In 2022, window and door manufacturers can work towards their sustainability goals, whilst meeting the needs of today’s environmentally-aware customers by working with the right hardware supplier. Here Kerri Nadel, Sustainability Programme Manager for ERA, explores how manufacturers can identify suitable hardware partners and the importance of these relationships for improving sustainability throughout the entire supply chain.
Whilst the 2050 deadline to meet the government’s net zero ambitions may feel lightyears away, it will only be achieved if companies adopt a proactive approach to the sustainability of how they do now business now and in the future. One way in which the government is helping manufacturers to achieve this is the imminent implementation of important legislative changes that will constitute a major overhaul of waste packaging regulations.
This includes the introduction of the Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policies, which aim to reduce the quantity of waste pollution and encourage manufacturers to utilise more sustainable product packaging that is responsibly sourced.
Whilst these regulations do not directly impact the packaging of window and door manufacturers’ own products, business owners have the opportunity to partner with hardware suppliers that are not only responding to, but going beyond these legislative changes, to support their own ethical business practices and to demonstrate sustainable sourcing.
Getting to know PPT and EPR
The PPT aims to increase the use of recycled plastic in packaging by approximately 40%, which will equate to carbon savings of almost 200,000 tonnes throughout 2022-23. Its introduction is the government’s latest strategy to reduce the use of new plastics and increase plastic recycling.
Set to be enforced from 1st April, the tax will impact around 20,000 manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging. Levied at £200 per metric tonne of plastic packaging that contains less than 30% recycled plastic, the new tax has significant implications for businesses that import over 10 metric tonnes of plastic throughout a 12 month period.
Companies that do not comply will be faced with civil and criminal penalties if they fail to register, file returns or complete payments. Businesses operating under the 10 metric tonne threshold will also need to maintain a record of the frequency and weight of plastic being imported, to evidence to HMRC that they are operating below the tax threshold.
The government’s second policy, EPR, will transfer the current shared responsibility for the management of packaging waste to the packaging producers, who will have sole responsibility and will pay the full cost of managing packaging once it becomes waste. The goal of this policy, in line with the PPT, is to reduce the quantity of packaging being produced and to increase the volume of recycled packaging being used.
Whilst Phase 1 of EPR won’t be introduced until the beginning of 2023, businesses will have to report on household packaging produced throughout 2022. Door and window manufacturers will also have to include this data within their own reporting processes, as part of their procurement and supply chain operations.
The perfect partner
It’s therefore extremely important that door and window manufacturers form relationships with suppliers who are already working to fulfil their responsibilities with regard to PPT and EPR. However, manufacturers also have an opportunity here to collaborate with suppliers and make tangible improvements together, by understanding how suppliers’ use packaging and the changes that can be implemented to fulfil these new legislative requirements.
This includes assessing the role of tertiary packaging, such as wrap and ballet banding, to ascertain how this type of wrapping can be reduced, without damaging the product when in transit. Adjusting procurement practices, such as bulk ordering, can also drive waste packaging savings, by reducing the frequency of repeat wrapping and transportation that is required.
ERA is already working in close partnership with its customers on a ‘minimise, eliminate, replace’ strategy, which includes removing plastic from display packaging, in addition to optimising the use of sustainable materials across all packaging. This forms part of ERA’s commitment to achieving 100% sustainable packaging by 2026, an obligation it committed to prior to the introduction of PPT and EPR. It has also pledged to eliminate waste to landfill by the same year.
Looking ahead to future product development and packaging requirements, ERA is working in partnership with customers to implement the use of recycled material in place of any plastic that cannot be removed entirely. By applying the principles of the circular economy, ERA is also working in conjunction with manufacturers to return as much waste packaging to its own sites, whilst also exploring reusable packaging options.
Focusing on the future
This joint innovation journey is focusing on the operations of today to meet the government’s new regulations, but it is important that these partnerships also shape business operations that create sustainable solutions for the future.
Nations’ climate pledges made under the 2015 Paris Agreement were revisited at COP26, which further emphasised the need for all manufacturers to reduce the carbon emissions they create throughout their own operations, in addition to the wider value chain.
This includes Scope 1, which covers all Direct Emissions (Green House Gas) from the activities of an organisation or under their control, such as fuel combustion on site, in addition to Scope 2, which focuses on Indirect Emissions from electricity purchased and used by the business.
Whilst many window and door manufacturers will be revising their business practices and implementing changes to adequately reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions, it is important to also work in partnership with businesses throughout the supply chain who are striving to achieve the same goals. As part of the Tyman UK & Ireland Sustainability Excellence Roadmap, ERA has committed to reducing its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% by 2026, which will subsequently support its window and door customers in also reducing their value chain emissions.
As part of the Tyman Group 2030 Sustainability Excellence Roadmap, ERA is also working with Science Based Targets to become carbon neutral by 2030. This will be achieved by implementing a holistic approach to energy efficiency, including the deployment of renewable energy technologies, in addition to dedicated carbon removal projects for hard-to-reduce carbon emissions.
The introduction of the new packaging regulations is providing the window and door industry with the opportunity to accelerate sustainability progress, and to develop supplier partnerships that enhance sustainability throughout the supply chain, from product design and packaging to transportation. By taking responsibility for its environmental actions, the industry can work together to protect businesses and the planet for current and future generations.
Further information on Tyman’s approach to sustainability can be found at www.tymanplc.com/sustainability