ENVIRONMENT & SUSTAINABILITY
The safety and protection of the environment is central to The Sash Window Workshop’s policies and working practices.
We are very conscious of the fact that as a business we need to try to keep our carbon footprint as low as possible and that the raw materials of our trade, timber and glass, utilise precious resources that should be treated with respect and be used judiciously.
OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
We originally undertook an independent assessment of our carbon emissions for 2019, carried out to recognised international methodologies by Carbon Footprint Ltd.
We have since conducted additional reviews of our carbon emissions which found that our carbon emissions per million pound of output fell in 2021 (compared to 2019) and then reduced further in 2022.
Our carbon emissions per £ million turnover in 2022 were 24.5% lower than in 2019. This figure also doesn’t account for us starting to assess the emissions from homeworkers and our company electronics, which were not assessed in 2019.
As we look to improve our carbon footprint going forward, we will continue to carry out these independent yearly reviews alongside making changes within the business. By carrying out an independently certified assessment, we can provide our customers with accurate, verified updates on our current carbon emissions and our progress on reducing our emissions.
The assessment of 2022, undertaken in 2023, evaluated the carbon emissions the company produced from all scope 1 and 2 sources, alongside several scope 3 sources. This meant that the assessment included everything from our electricity usage to our vans, hotel stays and homeworking.
From this, it was found that our scope 1 and 2 market-based emissions for 2022 totalled 220.42 tonnes of carbon, with our total assessed tonnes of market-based emissions totalling 244.85 tonnes of carbon. Within this, the biggest percentage of our carbon footprint in 2022 (59%) came from our vans.
CARBON NEUTRAL PLUS
We are proud to have achieved Carbon Neutral Plus status, meaning that we have offset 125% of our carbon emissions.
As an environmentally responsible company we feel that it isn’t enough just to offset the emissions we produce and just be Carbon Neutral. We have therefore decided to go a step further and offset additional carbon from the atmosphere.
Having achieved this in 2022 (offsetting emissions from 2021), we believe that we are the first timber window and door company in the UK to achieve this.
More recently, in 2023, we offset 125% of our emissions from 2022 by investing in verified carbon offsetting projects to help reduce deforestation in the Caribbean Guatemala and Mai Ndombe in Congo.
We are FSC® certified, meaning that our timber comes from forests that are managed in an environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable manner, and we go to great lengths to ensure that the sources of our supply are beyond reproach and sustainable.
We recommend a timber called Accoya, which is a sustainable timber that comes with a 50 year anti-rot guarantee. By sequestering carbon, wood captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and locks it in helping reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere during it’s useful life. By using sustainable wood that has been harvested responsibly from well managed forests, you are helping be more environmentally friendly. Find out more about Accoya’s sustainability credentials.
We also ensure that our own activities and production methods for making our windows and doors have as little environmental impact as possible.
However, where we can, and provided the customer is comfortable, we now utilise e-mail, text messaging and cloud based technology to reduce the volume of paper we generate.
We have also installed screens throughout our workshop to help cut down on our paper usage and we use recycled paper wherever possible.
The printing company that we use for all our marketing materials utilise the latest technology to save on their paper and water consumption. They also use vegetable-based inks in their standard production processes, to reduce their use of fossil fuels.
All our marketing leaflets are printed on FSC® certified paper. The boxes used for dispatching all our marketing materials from the printing company to ourselves, and to our leaflet distribution companies, are also made from recycled cardboard.
The company who distribute our leaflets also support various reforestation programs, with organisations such as The Woodland Trust and Eden Reforestation Projects. They aim to replant two trees for every one tree used to create the media that they post.
We dispose of our waste in the most environmentally efficient way possible.
Old timber frames and windows are removed from site by our installers and are then brought back to our workshop and dismantled. Unfortunately we are unable to recycle the timber as it often will have been coated with lead paint. The glass and old iron weights are removed.
Timber shavings and dust waste from our workshop and machines are burned in our wood waste furnace. The resultant heat is piped around the factory to provide central heating.
Any old iron sash weights are collected and recycled into component parts for new projects.
Our office employees are also asked to sort their waste, ranging from paper through to drinks bottles, into the correct recycling bins for collection.
We are gradually replacing our car fleet with electric vehicles and have installed charging points for electric vehicles at our workshop.
Our vans are replaced every three to four years ensuring that we operate vehicles that are up to date with the latest fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions technology. When the technology has improved to allow it, we hope to invest in electric or hybrid company vans.
BUYING FROM US
You are helping to reduce your carbon footprint by simply purchasing new timber windows and doors from us (view Heriot Watt University study on the life cycle assessment of windows). Not only will the energy efficiency of your home improve, but also the traditional processes that we adopt to manufacture your windows and doors use significantly less resources and energy than that required to produce UPVC windows and doors.
By using sustainably sourced timber, when a tree is harvested, the carbon it has absorbed while growing will remain stored in the timber until the product reaches the end of its life. While this carbon is safely locked up in the product – such as windows or doors – more trees are planted, helping to absorb and store additional carbon as they grow. With multiple trees being planted for each tree that is felled for manufacture, windows and doors made with timber from sustainably managed forests will help to reduce carbon levels in the atmosphere (source).