UPM's New 'Green' Building Material Creates Buzz at Design Miami

Fri Dec 7, 2007 4:51pm EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

WESTMONT, Ill., Dec. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- UPM ProFi, an innovative,
environmentally appealing wood/plastic composite, stood the test of hundreds
of stiletto heels and dozens of active children at the opening of Design Miami
yesterday. The new product, primarily used as decking, has been gaining
popularity in Europe as an attractive, "green" building material, and it is
now being introduced to North America at the Miami show.
    "We couldn't have planned a tougher test," said Edward Robinson, Sales and
Marketing Director for UPM ProFi. "The UPM ProFi surface was unmarked by the
high volume of traffic at Design Miami. Even when beverages were spilled, no
one slipped on the high-friction surface of UPM ProFi."
    Guests at Design Miami mingled in an artfully designed pavilion called
"The Space of Silence", built entirely from UPM ProFi. The new product is
manufactured from surplus materials, primarily paper and plastic, left over
from the production of self-adhesive label stock by UPM Raflatac, the Label
Division of UPM. The process residue is sent to UPM ProFi's production
facility where it is recycled and moulded into patio decking and corner
protector profiles.
    The pavilion is the result of a unique partnership of global forest
industry leader UPM, renowned Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and Finnish
design company Artek. A trailblazer in applying ecological thinking to
architectural design, Ban was inspired by UPM ProFi and sketched an exhibition
space for Artek that would be built from the new wood/plastic composite. The
pavilion was first presented by Artek and UPM in April at Salone
Internationale del Mobile in Milan, Italy, then was reassembled for display in
Helsinki, Finland. The first appearance of the pavilion in North America is at
Design Miami.
    Markku Koivisto, Director, UPM Corporate Venturing, encouraged people to
test the product. "Tonight, I would like you to enjoy the pavilion and explore
UPM ProFi's durability and design beauty. Stomp on it, touch the walls and
feel it," he said.
Mr. Koivisto was pleased with the public's response: "It was UPM's
commitment to the environment and sustainability that led to the development
of UPM ProFi," he explained. "We are continuously researching new ways of
reducing waste at all stages in the lifecycle of our products. During the
production process, we strive to ensure that nothing is wasted. Tonight, it
feels like our message is getting a positive response from design
    The pavilion is decorated with Artek's 2nd Cycle furnishings collection
that is brought to life with UPM Raflatac RFID (radio frequency
identification) tags. The RFID tags are embedded into Artek's furniture and
can be read or uploaded via mobile phone, revealing the history of the item.
    "UPM ProFi is a great, recycled material with innovative properties and
future potential," said Mr. Robinson. "We have just launched the first
product, decking, made from this wood/plastic composite. Now it is up to us to
develop other products and applications for UPM ProFi."
    Design Miami is open to the public December 7-9 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
    For more details on:
    UPM, please see http://www.upm-kymmene.com
    UPM ProFi, please see http://www.upmprofi.com
    UPM Raflatac, please see http://www.upmraflatac.com
    Artek, please see http://www.artek.fi
    Design Miami 2007, please see http://www.designmiami.com


Markku Koivisto, Director, UPM Corporate Venturing, 011 358 40 861 2852, or
Paula Morri, Communications Specialist, UPM North America, +1-630-824-7928
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