Leaving Ecological Footprints
We leave our green footprints all around the world.
pure Natural Talalay latex
Creating the most natural and healthy product for our loyal customers is one of our main focuses. The other is that we give back more than we take from the environment within all phases of production – from the rubber tree seed to being a comfortable mattress, topper or pillow in your home (we also recommend giving our pure natural latex blog article a read). Many companies tell how they are responsible, towards both their customers, society and the environment. Often, the word “Ecologic” is also used in that context – however, we do not only claim in doing so but provide you with evidence of each statement on ecological footprints we make.
Below we will get into the biggest contributions to the environment from our side, beginning with our CO2 emissions uptake. Secondly, the Cradle to Cradle® GOLD certification will once again be highlighted since it contributes to all areas we continuously improve on: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship and social responsibility. Finally, we will get a deeper look at the CO2OL Tropical Mix project we are a part of in Panama and what positive effects it had and still bears! We at Vita Talalay want to leave as many ecological footprints as we can!
Cradle to Cradle
Forest Stewardship Council®
CO2OL Panama Tropical Mix project
First of all, let us talk about CO2 emissions. What does it mean and how does it affect our lives and the environment so badly that it has become one of the most spoken topics within the industry?
CO2 is short for carbon dioxide and is considered to be one of the natural greenhouse gasses which are mostly harmful to our atmosphere. This is because natural greenhouse gasses are responsible for preserving heat in the atmosphere rather than diminishing it. In the long run, this leads to the creation of holes in our atmosphere which no longer protect our planet’s environment and its inhabitants from the radioactive rays resonating from the sun. Important to note is also that CO2 is used in many cases as a comparable basis for how much other natural greenhouse gasses damage our atmosphere. This basic measurement is the so-called GWP, which stands for global warming potential.
Our footprint calculation (following the method of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol) shows that we uptake 4 kilograms of CO2 for each Natural Vita Talalay latex mattress we produce and sell. This is a unique ecological footprint and something we are extremely proud of.
Compare this to a Dunlop latex that claims to produce with less energy but contains only 60% natural content. You will see that such a product does in fact produce 1,25 kg carbon dioxide for each kg of Dunlop made!
In one sentence: we give back more to the environment than we take!
This achievement can be accredited to many years of modifying and improving our process and product. Also, the sole fact that we only use pure natural rubber latex contributes to lowering CO2 emissions significantly as well, since once synthetic (petro-chemical) materials are used in the process, the production of carbon dioxide increases significantly. Any material which is made with a percentage of synthetic latex (like memory foam or most of the latex in the market) has by definition a negative ecological footprint as they do not use the latex tree as a source. Have a look at our Eco-Institut certification that tests the natural content of our products. Although we are already happy with our results, Vita Talalay strives to improve continually and replace CO2 with life-giving oxygen in all phases of the product life cycle. In other words: we aim for full ecological restoration.
Some brands that do focus on communicating “Ecologic” often speak of the short distance to the transportation of their latex. Although the effort is much appreciated, it is important to realize that these efforts only leave a significantly smaller ecological footprint in comparison to the efforts to modify the production process. In the end, using green energy, only using natural latex, implementing the Cradle to Cradle philosophy and taking part in the CO2OL project is simply much more effective for the environment than any other effort one could possibly take.
All of our figures are based on calculations from the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, an institute which sets a worldwide standard for the measuring, managing and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions. The other source is the Malaysian Rubber Board, which is the custodian of the natural rubber industry in Malaysia.
Cradle to Cradle
As mentioned in one of our previous blog articles (Cradle to Cradle® – What is it and why is it so important?), we value the Cradle to Cradle™ Institute very much since it perfectly overlaps with our values. Just as a reminder:
Vita Talalay is the only luxury bedding material manufacturer in the world who has been awarded the Cradle to Cradle® GOLD certification.
Let us explain briefly how the certificate works correctly! The main idea is to move away from Cradle to Grave and implement the Cradle to Cradle philosophy. The difference is that the latter aims at creating a closed circle where no materials go to waste, and all other materials have a healthy content, during the whole production process. The Cradle to Cradle® GOLD certification proves that Vita Talalay is on it’s the best way to perfection that concept and leave positive ecological footprints where we can. The certification is then divided into 5 different categories, all of which would receive an individual grade, being either basic, bronze, silver, gold or platinum. However, the overall grade for the company will be based on the lowest grade given to a category. If for example, a company would receive a platinum grade for four categories and bronze in one, it would only be awarded a bronze certificate. However, we at Vita Talalay are proud to say that we have achieved the GOLD level within each category!
The philosophy is essentially split into five different categories, all of which Vita Talalay feels connected to. The first category, being material health, has always been one of our most important values. We want to create the healthiest sleep experience for our customers, which is why the luxury pure natural Talalay latex that we produce is the most breathable, hypoallergenic and thus hygienic comfort material in the world. As opposed to most other latex foam, our comfort material does not contain any petrochemical oils or other potentially hazardous materials which could be harmful to our health and the environment. In short: our material is completely toxin-free: no nitrosamines, PBDE flame retardants, phthalates, ozone depleters, no formaldehyde, or harmful or high VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). Not only in line with the stringent European REACH legislation, but according to the strict regulations of the Cradle to Cradle® institute.
The second category is material reutilization and is essentially connected to what was mentioned before – a closed cycle without the production of waste. As mentioned earlier, Vita Talalay has already been awarded the Cradle to Cradle® GOLD certification and continuously strives to further improve our ecologic efforts.
The third category is renewable energy and carbon management. Vita Talalay is currently working on switching completely to renewable energy. Also, we have also proven that we are up taking more carbon dioxide than creating the natural greenhouse gas. Or in other words: our production process is energy positive, once again leaving a positive ecological footprint.
The fourth category is water stewardship and is connected to the responsible usage and disposal of water. Not only do we ensure that we do not use more water than we need, but we also clean every drop of water we have used in the whole production process with our brand new and precise filtration system. This ensures that all problematic substances for the environment have been removed from the water. The last step the water undertakes is then simply going through water plants, turning it back into drinking water.
Finally, the last category is social responsibility – another category which we find very important. We make sure that all parties involved in all steps of the supply chain are socially responsible. This includes making sure that the children have a school and attend classes in the rural areas where our natural rubber comes from, as well as responsible working conditions, etc. Also, we make sure that we only harvest sustainably, meaning that the rubber trees and soils are not harmed in the process while also changing the fields regularly to circumvent damaging the environment. Another positive ecological footprint we are very proud of!
Here is the link to our Cradle to Cradle® GOLD certificate!
Forest Stewardship Council®
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) is an worldwide known non-governmental organization that runs a certification scheme with the two main components: Forest Management and Chain of Custody.
Vita Talalay is the first in the latex bedding industry who has been awarded the Chain of Custody FSC Certification.
The FSC is dedicated to promoting environmentally sound, socially beneficial, and economic prosperous management of world’s forests. Therefore they have created the highest standard, a set principles and criteria, to ensure that forests are responsibly managed. Each principles has its own criteria that must be met in order to get a certificate. The principles include criteria include compliance with laws and FSC principles, tenure, use rights and responsibilities, Indigenous people’s rights, community relations and worker’s rights, benefits from the forest and environmental impact as well as management plans, monitoring, assessment and maintenance of high conservation value forests and plantations.
In order to get an Chain of Custody certification the organization has to be a manufacturers, processors, or traders of FSC certified forest products. Without having anything to do with FSC certified forest products, there is no eligibility of the organization to get a Chain of Custody certification. The original source of FSC certified products are the forests. Thus the whole certification process starts at the forest. Not just any forest, but well-managed FSC certified forests.
FSC certified forests have been awarded the Forest Management certification. For forest managers to get certified, their management and the forest will have to go through a brief pre-assessment and an in-depth assessment. If the forest management matches the FSC principles and criteria, then the certification will be granted. However if there are too many mismatches, the forest manager has to fix those mismatches before a reapplication of the assessment.
Manufacturers, processors, or traders of FSC certified forest products can become certified after a whole assessment of the supply chain. In this assessment it is ensured that FSC certified material is identified or kept separated from non-certified or non-controlled forest materials. This means that the whole production process will be traced back to the FSC certified forest. FSC certified products bear an FSC label with their own unique certification code. With the FSC label you are able to identify an FSC certified product.
Vita Talalay processes forest material, sap from the rubber tree, and has been granted the Chain of Custody FSC certification. This means that the production of Vita Talalay latex bedding is now more traceable and transparent than before. Natural Vita Talalay latex bedding has been FSC certified from seed to latex tree to Talalay latex bedding. This means that Vita Talalay allows you to make the healthiest latex bedding option for you and the environment!
CO2OL Panama Tropical Mix project
First of all it is important to understand that CO2OL is a project designed to help developing countries in an economical, social and ecological difficulties. Their projects spread across the globe since its establishment in 1998 and include countries such as Ethiopia, Germany, Bolivia, Republic of Congo, and of course Panama.
Also, the CO2OL project is part of the Gold Standard forestry projects, which is one of the world’s most renowned certification bodies for CO2 emissions. This institute was founded in 2003 by WWF, along with several other international NGOs. The bottom line here is that this certification ensures that each project reduces the CO2 emissions while also providing social and economic benefits to the locals while ensuring ecological restoration.
Vita Talalay supports leaving an ecological footprint by protecting the forests of Panama, its climate, the biodiversity, as well as the protection of social living conditions and communities of the region.
Our pure natural talalay latex is made with natural materials and through a strictly ecologic production process. What all of our natural rubber latex comes from the hevea Brasilian is tree – one of the tropical rubber trees. This rubber tree can yield for up to a quarter of a century, especially since we milk the trees in a harmless manner. An additional benefit is that their carbon sink is just as effective as a virgin rain forest – another ecological footprint we leave for the environment! For more information, please give our pure natural rubber latex blog article a read!
One of the regions where our pure natural rubber latex comes from is Panama. Although not by our latex trees, 50,000 hectares of forest land in Panama is affected by deforestation each year, which makes up a full percent of the total forestland worldwide. This is also where Vita Talalay supports the CO2OL Tropical Mix afforestation and deforestation project, which is essentially dedicated to leaving an ecological footprint by protecting the forests of Panama, its climate, the biodiversity, as well as the protection of social living conditions and communities of the region. This project dates back to 2007 and has always focused on reforesting pastureland with native plant species to create ecologically valuable mixed forests. The mixture of native plant species allows the environment to rejuvenate, mostly protecting its biodiversity and ecosystem by giving affected animals a new home. Furthermore, Vita Talalay has invested so far in 4.300 rubber trees which – apart from producing the required yield to produce our pure natural Talalay latex – also leaves an ecological footprint through the created carbon sink. Remember, this carbon sink is just as effective as a virgin rain forest!
This project has a significant amount of benefits! Vita Talalay aids in protecting unique species of plants and animals. In this specific case, Vita Talalay aims at protecting sloths and ocelots (a species of wild cats which can only be found in that area). Also, the re-establishing of the ecological value of the forest land substantially increases the amount forest compensated gases. This, in turn, increases the forest’s capability of capturing and storing CO2 from the atmosphere – once again leaving a further ecological footprint.
Click here if you want to have a look at our CO2OL certificate or article!
Will I stay cool sleeping on Talalay?
Yes, you will. Tests show that the resistance to heat (and the moisture that develops as a result of human-generated heat, which causes you to perspire) is much lower with Talalay than with memory foam.
What are Vita Talalay® flakes and how are they made?
Vita Talalay flakes are small chunks of pure talalay latex, mainly used for pillows. A pillow is very personal. Some people prefer a shapeable pillow. With flakes you can mold/squeeze your pillow in any shape, just as you were used to with your feather/ down pillow, but now with the breathability and the lifting comfort of a Vita Talalay.
When can I use a topper ?
To “upgrade” any kind of mattress and to increase support.
Find out more information here.
Is there a difference in comfort to a full mattress?
Comfort depends on the person, its posture, and its preference. We always recommend testing the product before you buy. A Vita Talalay topper can help make up for lost comfort or compensate for a mattress that is too firm. The memory foam mattress too hard? Many people buy a Talalay latex on top of memory foam mattress to get some comfort from their bed.
What is a mattress topper ?
A mattress topper also referred to as a pillow-top mattress or mattress pad, is a (thin) mattress that you lay on top of your regular mattress.
Is there a difference in comfort to a mattress topper?
Comfort depends on the person, its posture, and its preference. We always recommend testing the product before you buy and getting some good advice. There is no such thing as a one size fits all mattresses. That is why we work with the best brands to help find the right mattress for you.