The Flagmakers Group has agreed these key principles that underpin our approach to sustainability:
- Sustainability is part of the core function of all activities within the business including Purchasing, Manufacturing, Office Management & Administration and Travel;
- We aim to practice what we preach by taking sustainability into account in all our actions and decision-making;
- We will use our position/purchasing power to influence others wherever possible.
Consumption of Resources
In our manufacturing processes we will seek to use materials efficiently. For example we will purchase fabrics in roll sizes and widths that are appropriate to the job to minimise off cuts and process waste. Where possible we will use materials that are recycled or recyclable and from sources that have an accredited sustainability policy.
We will minimise our use of paper and other office consumables by for example reusing paper and identifying opportunities to reduce waste. We shall use office paper produced from sustainable sources. Wherever possible our preference is to issue documents electronically and encourage others not to print documents such as emails.
We will, as far as possible, arrange for the reuse or recycling of office waste including paper, computer supplies and redundant equipment.
We will seek to reduce the energy consumption of office equipment and manufacturing equipment by purchasing energy efficient equipment and ensuring good housekeeping. We will operate a ‘turn it off’ policy to ensure that lights and equipment are fully turned off (not left on standby) when not in use. We shall investigate the purchase of electricity from a supplier committed to renewable energy and seek to maximise the proportion from renewable energy sources.
All equipment is regularly maintained to ensure it is working efficiently. Equipment is only switched on when it is in use and we have installed a large number of skylights in the roofs of our factory premises which means that we only have to use electric lighting 50% of the time.
We will ensure that timber products used in manufacturing or packaging are recycled and/or are from well managed, sustainable sources and are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.
Waste Minimisation and Recycling
We manufacture many of our flagpole and banner support systems in aluminium and 100% of scrap material is recycled. Customers can also return their un-wanted used goods to us for recycling. Recycled aluminium uses only around 5% of the energy used to make new metal and can be recycled time and again without loss of quality. Recycled aluminium produces only 5% of the CO2 emissions as compared with new production and reduces the waste going to landfill.
Our waste and scrap steel is sorted and separated for recycling and it is returned for manufacture of new metal. Steel scrap is essential in the process of making new steel and can be recycled indefinitely without losing its quality. Recycled steel uses only 25% of the energy required for new metal and there are substantial reductions in use of raw materials, water and air-bore pollution
Packaging, Paper & Cardboard
We aim to limit the amount of packaging we use for our goods. All packaging materials are chosen with function and environmental impact in mind. We choose materials that are bio-degradable or recyclable whenever possible.
Cardboard and paper waste is separated and returned for recycling. We recycle 400 m3 of paper and cardboard every year that would otherwise have gone to landfill.
Fabrics and Inks
On the 1st January 2007 new legislation 2004/42/CE entered into force in all the European Union countries. It concerns emissions limits in the atmosphere of solvents used in products such as printing inks.
Our Textile and Dye Sublimation printing equipment use water based dye disperse inks. By moving to these inks we are committed to reducing our emissions of solvents from printing inks. We also use 100% polyester fabrics for all our direct to textile and dye sublimation printing. Polyester fibres can be recycled and used to create new material or combined with other polymers to create a wide variety of plastics products. As part of our environmental policy we are committed to reducing our use of solvent inks and non-recyclable materials.
Office and other waste
We will return fax and toner cartridges for re-use, redundant computer and electronic equipment will be disposed of through appropriate re-cycling organisations to ensure they are disposed of appropriately.
We will undertake to walk, cycle and/or use public transport to attend meetings, site visits etc except in circumstances where the alternatives are impractical and/or cost prohibitive and will look to share transport if possible.
Where the only practical alternative is to fly, we will ensure visits are coordinated to minimise multiple trips. We will avoid or reduce physically travelling to meetings etc where alternatives are available and practical, such as using teleconferencing or video conferencing, and will plan efficient timing of meetings to avoid multiple trips.
We aim to reduce annual car mileage and plan journeys efficiently to ensure that we organise multiple visits. Company vehicles will be replaced with more efficient models as they become due for replacement.
Communicating our policy
Copies of our sustainability policy will be made available to all our employees and staff will receive appropriate training to enable them to fulfill our sustainability objectives. We will publish our sustainability policy online and encourage suppliers and clients to adopt the principals of sustainability within their organisations.
1st January 2010