In recent years, sustainability has become an increasingly prevalent term in popular culture. Now more so than ever, people are becoming aware of the impact that we have on the environment and are attempting to find innovative ways in which we can prolong the longevity of the earth's resources.
Sustainability however, is a frequently talked about yet least understood term. In general terms, it is the ability to carry out activities without depleting resources or having a harmful impact on the environment. In the 'Our Common Future' report of 1987, The Brundtland Commission defines sustainability as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
Sustainability should be understood in relation to corporate responsibility; increasing regulations in areas such as carbon emissions and waste are forcing companies to improve these processes, and also improving the ways in which businesses are responding to the needs of stakeholders and ensuring the sustainability of their actions.
Here at Protec we are in a strong position to encourage and lead in environmental best practice, and we accept responsibility for the ethics of our organisation's activities and operate in a way that is viable long term.
There are many ways in which we are at the forefront of environmental best practice. It is a primary focus, as we understand that a business which damages the systems that it depends upon is ultimately unsustainable. As members of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, one of only thirteen* construction industry suppliers to reach Gold status, we are committed to The UK Construction Strategy 2025 which sets out clear ambitions; 50% less CO2, 50% quicker and 33% less cost.
Notably a client of ours in London who regularly used 6mm and 12mm ply wood as their temporary flooring protector has become increasingly aware of the benefits of using Proplex FR HD, which is a protective floor covering transported in sheets that are fully recyclable. Used as a floor protector to prevent damage from spillages, debris and dust, it is a viable alternative to ply wood protection because less manpower and transportation is required to cover the same surface area.
For example, an artic lorry can transport 5500 sheets of Proplex FR HD that covers 15,840m². Our client required protection for wood flooring which was 30,000m², which therefore necessitated two artic lorry loads.
By comparison, the same lorry load can only facilitate the transportation of 3630 sheets of 6mm ply wood protection, providing for 10,454m² of coverage. If the client was therefore to utilise 6mm ply wood protection, three lorry loads would be necessary.
An even greater number of lorry loads would have been required if the client was to use 12mm ply wood protection; one lorry load can only transport 1650 sheets of 12mm ply wood, covering a surface area of 4,752m², thus necessitating the use of six lorry loads to transports the same surface area of protection.
By reducing the number of loaded lorries required to transport protective floor covering down to London, this immediately reduced the carbon footprint of our client massively, ensuring that they abide by attainable sustainability.
This is extremely important in light of the recent pressure on the construction industry to become economically viable. There are a number of ways that companies within the industry can reduce carbon; managing their waste is certainly one of them. The selection of materials combined with their transportation are two key factors in reducing its carbon footprint while increasing long term commercial viability.
*correct at the time of publication