Reduce, Reuse and Recycle with Broxap Street Furniture
Broxap Street Furniture is taking a wide variety of positive actions to become greener. Reducing waste, reusing materials and recycling goods helps us to work smarter for the benefit of the environment. As one of the UK’s leading manufacturers, suppliers and installers of street furniture, we know we have a part to play in tackling the climate challenge. Adapting how we work to improve sustainability goes hand in hand with investing in new technology and coordinating efforts between divisions. Using this robust, multifaceted approach we aim to lessen our impact on the environment.
Reducing our carbon footprint
Unnecessary powder coating has been eliminated from our production processes. A review of our manufacturing techniques showed some hidden product parts, such as the inside of litter bins and the undersides of baseplates for submerged fixed furniture, were undergoing powder application treatment. By stopping this, we are seeing less wastage. We have also made the switch from wet painting products from our cast iron and polyurethane (PU) product lines to powder coating them. Powder coating does not release volatile organic compounds (VOC) that may harm the environment. By replacing wet painting with powder coating Broxap is reducing its VOC emissions by around five tonnes per year. We’re always looking to reduce CO2 emissions and our virtual site surveys are an excellent way of cutting down unnecessary travel. From our offices in North Staffordshire, our teams liaise with clients using web-based technology such as video conferencing, online chat and the sharing of visual content. Moving our operations under one roof, with all of our divisions working from a manufacturing, warehouse and office development in Chesterton, has eliminated emissions caused by site-to-site logistics. We’ve also gone electric, making the sustainable decision to move away from diesel fork lift trucks. By operating electric forklift trucks we are saving around 27 tonnes of CO2e per year and removing greenhouse gases from our working environments. In 2021 we also invested in a new fibre laser cutting machine which uses significantly less power than CO2 lasers. As well as better efficiency, with electrical consumption about a third less than CO2 counterparts, a solid state laser produces fewer hazardous fumes and enables speedy high volume production. Broxap also announced in 2020 that use of plastic wrapping would be reduced wherever possible.
Reusing products and packaging where possible
Extending the lifecycle of a product, without the need for further processing, is another way we are reducing our carbon footprint. This is not a new concept at Broxap. Indeed, our managing director Robert Lee recalls how his first job was to collect unused coke for the furnace at Hillsyde Foundry, the business that was to become Broxap set up in 1946 by Sydney Lee. Then aged just eight, Robert was taught the importance of recycling and reclamation by his father. While the business has moved on to cleaner and greener methods of manufacturing, the principles on which it was founded are still important to us, as our blog about our 75th anniversary highlights. Today, you will find that we reuse timber offcuts from our workshops to use as spacers and in packaging. Our pallets and stillages are reused again and again – you can read more about that scheme here. And where it is cost and energy efficient, we will refurbish and make good existing products, such as bins and benches, which have plenty of service life in them.
As well as collecting coke, Robert moved on to collecting scrap metal from the slag heaps for recycling. Today, through our waste collection services, our general waste goes directly to a refuse-derived fuel plant. This has led to ‘zero waste to landfill’ certification for Broxap. Our ‘scrap’ or off-cuts – whether it be steel, laser cut sheet metal or timber - is all recycled. And where we can’t refurbish an existing product we will recycle the individual materials it’s made up of, saving our customers the cost of disposing of old bins and benches.
Credible sustainability initiatives
Being able to demonstrate how we are reducing, reusing and recycling is also engaging our employees in good practices they can follow outside of the workplace. Improvements to our IT infrastructure has dramatically cut down on paper use as we swap to screen sharing, on screen annotations and e-signing. And we follow sustainable procurement policies with a wide range of our products made from recycled plastic and FSC or sustainable timber. To explore our product range or to discuss how Broxap is reducing its carbon footprint, get in touch today.