CREATED WITH NATURE IN MIND
Created using less
The manufacture of traditional veneers uses a tremendous amount of water, energy, and wood. New Leaf Performance Veneers deliver the same rich, warm look as traditional veneers but with far less waste of precious limited resources.
Created to last longer
The lasting durability of New Leaf Performance Veneers reduces waste over the long term. New Leaf is engineered to resist scratches, fading, moisture and impact far longer than traditional veneers, eliminating the need to replace a worn surface.
Created in a caring culture
As a Wilsonart company, New Leaf is part of one of the area’s top job providers. We believe that positive impact begins in our community. Through volunteering, financial support and in-kind donations, we are giving back and creating positive change in our world.
TRADITIONAL VENEERS VS. NEW LEAF
THE JOURNEY FROM TREE TO SHEET
A full tree is harvested for each 3,000 sq. ft. of raw veneer. In the process of removing the veneer quality logs, damage is often caused to surrounding trees by the immense equipment used to move the logs miles from the timberlands to the trucks on the nearest road.
This process is even more harmful when producing exotic veneers. For example, veneer from natural grown teak is prized over plantation grown teak, but teak is indigenous to only four countries – all of which have suffered social, political, and ecological damage due to deforestation.
While clear cutting has decreased since the inception of FSC certification in the 1990s, it is still a problem. The process is particularly harmful to the environment as it does not include any replanting strategies.
Every sheet of New Leaf Performance Veneer comes from a single responsibly harvested exemplar of the species, so trees are not being continually cut down to produce each new veneer. And all wood components used to manufacture New Leaf carry FSC chain-of-custody certification.
The carbon footprint of traditional veneers grows as logs are transported by truck to a mill as many as 1,500 miles away. Pollution and damaged roads are all part of the package.
Because there is no raw timber involved beyond the creation of the exemplar veneer, there is no energy used transporting logs from remote locations.
Most mills like to keep four to six weeks’ worth of inventory on hand, so logs will sit in the mill’s log yard for that time. Over the course of those weeks, the timber must be kept hydrated, so it is regularly sprinkled with water. Like watering acres of yard, this takes an immense amount of water—especially in the summer months.
New Leaf inventory is maintained in the form of finished veneer sheets, not logs. This requires no additional water.
Preparing the Logs
Before each log is sliced, it must be completely saturated. Logs are placed in vats of 8,000 - 10,000 gallons of water, for 24-48 hours depending on species. These vats are drained at least once a week, and the water is not recycled.
Because there are no logs required after the creation of the exemplar veneer, there is no wasteful soaking involved.
Slicing & Clipping
Once the veneer is sliced from the log and dried, it is processed through the clipping line to “clean up” the ends and the sides, as well as to remove any large defects. Typically, 25%-30% of each log is discarded during this stage, and the waste is burned in the mill’s boiler, contributing to more air pollution.
New Leaf Performance Veneer sheets are created from a replica of a perfect 4’ x 8’ veneer of that species. Nothing is cut off or wasted.
Once the customer receives the veneer, makes the faces, and laminates it to a substrate, another 50% or more of the purchased veneer is discarded. In the final journey from laminated sheet to finished product, material defect culling, off-fall from production and other practices incur additional waste.
On average, if a veneer log yields 3,000 sq. ft. of sellable veneer, 750 – 1,000 sq. ft. make it to the finished product. That means as much as 75% of the veneer is wasted.
New Leaf Performance Veneer sheets have no flaws to be culled, dramatically increasing the percentage of product used in fabrication.
Once the final veneered product is complete, it must be finished with stains and protective coatings. The average amount of VOC emissions of wood finishes is 0.138 oz/sq. ft.
New Leaf veneers are pre-finished using an exclusive performance topcoat with a VOC emissions value of 0.000008 oz./sq. ft. In fact, New Leaf is GREENGUARD Gold certified for low VOC emissions. Download the Certificate