Sustainable development is something we are passionate about, striving to achieve balance across the business between the environment, society and the economy.
We promote continuous improvement and target to minimise our impact on the environment, focusing on the achievement of annual objectives, which, for 2017, included a pledge to reduce waste and in particular, single-use plastics.
Together, all parts of the business have been collaborating to achieve this goal, which evolved within the organisation from the United Nations “World Environment Day #Pledge Less Plastic”. This event was also supported by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) the international membership organisation, committed to global sustainability.
In particular our metalwork department, stores and door installation teams have worked in unison to find environmentally friendly ways to minimise the effects on the working environment.
Plastic packaging has been a strong focus for us, finding an environmental solution, which provided protection for our products but was also economically viable, was challenging. However, this was achieved by replacing polystyrene packaging and switching to a fully recycled and recyclable cardboard that could be actively reused before being disposed.
The cardboard option was trialled and tested to ensure that the integrity of the doors and the results were positive.
In addition to waste, water usage throughout the company has also been reduced via simple, yet effective, methods. Reducing the height of flow within the toilets has saved us 2/3 litres of water per person per flush. By taking weekly measurements and monitoring our water usage between quarter one and quarter two this year, showed we have used 16 tons less than last year.
We have undertaken reviews across the business of our procurement including COSHH, which has seen us move across to alternative eco-friendly products with a view to eradicate them where possible.
We are currently trialling LED lighting in the office and factory areas and are assessing the benefits of switching from halogen lighting.
We also supply Hexham-based manufacturer Egger, who produce wood-based panel products, with waste timber so it can be recycled.
Waste reduction is now part of our culture and there is no going back. We are committed to continuous improvement and we will assess and explore all options that will improve our relationship with the environment.