, lumbers, crates and other wood debris can be repurposed using innovative methods. Even timber from old wooden houses that are taken down can be salvaged for further use.
Nevertheless, due to the unknown history and source of these types of wood, proper consideration and processes are required in order for us to gain maximum benefit when upcycling wood materials.
3. Plantation wood
A good alternative to forest-harvested timber is wood gathered from plantation areas. An example of plantation wood is Malaysia’s popular rubberwood, a by-product of the rubber industry.
Another example of plantation wood used at our factory is Acacia wood, which we currently source from Sarawak.
As we continue to source for more sustainable options, plantation wood has the potential to be a steady source of material provided there are proper management and harvesting procedures implemented for these materials.
Green design refers to the concept of designing a product in a way that is energy efficient, flexible in purpose, made to last long-term, and creates minimal impact to the environment.
While aesthetics plays a significant role in what is considered a good design, at The Green Factory we also consider other processes when developing a product, such as energy consumption when making a product, managing the volume of wood residue created at the production floor, safer choices for coating/finishing, and product longevity according to the choice of material.
In our effort to become a zero-waste wood manufacturer, waste management is a vital component to The Green Factory's production cycle.
Since 2017, we have successfully reduced our factory-generated wood waste from 30% to 5% and have done so by sorting our wood residue into categories to create value from collected offcuts, wood shavings, and non-conforming products.
Rather than throwing these materials away, where they will most likely end up in crowded landfills, we're constantly experimenting with new innovative ways to give our waste a second life. Here are some examples:
Saw dust & Wood shavings
Saw dust & wood shavings work brilliantly for various purposes including animal bedding, mulch for gardening, composting, or fillers for wood products. Check out this video to discover more ways to re-use saw dust.
Sometimes, the products we work on do not meet the required specifications or quality standards set by our internal team. Instead of discarding our 'rejected' items, however, we commit to finding solutions that can make these items purposeful.
On our official Green Factory uniform, we carry the motto 'saving the world, one piece at a time' to empower our team and remind each other of the common goal that we share - to show respect to the environment we live in and the natural resources we extract from it.
Each decision we make at our factory aims to coincide with this motto, guiding us to continuously find better, more sustainable ways to operate, design products and offer knowledge to different communities, so that we, as a society, can come together to create a much larger impact.
The Green Factory aims to be the pulse of our industry and be a platform for diversity to flourish. Therefore, we are committed to providing more opportunities for women and youth to explore this industry and be a part of our journey through our Teaching Factory as well as future Cottage Industry programmes.
Our Green Hammer initiative focuses on public outreach programmes that give us the opportunity to engage and create dialogues with our community about sustainable living. Our efforts also extend to public talks, round table discussions with industry stakeholders, media appearances, and digital knowledge sharing.
We have welcomed thousands of visitors, each receiving the grand tour of our humble factory where we demonstrates the various steps taken in operating a 'green' factory.
Once or twice a year, we also open our factory gates to the public to host our annual Factory Open Day, where we welcome families, friends, and general wood enthusiasts to tour our factory, meet the team behind our cause, and get to know the range of products we develop with sustainability in mind. To inspire young minds, we also ensure that our factory compound is child-friendly, and provide activities for the little ones to interact with our wood materials in a fun and creative way.
Green Manufacturing FAQ
Green manufacturing focuses on the making each process of the manufacturing chain for efficient and sustainable.
We adopt various green features within our factory compound including from ethical sourcing, green design, non-toxic coatings, waste management, green building elements, in-house culture, and outreach initiatives that focus on sustainable living and consumption.
We are specialists in interior outfits, furniture, homeware, decor items, and corporate gifts.
Yes, we do! If you would like to take a tour around our factory, submit your enquiry on our Contact page to schedule your visit. We don't provide tours on the spot, so do book in advance.
Due to the current pandemic, we have currently halted workshop programmes until further notice. Do stay tuned for future announcements.
Wood that is harvested from sustainably managed forests (Such as those managed under the PEFC or FSC certification) are considered certified wood. The Green Factory is a Chain of Custody holder under the PEFC certification, whereby we are able to obtain certified wood from certified suppliers and continue this chain of movement to ensure the end user obtains a product that has adhered to strict SOPs. The purpose of this chain is to ensure that materials used to make a finished product can be easily traced back to the forest from which the material was harvested.
We currently categorise our waste into 3 segments: sawdust and wood shavings, offcuts and residue, and non-compliant products. With each segment, we continue to find ways to create value by developing new products with unique functionalities.