Environment Times is raising money for the homeless this winter by creating a 'virtual ecohouse'. Silentnight Group is one of the donors. They write about their Environmental Policy: The main operational activity of the Silentnight Group is in the assembly and upholstery of mattresses, divan bed bases and headboards, including the processing of fabrics, fillings, wire and timber, and the delivery of our products directly to customers in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.
The Company understands its dependence and impact upon the world, and recognises the importance of sound environmental management. All our sites comply with and, where practical, exceed all relevant legal and regulatory requirements, and are subject to regular external audits to ensure continued compliance and improvement.
However, the Group is developing Environmental Sustainability as one of our key business values. We are the first Bed Company to be accredited under the Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme (FISP), and, consequently, consideration is always given to the environmental effects of our decisions based around the 5 key areas outlined below :-
1. The Environmental Impact of our Product Specifications
We seek to minimise the environmental impact of the materials consumed in the making of our products, and, where possible, will give preference to those materials produced from sustainable sources.
Our divan bed bases and headboards contain timber and timber-based products. Timber is the most practical material to use in these applications, but we also believe that it makes good environmental sense. Converting timber into a useful component takes far less energy than virtually any other suitable material, and this means the release of fewer greenhouse gases. Timber is also recyclable, biodegradable and non-toxic, which are all extremely important factors when considering the end-of-life disposal of our products.
Timber is a potentially sustainable resource capable of providing an infinite supply of material, if it is well managed. We believe that it is essential to preserve the natural forests of the world, and all our divan bed bases and headboards are produced using only Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) C104461 certified products, and the Silentnight Group is itself an FSC® Certified supplier with full Chain of Custody in place.
Our products also utilise a considerable amount of recycled materials in their construction, with comfort fillings and sheet materials being the most notable examples.
2. The Minimisation of Energy Consumption by our Sites and Vehicles
Through the efficient use of all forms of energy, we aim to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and other atmospheric pollutants to a minimum. Our manufacturing sites have energy usage reduction plans in place, and we are continuously developing, implementing and improving these plans. We also invest heavily in our transport fleet, to maintain high fuel efficiency and to minimise other environmental impacts, with all delivery routes being planned with the minimum possible travelling distance involved.
3. The Minimisation of Waste from our Sites
Some wastage of material is unavoidable in our operational processes, but the level of wastage is continually reviewed to achieve the lowest practical amount, and we operate a policy of waste segregation to maximise recycling opportunities and divert waste away from landfill. Most of the waste we generate is reused or recycled in some way, with only a small minority being sent to landfill.
4. The Minimisation of Product Returns
Our commitment to continuous quality improvement has had the effect of reducing the quantity of products returned from our Customers, thereby reducing any transport and handling impact. When products are returned to us, these are either reused or recycled with only a very small percentage ultimately being sent to landfill.
5. The Disposal of Products at the end of their life
Ultimately all our products have a finite life-span, and the safe and environmentally friendly disposal of these products is now a major consideration at the design stage. Our products now contain many materials that can be recycled and reused again, with polyesters, felts, timber, sheet materials and steel being examples.
We are also able to collect end-of-life mattresses, divan bed bases and headboard products from consumers, at the point of delivery of a new Silentnight Group product. We will then arrange the safe and environmentally friendly disposal of these end-of-life products, with most of the constituent material being recycled in some way with only a small percentage being sent to landfill.