Lara Coutinho, Sustainability Programme Manager at ERA, discusses the importance of partnership between suppliers and fabricators to achieve improved environmental efficiencies throughout every stage of the supply chain, including achieving net zero and complying with the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) to successfully reduce packaging waste.
The UK government recently released its latest proposal ‘Powering Up Britain’, which outlines its strategy to decarbonise all UK industries by 2050 as part of its ambition to become a net zero economy by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions to net zero by this date.
This forms part of the government’s commitments under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to limit global temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels by taking as much of the climate-changing gases, such as carbon dioxide, out of the atmosphere as it puts in.
From an industry perspective, achieving decarbonisation throughout every stage of the supply chain requires a collaborative and continuously improving and evolving approach between fabricators and their suppliers.
One area that window and door manufacturers should consider when identifying suppliers who are adopting a proactive approach to sustainability is their adherence to the Science Based Targets Initiative.
Science Based Targets
Aiming to drive ambitious corporate climate action, the Science Based Targets Initiative provides companies with a defined path to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goals to help prevent the worst impacts of climate change, whilst future-proofing business growth.
By partnering with manufacturers that have signed up to the Science Based Targets Initiative, fabricators can be confident that they are working with suppliers that are committed to playing their part in delivering the level of decarbonisation required under the Paris Climate Agreement.
Companies should here look for manufacturers who are implementing projects to minimise scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions. Introduced in the 2001 Green House Gas Protocol, the scopes are the basis for mandatory greenhouse gas reporting and categorises the different kinds of carbon emissions a company creates in its own operations and the wider value chain.
Tyman, ERA’s parent company, has had its targets validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative to reduce absolute scope 1 and scope 2 GHG emissions by 46.2% by 2030 from a 2019 base year and reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods and services by 27.5% within the same timeframe.
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)
The second consideration that fabricators should focus on when identifying an environmentally-conscious supplier is Extended Producer Responsibility, also known as EPR. Introduced by the UK government on 1st January 2023, EPR requires businesses that have an annual turnover of £1 million or more and are responsible for over 25 tonnes of packaging in a calendar year, in addition to carrying out packaging activities, to report on their packaging data.
Large producers (those who have a £2 million turnover and are responsible for 50 tonnes of packaging), will be required to report in October 2023, whilst small producers (those who have a £1 million turnover and are responsible for 25 tonnes of packaging), won’t have to report until April 2024 on 2023 data.
EPR transfers the shared responsibility for the management of packaging waste to the packaging producers, who will have sole responsibility and pay the full cost of managing packaging once it becomes waste. The legislation forms part of a major overhaul of waste packaging regulations by the UK government and aims to reduce the quantity of waste discarded and encourage manufacturers to utilise more sustainable product packaging that is responsibly sourced.
As the regulation will impact any businesses that have an annual turnover of £1 million or more, are responsible for over 25 tonnes of packaging in a calendar year, and carry out any packaging activities, applicable window and door manufacturers will have to include this data within their own reporting processes as part of their procurement and supply chain operations. It’s therefore extremely important that fabricators form relationships with suppliers who are already adhering to the requirements of EPR to not only demonstrate compliance but achieve responsible sourcing throughout the entire supply chain.
ERA is helping to streamline the process for window and door manufacturers by adopting a partnership approach that ensures fabricators collect all of the correct and necessary packaging data required to help identify their liability and mitigate any potential cost implications.
Whilst facilitating a necessary step forward in the reduction of plastic use and waste, the government’s updated packaging legislation is also providing the industry with an opportunity to collaborate throughout every stage of the supply chain to identify how packaging can be improved, whilst still successfully protecting products when in transit.
For fabricators, this includes working with suppliers to assess the role of tertiary packaging such as plastic wrap and pallet banding and identify how material quantities can be adequately reduced, without damaging the product. It also includes adjusting procurement practices, such as bulk ordering, to increase waste packaging savings by reducing the frequency of repeat wrapping and transportation that is required.
To support customers in achieving this, ERA is proactively improving the sustainability of its packaging, without negatively affecting the protection of its products when in transit, to achieve reductions in plastic packaging whilst simultaneously increasing the use of recyclable materials.
The activities form part of Tyman’s 2030 Sustainability Roadmap, which outlines the Group’s commitments to minimise its impact on the environment, including providing 100% sustainable packaging by 2026 and eliminating waste to landfill by the same year.
By working together, the window and door industry has the opportunity to achieve a proactive approach to sustainability throughout every area of the sector by collectively taking responsibility for positive environmental action that works toward achieving a sustainable future for all.