A circular economy explained
It’s evident desperate changes are required to improve the rate of climate change. One of the latest approaches to the traditional production and consumption cycle is know as the circular economy.
An economy that consists of extracting natural materials which then flow in a straight line from production to landfill, is known as a linear economy. This traditional method produces an excessive amount of wasted materials and pollution – which equates to a large factor of our current climate crisis.
Whereas a circular economy involves reusing, repairing and refurbishing existing products for as long as possible. This helps to increase the longevity of a product, and therefore reduce the amount of wasted products and materials that will later go into landfill.
So what are we doing to help?
The circular initiative has been a strong aspect of our process for many years and to this day has an impact on many of our new design concepts.
Instilled in the DNA of our purchasing strategy is a desire to source from our home market wherever possible, to reduce carbon emissions from unnecessary travel. For example, all of our steel is purchased from within the UK – producing 50% less CO2 emissions than steel sourced from within Europe.
As manufacturers we are one of the first steps in the supply chain and have a responsibility to create products that are made to last. We operate each stage of our manufacturing processes from our factory in Hampshire allowing our team to maintain strong quality control. It’s widely understood that sometimes buying ‘cheap and fast’ leads to issues down the road, that’s why we feel strongly about investing in a product and in a business you can truly rely on whilst also reducing the amount of products that later go to landfill due to quality issues.
Providing options for specifiers that are easy to refurbish and reuse has always been a key aspect in our product development processes. When designing our heritage lanterns we were able to ensure that each element is fully replaceable - allowing for on-going upgrades and refurbishment works for years to come.
Not only are our products easily refurbished but we also supply various metalwork solutions that help our customers to repurpose existing designs. For example, our column sleeves allow you to install energy-saving LED lighting without replacing existing columns. Replacing existing lanterns with LED technology usually requires raising the height of the column and changing the angle or outreach for the new lantern. Adding one of our column sleeves to existing concrete columns dramatically extends their service life and removes the cost of replacing the column itself, plus the associate cost of disconnecting and then reconnecting the electrical supply - providing an energy saving solution that supports circularity.
Although the aim is to re-use goods for as long as possible it is inevitable that some products will eventually need to be disposed of and in order to maintain a circular model it is important that the materials are able to be recycled. The majority of our products are made from galvanised steel, which is one of the metals that can be 100% recycled this means it can be used over and over without a loss in quality.
In order to implement circularity into the production and use of goods, It is incredibly important for us all to implement changes into our current processes. Finding sustainable solutions can be difficult but as manufacturers, our focus is on producing products that are made to last and that can easily be reused, refurbished and recycled to help our customers reduce their carbon footprint.