Getting to the heart of the matter
04 December 2013
Companies need to take a holistic view towards sustainability and put it at the heart of their business, says Paul Halliwell from Disposables
Over recent years, companies across the world have been placing an increasing importance on sustainability, with green issues firmly at the top of the agenda. ‘Going green’ has never been more important for the paper disposables industry. We make products from natural resources that need constant replenishment so we really do have a responsibility to the environment to ensure that our products and processes have as little adverse impact as possible, whilst also delivering cost savings and waste reduction to customers in these challenging economic times.
Products, processes & practices
For products to be truly sustainable, all aspects of the production process must be considered, from their origins to manufacture, and usage to waste disposal. Our efforts to safeguard the environment for generations to come led to us becoming the first paper company in the UK away-from-home industry to be awarded the EU Eco-Label for our Bay West range of hand towels, toilet tissue rolls and Eco-foam soap. This means our Bay West products are officially ‘green washroom’ products. Not only are our toilet tissue products made with 80% recycled material and 20% virgin pulp, and our hand towels 100% recycled; our Bay West systems also offer controlled-use dispensing to promote source reduction and discourage paper waste by controlling the amount of towelling dispensed at each use for an effective and efficient dry.
We only select the raw material for our pure pulp products from mills that use sustainable forests with stringent environmental policies that promise that for every tree cut down, three new trees are planted. By proactively sustaining the forest, we ensure that our process doesn’t impact adversely on the environment. We also have a target to become 100% recyclable in our offices in 2014. Our efforts include full composting of food waste, recycling of all cans, plastic, cardboard, hand towel and paper tissue, with no waste going to landfill. We will also introduce a minimum printing strategy, with the aim of becoming a paperless office. It’s really important to get buy-in from staff to support such a drive, which is why we have invested time into ensuring all staff understand the reasons behind our efforts.
Sustainability on site
Our new site, which opened in July 2013, was designed with sustainability at the forefront, allowing us to operate in a responsible manner and reduce our carbon footprint. Energy saving features can be seen in all areas, including the general office, goods inwards, production and despatch. In the general office, the lighting includes occupancy sensors in areas of use so that manual switching can be eradicated.
The lighting in goods inwards is only illuminated when there is activity present, meaning that when the lights are not required they dim automatically to 10% before switching fully off. Not only does this result in a direct saving on the total energy used but it also increases the lamp life, saving on overall maintenance costs. The lighting in the production area incorporates double switching technology, which allows the lamp to be switched to half of the full output when full level lighting is not required. The whole site has also been designed to incorporate power factor correction technology to ensure that the overall electrical use of the site is operating efficiently.
People tend to perceive green products to be expensive but in reality that’s not the case. In fact, green products are more cost effective due to their waste-reduction qualities, which can be seen in our Bay West systems. Customers are increasingly demanding value for money so being able to offer cost effective, green systems that can go the distance really does meet the market demand.