Tuesday 24 February 2020, our directors were privileged to attend a factory tour at a carpentry factory tucked away in the Ampang area of Kuala Lumpur.
At first, when we stepped behind the main gate we saw a normal wood production facility making furniture and other items. But there was more to this factory, it had big plans and even spoke of an IPO in the next four years. Question marks arose, but we would be enlightened by the friendly manager of the facility Harith Ridzuan (The Green Carpenter).
Harith and his team welcomed us in the cosy main office building and showroom, where we were introduced to the ideas behind the company and what they tried to achieve.
The One Tech production facility is focused towards giving wood a second life, they, therefore, worked mainly with wood that had previously been used in construction as a building material, or even wood from pallets. They source their raw materials from all over Malaysia, just in order to keep up production while maintaining the eco-trending character of the company.
Further, did we learn that the factory was used as a training facility for young people, to prepare them for a carpentry position in the industry. But also was the Green Factory team able to provide educational tours to companies and schooling youth about a sustainable society and the impact we as people have on the environment.
The Green Factory has quite a history and an interesting story to tell. A young family business sprouted from a traditional interior design company. They decided to take a route to greener pastures educating Asia towards a greener and recyclable lifestyle and future while implementing higher levels of corporate responsibility.
After all participants were provided with dust masks it was time to enter the production facility where we were demonstrated step by step, how an old piece of pallet wood was transformed from a piece of tree that would normally end up in a dumpster, to modern usable products as household, furniture and fashion items.
We had the chance to meet some of the young and local people that worked enthusiastically in the factory, and we could feel the passion with which they shaved, sawn, sanded and shaped each and every item to items for day-to-day use.
It was clear this company was built on different foundations than the average carpentry shop.
Harith and his team have bigger ideas, as they would like to franchise their plans, to companies within the Asian region producing products in larger quantities for their well established brands as Dapo kitchenware, for kitchen appliances and household items and their line of fashion products under the brand name.
After the factory tour, we had a very interesting lecture on wood and a greener environment given by Mathias Gelber (The Green Man), after which all participants joined in on a group discussion and debate about how our companies could assist in a more sustainable society.
At the One Tech Green Factory, they do understand that waste materials can be recycled and re-branded to long-term and quality products providing them with a second life.