The company, which is the UK’s largest processor, distributor and installer of glass and glass systems, has made a commitment to reduce its impact on the environment and develop a sustainable approach to manufacturing.Water conservation is just one of the improvements the company has addressed as part of the programme that has also resulted in it achieving ISO 14001 certification across all of its 25 sites in the UK.
Simon Carin, Managing Director of GLASSOLUTIONS said: “The initial target was to reduce water consumption by 15% but the team embraced the challenge and some sites have actually achieved 75% reductions, with the average being around 33%. This is a fantastic achievement, which our parent company Saint-Gobain has recognised with this international award.”
Water conservation has been achieved by investing in new machinery and special equipment including centrifugal water systems, dry arising machinery and large water filtration systems and by further educating the workforce.
Other benefits have also been achieved, according to Simon Saffin, GLASSOLUTIONS’ Sustainability & Environment Manager, who led the project. “This project has reinforced to all employees that the company is serious about reducing its impact on the environment and that small changes can have a big impact.
“The new water recycling systems are very effective in removing glass “fines”. These glass particles can now be recycled, and this is helping us to reduce our natural resource consumption and secondary CO2 emissions.
“It has also increased productivity as less operator maintenance is required on the equipment, and mechanical parts are lasting longer.
“Furthermore, those employees that have been directly involved have been able to take away ideas that they can use at home to conserve water. This has a direct impact on their lives and contributes to further water conservation.
“Surprising to most people is that this investment made in improving our impact on the environment has resulted in financial returns that are greater than the expected capital project investment. This is contrary to preconceived concepts that improving the environment is just a financial burden.
“It’s vital that we have formalised systems in place so we can maintain our responsible role in the communities in which we operate and continuously improve what we do – and winning the award is the icing on the cake.”