Environmental technology firm plans ‘green’ charitable foundation

Kafus Industries, a company that manufactures a bio-composite alternative to fibreglass and owns factories that produce fibreboard from 100% post-consumer wood, is planning a charitable arm.


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Kafus founder and chairman Ken Swaisland admits that the Kafus Foundation represents a personal mission. “I formed Kafus on the back of an envelope three years ago,” Swaisland told edie. “The Foundation has been formed to offer support to small environmental groups that are not political.”

Swaisland expects that it will take about a year to get the Kafus Foundation fully running. An independent panel will allocate funding and Swaisland also expects that the Foundation will offer business and marketing expertise to environmental groups trying to get their message across.

Although the Foundation will be global in nature and will fund a variety of activities, Swaisland says that it will steer clear of groups such as Greenpeace. Swaisland’s own interests include protecting coral reefs and bringing “industrialised farming” into areas of cleared rainforest to provide jobs.

Working with primary school children in the US to assist them in “developing response tactics” to local environmental problems will also be a function of the Foundation.

In addition to its recycled and formaldehyde-free fibreboard manufacturing via subsidiary CanFibre (see related story), Kafus Industries supplies several car manufacturers – including Saturn, Volvo, Crysler, GM and Lincoln – with a bio-composite alternative to fibreglass. “Fibreglass is not easily recyclable – some would argue that it’s not recyclable at all – and the demand for our product is far outstripping our supplies,” Tony Francel, investor relations manager for Kafus, told edie. Created using a crop grown in Texas, the resulting product is lighter, stronger and a better sound-proofer than fibreglass, according to Kafus. “Our mission is to replace fibreglass in all industrial sectors,” says Swaisland.

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