From nature to you
An opportunity to live sustainable!
CoirWood is the material for a sustainable future. It is made solely from coconut husk. By using by-products from coconut plantations, we can truly say that these are one of the world’s first fully sustainable boards.
The applications of CoirWood are endless
Coconut, commonly believed to be a nut is actually a kind of drupe. It grows abundantly in tropical climates and is extremely versatile. The fruit can be eaten, its water is a refreshing hot climate drink, its oil is used for cooking or in cosmetics and considered an excellent skin moisturiser, its outer cover is used to make mattress springs and ropes and now with CoirWood we have started to make boards with it. Usually, the inner meat of the coconut is used for eating for extracting oil leaving the husk as a by-product. This husk can often end up in large waste piles leading to leachates into the surrounding soil or getting burnt. Thus, it is strongly desirable to find applications for recycling them. This is where CoirWood comes in. With CoirWood we don’t have to make any new plantation. We don’t even have to use any extra labour to harvest the husk because it is already been done to harvest coconut. The coconut husk has been there for generations, and now it can provide us with a sustainable material to build and make products for the next generations.
Harvesting coconuts is labour intensive. It first needs to be taken off the tree. This is usually achieved through farmers physically climbing up the trees and cutting off the branches with a hand-held implement. After this, the husk needs to be split from the coconut. This is also achieved through manual labourers who get paid around 5-7 dollars a day.
Through CoirWood, a by-product of coconut harvest that often ends up as waste can also be utilized. We will purchase the husk that would have otherwise ended up as waste from these plantations and upcycle them into high quality, durable, chemical binder-free wooden board substitutes. This will provide a higher income to the plantation workers and owners in addition to providing you with a more sustainable board.
Through our product, we increase the profits of coconut plantations. We want to ensure that a part of the profit goes back to the workers. We will do this in cooperation with the plantation owners. As the company grows, the plantations will benefit and most of all the workers and their family will benefit too.
CoirWood's mission is to provide high quality boards manufactured without the addition of artificial chemical binders. The boards are made from upcycled coconut husk and are meant to be a completely circular product, capable of being used as pot soil after the end of use phase.
S. Sachithanandha Sundaram
Coming from the region renowned for coconut production in Southern India and family that has been involved in coconut farming for generations now. As a Mechanical Engineer and with a passion for cleantech Entrepreneurship I started to pursue my masters in Industrial Ecology in the Netherlands. This is where I had the opportunity to explore the process involved in CoirWood and also meet my wonderful team members. Together now we are taking CoirWood to the global market to ensure a sustainable future.
“To enrich the planet and people with economic and environmental benefits through cleantech entrepreneurship"
During my bachelors in Aero-nautical Engineering, I encountered many complex problems which challenged me to dive deep into the world of mechanics, aerodynamics, linear algebra and such. This helped me to build strong analytical skills and solve the engineering problems of all kinds. However, I didn't know much about the world. What was going on? Where can I use my skills to solve real problems? This all led to my current Master in Industrial Ecology where my fascination for the transition to a circular economy started. With CoirWood I want to use my engineering skills and knowledge obtained through my Master, to prove how technologies and circular business cases can positively impact our environments while boosting economies
“To prove how a closed loop way of living can be integrated in current industry to better preserve mother nature and simultaneously improving our way of living and boosting the economy.”
As a civil engineer, my interest was already drawn to finding good sustainable solutions, to engineering problems. That’s how I found Industrial Ecology and came across our team. With Coirwood we aim to close a loop to eventually make a fully circular system. This is a technical and societal challenge, and that is exactly what drives me.
“My professional satisfaction lies in finding ways to manufacture goods in harmony with ecological laws”
During my Bachelor Public Administration, my attention already drifted towards societal benefits. It was also during this time that I came across the bigger societal issue that climate change poses to us as humanity. That’s why I chose to study Industrial Ecology, and that is how I met the team members of Coirwood. With Coirwood I can really see us being an active part in transitioning to a more sustainable society. There are plenty of resources to go around for everyone, we just have to use them in a smart and innovative way.
Dr. Jan van Dam
dr. Jan van Dam is the founder of the process underlying CoirWood and a leading Biomaterials scientist at Wageningen University.
More information concerning his work and publications can be found Here
“I believe in a future society in which the inhabitants can live in abundance, while preserving the earth for future generations”