Kinnarps furnishes one of the world’s most eco-friendly buildings

Kinnarps was chosen to supply the furniture for the new headquarters of IUCN, the leading international organisation in sustainable development, to be built in Gland outside Geneva. The aim is to create one of the world’s most eco-friendly office buildings. Here is a brief outline of this spectacular project.

What happened?
In April 2008, Kinnarps and IUCN signed a cooperation agreement focusing on furnishing IUCN’s new headquarters in Gland in conjunction with architects and other specialists. The first sod for the 6500 square metre building was cut in June last year and construction is well under way in February 2009.

What is IUCN?
IUCN is the world’s largest and most important network for sustainable development. It has been around since 1948, has over 1100 governments and nature conservation associations among its members and employs 11,000 scientists in more than 160 countries. IUCN’s mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature.

Why did IUCN decide to draw up a cooperation agreement with Kinnarps for this project? 
Kinnarps solutions were selected not least in view of Kinnarps’ long tradition of environmental activities and its high demands on ecological approaches. IUCN also appreciated Kinnarps’ eco-friendly production methods, its practice of using FSC or other certified wood as well as its receptive attitude to the European environmental standard. Kinnarps is currently the only Swedish partner in the project.

Why is the office called the “IUCN Conservation Centre”?
IUCN’s new headquarters is called the IUCN Conservation Centre because it is designed to act as a meeting place for agents and alliances working for sustainable development throughout the world.

What was the idea behind the architecture?
The architects at AGPS Architecture Zürich, who won the competition two years ago, adapted the architecture in order to minimise energy consumption. Balconies and adjustable blinds will prevent overheating in the six summer months and eliminate the need for air conditioning, and the construction maximises the use of natural light. Another aim is to reduce its consumption of drinking water by 22 percent compared with comparable structures.

An architect model of the building may be seen on Kinnarps Stand C15:51 at the Stockholm Furniture Fair

What does the cooperation agreement mean?
The cooperation aims to strengthen both partners. Kinnarps undertakes to supply furniture for about 200 workplaces, conference rooms, restaurants and other staff areas. According to the current plan, deliveries will start at the beginning of 2010. For its part, IUCN will support Kinnarps with know-how and expertise. This includes giving Kinnarps access to various eco-certification systems used around the world.  “This project will stimulate our future environmental efforts even more”, says Henry Jarlsson, CEO of Kinnarps and son of founders Jarl and Evy Andersson.
When will the building be inaugurated? The inauguration is expected to take place in spring 2010.

What is the aim of the project?
IUCN wants the project to act as a global showcase, a yardstick for future ecological building. Not least by showing how high demands on ecological efficiency can go hand in hand with good design, advanced technology and tight budgetary constraints. The idea is for 85 percent of the building’s energy consumption to come from renewable sources such as solar and geothermal heating. The building is also designed to satisfy three of the highest environmental standards – LEED Platinum, Minergie-P and Menergi-Eco.

If you would like to know more about this project, please contact:

Birgitta Skoglund, Coordinator for the IUCN Project
Direct tel./mobile: 0515-380 17

Tomas Ekström, Head of Quality and the Environment
Direct tel./mobile: 0515-38140

Alexandra Magnusson, Press Officer at Kinnarps AB
Direct tel./mobile: 0515-388 34

*FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), the independent international organisation for responsible forest stewardship.


Kinnarps supplies integrated furnishing solutions for offices and public spaces. The whole supply chain from raw materials to complete solutions for the workplace is handled with high quality and low environmental impact. The company was founded in 1942 by Jarl and Evy Andersson and is still family owned. Kinnarps is the third largest supplier in Europe with distribution points in about 35 countries. Apart from Kinnarps solutions, the group markets products from its subsidiaries of Skandiform, Materia and Klaessons. The group has total turnover of SEK 3.5 billion and about 2,200 employees.