About | History

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The Company

The glassworks in Kosta was founded in 1742. The name was created from the surnames of the founders, Generals Koskull and Staël von Holstein. Kosta’s location, in the heart of the dense forests in the Swedish province of Småland, 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 here during the first 150 years of the company’s existence and comprised products such as window panes, bottles and drinkware, but also glass chandeliers and similar items. The customers included royalty, nobility and wealthy merchants who could afford the costly glassware. For a long time, the glassblowers came from Bohemia, which is now part of the Czech Republic. Many decades passed before Swedes learnt how to blow glass.

Kosta exhibited its products at the General Art and Industrial Exposition of Stockholm in 1897, but was criticised because its glassware mostly resembled items made in other parts of Europe. This gave the company the idea of employing its own designers. The idea rapidly gained ground and remains the actual foundation of the way in which the glassworks continually develops its product range.

The first designer at the glassworks was Gunnar G:son Wennerberg, who joined the company in 1898. Many well-known artists have worked here since then, such as Sven X-et Ericsson and Ewald Dahlskog. The first female artist was Tyra Lundgren who was recruited in 1935. Many women have worked at the glassworks since then and have been very successful.

Today’s Kosta Boda was formed through a merger of the glassworks in the communities of Kosta, Boda and Åfors. The group was initially called AB Åforsgruppen 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 Åfors Glassworks.

Our History

The glassworks in Kosta was founded in 1742. The name was created from the surnames of the founders, Generals Koskull and Staël von Holstein. Kosta’s location, in the heart of the dense forests in the Swedish province of Småland, 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 here during the first 150 years of the company’s existence and comprised products such as window panes, bottles and drinkware, but also glass chandeliers and similar items. The customers included royalty, nobility and wealthy merchants who could afford the costly glassware. For a long time, the glassblowers came from Bohemia, which is now part of the Czech Republic. Many decades passed before Swedes learnt how to blow glass.

Kosta exhibited its products at the General Art and Industrial Exposition of Stockholm in 1897, but was criticised because its glassware mostly resembled items made in other parts of Europe. This gave the company the idea of employing its own designers. The idea rapidly gained ground and remains the actual foundation of the way in which the glassworks continually develops its product range.

The first designer at the glassworks was Gunnar G:son Wennerberg, who joined the company in 1898. Many well-known artists have worked here since then, such as Sven X-et Ericsson and Ewald Dahlskog. The first female artist was Tyra Lundgren who was recruited in 1935. Many women have worked at the glassworks since then and have been very successful.

Today’s Kosta Boda was formed through a merger of the glassworks in the communities of Kosta, Boda and Åfors. The group was initially called AB Åforsgruppen 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 Åfors Glassworks.

Environmental Consciousness

We set stringent requirements on ourselves in terms of quality and environmental issues. Our 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.

We now make glass without these substances and we require far less energy to run our facilities.
Environmental work for decades

We have conducted active environmental work ever since environmental awareness emerged in the 1970s. We work at and near the glassworks and live in the surrounding area; it is important for us to be able to live and work in a healthy environment.

On the right path

Environmental work is never fully complete. We have been awarded the following distinctions, which we see as signs that we are on the right path and are working in 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 Luftvårdspris 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. Our extensive environmental work and lead-free glass were strong reasons why the department chose us.
Our achievements over the years

A selection of the environmental measures that we have taken, both large and small:

Waste heat from the glassworks in Kosta is delivered to the community’s district heating network in Kosta.

We now recycle most of the flue-gas dust that is collected in our flue-gas filters.

In 2007 and 2008 we replaced about 700 m3 of heating oil with biofuel-based district heating in Kosta and Orrefors, which means a 1700 tonne reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.