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Sustainability at Birtley Group

Sustainability at Birtley Group

We recently caught up with Simon Hogg, our QHSE Manager, to discuss all the steps Birtley Group is taking to work towards a more sustainable future.

We’ll discuss impactful internal processes, innovative and efficient products, big shake-ups, and how all the steps taken by Birtley Group will contribute to reaching Net Zero.

Why is sustainability important to Birtley Group? 

Sustainability isn’t just important, it’s essential!

Our sustainability drive is representative of our desire to evolve as a business. Adapting to efficient ways of working, new technologies, and eliminating waste are a core part of our future. 

We are actively working to reduce our impact on the environment. We also know that the products we manufacture today will increase energy efficiency for our customers tomorrow. It’s encouraging to think about the collective impact these products will make in the long term.

What does Birtley Group do to promote sustainability? 

Our galvanizing operation is key to promoting the sustainable use of steel products by significantly extending their usable life. Creating longer-lasting products is a critical pillar of sustainability – just imagine doubling or tripling the lifespan of a product. Fewer raw materials need to be consumed in replacements, less energy is used in converting those raw materials, and less transport is needed to deliver them – securing wins all round from making what we have last longer!

We supply nationally, so we always try to optimise efficiency in our delivery services, by carefully selecting our logistics partners to ensure high load utilisation. 

We’re also extremely aware of our waste streams. Our waste metals, timber, and packaging are 100% recycled. 

In terms of energy schemes, we’re currently replacing older lighting systems with newer, more efficient technologies, like LED systems. We’re also putting our new lighting systems onto Passive Infrared Sensors (PIRs) where practical, so we’re not relying on employees having to switch the lights on and off every day, which saves a great deal of energy. 

Can you tell me a little bit about Birtley Group’s sustainable products?

The UPVC material we use on our door frames is 100% recycled. At the end of the manufacturing process, the waste UPVC is collected by another company that creates other plastic products from it.

Our Supatherm Lintel product facilitates up to an 80% reduction in heat loss compared with standard cavity wall lintels. It also contributes to meeting the Future Homes Standard which was developed to ensure that all homes built from the year 2025 emit 75-80% less carbon than homes built under the old regulations.

As mentioned previously, galvanizing is also a great way of extending the life span of steel products. 

What sustainable machinery is used by Birtley Group in production?

We already use 100% renewable electricity through a partnership with a green energy provider. However, there is more we can do and we are looking at the potential for our own solar power, using small wind turbines and biomass. 

We are going through an exercise where our equipment is being audited to get an idea of its energy efficiency. Some of the projects, such as improving the galvanizing plant are large, but there are smaller, very practical steps such as replacing old legacy energy-inefficient equipment such as motors. 

What are Birtley Group’s future aspirations for sustainability?

As part of a larger group, we have committed to the SBTi (Science Based Target initiative) to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This is an important commitment and requires us to monitor scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions and develop clear plans to reduce our emissions.

Bringing this back to a practical level, this encompasses a range of factors from educating and encouraging our teams to be aware of their own impact on the environment to tackling some of the bigger problems such as our use of natural gas.