About Kosta Boda
Kosta Boda Today
Kosta Boda is one of the leading designers and manufacturers of glass and glass art. Kosta Boda glass is colorful, bold, subtle and provocative, and Kosta Boda designers are among the most recognized not only in Sweden, but around the world. With years of history, experimentation, and the development of new technologies and techniques, Kosta Boda designers and craftsmen constantly push the limits of what is possible. The close dialogue between Kosta Boda's designers and craftsmen at the furnace creates unique and beautiful glass that will delight for generations.
Kosta Boda Glassworks History
Kosta Boda glassworks can trace its history back 270 years. In 1742, the glassworks was founded in the town of Kosta in southern Sweden. Kosta's location, in the heart of the dense forests in the Swedish province of Smaland, was chosen so that the glassworks could provide both Stockholm and Karlskrona with glass. Important roads crossed here, and there was also an unlimited supply of wood to heat the furnaces.
Fine utility glassware was made at the Kosta glassworks during the first 150 years of the company's existence and comprised products such as window panes, bottles and drinking glasses, but also glass chandeliers and similar items. Kosta glassworks customers included royalty, nobility and wealthy merchants who could afford the costly glassware. For a long time, Kosta glassblowers came from Bohemia, which is now part of the Czech Republic. Many decades passed before Swedes learned how to blow glass.
Kosta exhibited its products at the General Art and Industrial Exposition of Stockholm in 1897, but was criticized because its glassware largely resembled items made in other parts of Europe. This sparked the idea of Kosta glassworks employing its own designers and creating unique and beautiful glass works of art that are readily identifiable as Kosta glass. The idea rapidly gained ground and remains the foundation of how Kosta Boda continually develops and innovates its product range.
Today's Kosta Boda was formed through a merger of the glassworks in the communities of Kosta, Boda and Afors. The group was initially called AB Aforsgruppen and included Johansfors Glassworks at that time. The company name was changed to Kosta Boda AB in 1976, and the company has been part of Orrefors Kosta Boda AB since 1989. Manufacturing now takes place at the principal glassworks in Kosta and at Afors Glassworks.
Kosta Boda's Environmental Consciousness
Kosta Boda sets stringent requirements on itself in terms of quality and environmental issues. Kosta Boda's entire production chain has been ISO-certified regarding quality and environmental management since 1997.
Glass manufacture affects the environment in several ways: heating the furnaces is an energy-intensive operation and, historically, many substances have been used that are harmful to the environment and health, such as lead and arsenic. Kosta Boda now makes glass without these substances and it require far less energy to run Kosta Boda's facilities.
Kosta Boda has conducted active environmental work ever since environmental awareness emerged in the 1970s. Kosta Boda employees live in the area near the glassworks - it is important for Kosta Boda workers to live and work in a healthy environment.
Examples of environmental measures Kosta Boda has undertaken:
- Waste heat from the glassworks in Kosta is delivered to the community's district heating network in Kosta.
- Kosta Boda now recycles most of the flue-gas dust that is collected in its flue-gas filters.
- In 2007 and 2008 Kosta Boda replaced about 700 m3 of heating oil with bio fuel-based district heating in Kosta and Orrefors, which means a 1700 ton reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
Although environmental work is never fully complete, Kosta Boda has been awarded the following distinctions, which confirms it is on the right path and is operating the right way:
- 1997 Orrefors Kosta Boda was awarded a prize for the best industrial environmental work in the class Environmentally Adapted Product Development.
- 2002 Orrefors Kosta Boda received an honorary mention by the Swedish Energy Agency for achievements such as reduced energy consumption.
- 2007 Orrefors Kosta Boda received Kronoberg County's Luftvardspris award for reducing emissions.
- 2009 Orrefors Kosta Boda AB received an order for drinkware to the US Department of State and its embassies around the world. Kosta Boda's extensive environmental work and lead-free glass were strong reasons why the State Department chose Kosta Boda.
The information on this page was sourced from the Kosta Boda Swedish and U.S. corporate websites.