What is a carbon footprint in business?
Simply put, a carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide, that are released into the atmosphere thanks to the activities of you or a business. When it comes to the business world, we are talking about the total amount of greenhouse gases that a company emits through its operations - that can include everything from the production of goods and services, to transportation, and energy usage.
Think of your carbon footprint as a trail of carbon footprints that you leave behind as you move through your day. Every time you drive a car, take a flight, or use electricity, you are leaving behind a carbon footprint. Similarly, every product that a business produces and every service it offers leaves behind a carbon footprint. Just as each step you take adds to your trail of footprints, each business activity adds to the company's carbon footprint.
How do we reduce our carbon footprint?
We all must play a part in reducing our carbon footprints to protect the environment. At Excelsior Panelling, we are committed to minimising our carbon emissions by implementing several measures.
The first way we achieve this is by taking advantage of biomass, a fantastic carbon-neutral energy source. By burning factory waste, we generate heat without having to rely on traditional fossil fuels. This approach has enabled us to eliminate around half of our landfill waste annually, and therefore reduced the need for large vehicles that transport waste to non-environmentally friendly landfill sites.
We are also using state-of-the-art equipment to further reduce our carbon footprint. Our equipment provides excellent quality and accurate first-time cuts, which minimises machining cycle times and subsequent waste, resulting in increased productivity. Our team has a unique approach to in-house fabrication and build of our product range, and this ensures we are in complete control, which reduces the production of on-site carbon. This approach allows us to optimise our manufacturing processes, thereby minimising the impact on the environment.
Finally, we are proud to be a Gold Member of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, providing regular training to all staff on a range of environmental and social value topics for the industry's shared supply chain. This membership demonstrates our commitment to sustainability and our willingness to work collaboratively with other businesses in our industry.
Boosting energy efficiency
Nowadays, energy efficiency is not just a buzzword but a necessity. With the increasing demand for energy and the rise in energy costs, businesses like us are looking for ways to reduce their energy consumption and costs. That's why we have implemented several energy-efficient measures to help reduce our carbon footprint and contribute to the global climate change fight.
One of the key areas where we have focused our efforts is lighting. We have installed low-energy light fittings that not only reduce our energy bills but also help us to achieve our sustainability goals. Our factory roof lights have also been designed to maximise the use of natural light, reducing the need for artificial lighting during the day. By doing so, we are able to minimise our carbon emissions and contribute towards a cleaner, greener planet. Additionally, we have invested in battery-powered site equipment as an alternative to traditional fuel and electricity-powered tools. Not only do these tools help us to save on fuel and maintenance costs, but they also contribute towards reducing our carbon footprint. It's a win-win situation for us and the environment.
Low carbon travel
Sustainability is at the core of everything we do. One of the ways we are achieving our sustainability goals is by focusing on low-carbon travel. This includes the adoption of a range of electric and low-emission company vehicles. These vehicles are used for all of our transportation needs, from deliveries to site visits. By using electric vehicles, we are able to significantly reduce our carbon emissions and contribute to a cleaner environment. In addition to our low-carbon vehicles, we’ve also implemented planned and clustered site deliveries. This means that we carefully schedule our deliveries to minimise the number of trips required and ensure that we are making the most efficient use of our vehicles. By doing so, we are reducing our transportation costs while also reducing our impact on the environment.
We source our materials from local distribution centres whenever possible. This not only helps to support local businesses but also reduces the distance that our materials need to travel. Finally, we have 12 fitting teams based throughout the UK, each allocated to sites within a 30-mile radius. By keeping our teams close to our work sites, we are able to minimise the amount of travel required and reduce our carbon footprint even further.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
As part of our sustainability strategy, we follow the "reduce, reuse, recycle" principle in our manufacturing process. We recycle paper, cardboard, and aluminium to minimise waste and reduce our carbon footprint. By doing so, we help conserve natural resources and prevent them from ending up in landfills.
We also try to reuse waste materials whenever possible. Our in-house surveyors keep waste to a minimum conducting site surveys, and we donate off-cuts to local charities and government facilities whenever possible. Not only does this help reduce waste, but it also helps support local organisations and communities. But our commitment to sustainability doesn't end with recycling and waste reduction. We also design our products to be durable and long-lasting, reducing the need for frequent replacements. This not only helps the environment, but it also saves our customers money in the long run.
Another way we are reducing our footprint is by offering carbon-free materials in our products. Biocarbon laminate, also known as carbon-neutral laminate, is available for toilet cubicles, lockers, and changing room solutions. This material is made from wood fibres sourced from sustainably managed forests and has a net-zero carbon footprint.
Biocarbon solid grade laminate is not only eco-friendly but also high-quality and durable. It is resistant to scratches, impact, and moisture, making it ideal for high traffic areas like bathrooms and locker rooms. Plus, it's easy to clean and maintain, ensuring it lasts for years to come.
We are constantly exploring new ways to reduce our carbon footprint and create eco-friendly solutions without compromising on quality or durability. By using biocarbon laminate, we are leading the way in sustainable materials for toilet cubicles.
Thinking green and always innovating on our carbon footprint strategy is how we ensure we are always leaving a positive effect on the environment. Excelsior Panelling actively participates in carbon management and we are certified to ISO 14001:2015, a globally recognized standard for environmental management. This certification ensures that we have implemented an effective environmental management system, which includes reducing our carbon footprint and improving our environmental performance.
We also use FSC-accredited timber products, which ensures responsible forest management that benefits the environment and local communities. The FSC certification guarantees that the trees harvested are replaced or allowed to regenerate naturally, and part of the forests are protected entirely to protect rare animals and plants. Forest owners must use local workers, provide training, safety equipment, and a decent salary. The forest owner is also obliged to support the local community in projects such as the development of schools.
Our commitment to sustainability is a genuine effort to reduce our environmental impact and protect natural resources for future generations. By using recycled and recyclable core materials, carbon management, and FSC-accredited timber products, we are helping to promote sustainability in the manufacturing industry.
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