In 2005, UPM’s Research and Development team came up with a new invention that was a rare example of win-win-win: a decking that offered a new fresh and modern look, that had better performance properties and that actually helped the environment. The UPM scientists and engineers found that lignin free cellulose fibres offered better colour durability than the wood fibres traditionally used in WPC decking. This enabled a fresh range of deck colours to be produced. They also managed to create a recipe that achieved full fibre encapsulation and thereby offer new levels of stain resistance. By recycling the cellulose fibres and polymers found in the off-cuts and side streams of the self-adhesive label industry production as the main raw material, they were able to give a second life to materials that were previously burnt or land filled.
Patents were applied for, factories built (first in Finland, and then in Germany), and UPM ProFi’s decking range has been sold throughout Europe and beyond. From Lapland to Dubai, New York to Tokyo, under water, on the ground and high up in roof terraces.
Since then, UPM ProFi has continued to develop its product range. Ideas from customers, designers and UPM’s own team form the basis of a drive for a never ending search for improvement. Over the years, UPM ProFi has earned several awards like the Green Good Design of the Chicago Athenaeum and the Best Innovator prize for Sustainability in Innovations from the German consultancy A.T. Kearney.
UPM ProFi is nowadays one of the leading European producers of composite deckings, and the products are manufactured in Finland and Germany.