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Environmental Sustainability Aspect of MDF

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF), a material made of wood fibres mixed with resin, is famously known as one of the best alternative materials to real wood for furniture and flooring. It is used and appreciated by many not only for its durable quality and affordable price but also for the characteristics it possesses.

The sustainable characteristics of MDF that make it an ideal material are as follows:

  • First, MDF consumes less energy in the manufacturing process compared to the production of other materials, resulting in a smaller carbon footprint. Varied energy sources used throughout the production process help minimize carbon footprints. Most MDF producers don’t rely solely on non-renewable energy sources, such as fossil fuels, in the manufacturing process. They also utilize energy sources like natural gas to heat the thermal fluid used to press the mixture of wood fibres, resin, and glue.

  • Second, MDF's recyclability is evident not only in the initial production process — demonstrated by how MDF is created by utilizing and reusing wood fibre remnants left behind from other wood-related manufacturing processes — but also at the end of its useful life. Since furniture made from MDF is no longer desired or has exceeded its lifespan of 15–25 years, it can easily disintegrate due to being made from wood shavings glued together. This means that most parts of MDF are composed of biodegradable materials, leaving no toxic traces when properly disposed of.

  • Third, beyond its biodegradability, recent studies have explored optimal recycling methods for MDF. Research has shown that through pyrolysis conversion — a thermal treatment that heats various types of waste (typically plastics) at high temperatures to convert them into energy — used MDF has the potential to be recycled to produce biofuel. This presents several viable options for the final disposal of MDF.

Therefore, it is crucial to know where your MDF suppliers source their materials from and how they ensure their business practices follow government regulations regarding environmental conservation. Before choosing where we sourced our MDF, we needed to consider and select the best company that made MDF available. There are wide-ranging companies that produce MDF nowadays, but do all of them hold the same level of concern for the environment regarding their production activities?

Example of an MDF producer company that has implemented eco-conscious business practices

Sumatera Prima Fibreboard is one of the few MDF producer companies that, for a long time, has been making it clear that their business activities go hand in hand with efforts to maintain a clean and sustainable operating environment. They have gone the extra mile, not only to meet the domestic environmental standards set by Indonesia's government but also to exceed them and even achieve international standards. This has been demonstrated through their recent receipt of the Singapore Environmental Achievement Awards 2023 from the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) as a Regional Merit Winner in the Multi-National Company Category a few months ago. This further underscores their commitment to becoming a leading example for other companies to adopt responsible industrial methods and heightened environmental mindfulness.

In conclusion, not only is MDF one of the strongest materials to choose for your furniture and flooring needs, but you also need to consider it over any other material since it is made from biodegradable wood fibre, making it the perfect choice for those who not only want to decorate their space with sturdy and accessible material but also want to directly participate in making a conscious choice by choosing MDF, a product made from recycled material. To increase your participation in supporting environmental sustainability, you must selectively choose where you buy your MDF from. Checking the MDF producer company's background, past activities, and certification before purchasing from them is also necessary to verify that the MDF you buy is produced according to recognized environmental standards.

If you're looking for high-quality MDF manufactured through a certified process that adheres to international environmental standards, visit us on PT. Sumatera Prima Fibreboard.

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