As a company with a direct connection to the world’s resources, we are aware of our duty to act responsibly and reduce waste and consumption, both in our work environment and as individuals. This has resulted in us reviewing everything we do on a regular basis. Positive changes we have made include investing in electric vehicles where possible. 90% of our forklift trucks are electric and we have added EV charging points for staff and customers. We also run a modern fuel-efficient delivery fleet and recycle all timber waste from our operations. To help our progress, the principles of Lean Management, a system that aims to reduce waste and increase efficiency, have been implemented across the company. Perhaps most significantly, we also analyse the carbon footprint of every product across our ranges. Not only does this allow us to make decisions about the products we stock, based on their environmental impact, but it means that you, our customer, can make informed choices on the environmental performance of the products for your project.
Sustainability is a concept high on everyone’s agenda, and exceeds the view of simply investigating areas of production by reducing consumption and pollution. In evaluating the sustainability of clay paving, the whole environmental influence not only encompasses the impact of the production method, the delivery of the product to site, but also the durability of both the product and service life of the scheme and finally the product’s complete life cycle.
Energy efficiency and reduction of emissions
Every effort is made for the continuous improvement of energy efficiency and reduction of energy consumption and waste. The firing process takes place in energy-efficient, modern computerised facilities using natural gas-fired energy efficient tunnel kilns, the cleanest and most environmentally friendly fuel available.
A flue gas filter is used to remove particulates from the combustion gases. These combined measures result in purified emissions with many measurements falling well below the stringent standards required. Hot air recovered from the kilns is directed towards the driers and heating to the workshops and offices.
Varying methods of installing efficient renewable energy sources have been undertaken. Combined heat and power plants, such as 16-cylinder gas engines coupled to an alternator to produce electricity, have been installed at manufacturing facilities and is responsible for 50% of the required power at these factories.
An alternative method is the installation of solar panels to factories which together help to generate more power so reducing CO2 emissions contributing towards a better environment. A Guarantee of Origin Certificate also pledges that the additional electricity purchased is supplied from wind energy, hydro or solar power.
Around the production facilities transport of raw materials into the factory, together with delivery of finished product to sites, start their initial journey by road to an inland barge terminal within 25km of the factory. Finished products are sent by inland barge to the major port terminals whereupon they are loaded on to sea barges and shipped to major UK ports. This minimises the number of journeys by road reducing not only emissions, but also congestion.
Products held in stock for the UK market are delivered in full loads by boat directly to Tilbury port, our stockyard facility specifically chosen to be within close proximity to reduce transport by vehicles. Projects demanding larger volumes of product direct to site are delivered to the closest port available to the project in order to reduce transport by road and further reduce congestion. Full loads of paving are then transhipped directly to site using low emission modern vehicles.