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
Last year we undertook an independent assessment of our carbon emissions for 2019, carried out to recognised international methodologies by Carbon Footprint.
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. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we were unable to carry out a review for 2020, but we are looking to resume these yearly reviews again next year.
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 reduce our emissions going forward.
The assessment of our energy usage in 2019, undertaken in 2020, evaluated the carbon emissions that the company produced from all sources, ranging from our electricity usage to our vans and office air conditioning. From this, it was found that our carbon footprint for 2019 was 354.36 tonnes, of which the biggest percentage of our carbon footprint (34.1%) came from our vans.
We are currently investing in more electric and hybrid vehicles for our company cars and, when the technology has improved to allow it, we hope to invest in electric or hybrid company vans. We are also aiming to reduce our electricity usage throughout the company.
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 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.
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. We are gradually replacing our car fleet with electric vehicles and have installed charging points for electric vehicles at our workshop.
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.
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).