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SuperFOILs Path to Net Zero by 2050 (or Sooner!)

It’s well known that sustainability is no longer a simple option to be considered but rather a necessity that everyone must address. SuperFOIL is fortunate to have emerged as a forerunner in adopting and implementing various sustainable initiatives, particularly over the last year and a half. Over time, this has become a point of pride for our business – and for good reason! Sustainability is at the core of what we do, even as we work to provide cutting-edge insulation solutions with an emphasis on performance, durability, and energy efficiency for our customers.

In particular, we take pains to ensure sustainability and thorough testing as part and parcel of our manufacture and supply process for our range of award-winning multifoil solutions. Each of our products are carefully developed and designed with environmental impact, sustainability, and customer experience in mind. We don’t take shortcuts when it comes to our products.

What’s more, our commitment to decarbonisation, innovation and energy efficiency has led us to always push for greater successes. Net Zero is a vital issue to us, and because of that we’ve done all that we can to harness our brand, people, and partners, in order to dramatically cut our waste and carbon emissions. In just the last 15 months we’ve taken incredible strides – such as sending zero waste to landfills – and we’ll continue to make moves like these as we work to forge a more sustainable future for SuperFOIL.

Of course, we understand that Net Zero is an issue that transcends any single business – even ours. It’s a global issue and should be addressed communally, without hesitation. With that goal in mind, we are pleased to share a list of the top sustainability initiatives that we’ve developed and implemented over the last year and a half. We believe that these can help us to become carbon neutral by the end of 2030 – a full 20 years ahead of the 2050 deadline! But more importantly, we believe that others in our industry (and beyond) can learn from our progress and become more sustainable themselves.

These initiatives can be split, roughly, into 3 key categories. Each is effective in their own right, but when they are brought together these initiatives can bring truly amazing results…

Category 1: Energy

To meaningfully control and change our impact on the environment, both in the short and long term, it is important that we consider the use and creation of the energy we use. Because of that, several of our initiatives are focused on optimising and improving our relationship with the energy we need to keep our business moving forward.

Prioritising Green Energy

To start with, we make a point of investing in clean, renewable energy production. After all, the more we can rely on green energy, the more sustainable our business will be. A recent example of this can be seen in one of SuperFOIL’s proudest achievements to date: the installation of a 50+ KW Solar PV (Solar Photovoltaic) system.

Set in place above our production facility, this solar generation system allows us to reliably produce plenty of renewable energy to power our operations sustainably. To be more specific, our annual yield forecast is projected at 55.4 kWp. By producing this amount of clean energy, we effectively reduce our CO2 emissions by an estimated 11,401 kg per year. That’s a lot less CO2 in our atmosphere each year.

Even more importantly, our success in establishing this Solar PV system allows us to set an industry standard for what companies like SuperFOIL can do. A precedent that will hopefully set a path for others to follow!

Considering Energy Use

Of course, energy production is only one half of the issue of energy in business. We are also taking steps to consider how energy is actually being used within SuperFOIL as well, and how we can make sure we don’t waste it. There are plenty of small changes that change the use of energy in business. However, if we are interested in making real progress, then we have to be willing to reach higher than the easiest options available. So, while we are still making smaller changes – like turning off lights and other electronics that aren’t being used – we are also making larger strides. A recent example of these big shifts can be seen in our efforts to support electric vehicles in our business.

Our electric fleet is a brilliant example of this. Composed of twelve electric vehicles – including ‘electric forklifts,’ ‘pallet stackers,’ ‘powered pump trucks,’ and electric cars – this fleet allows SuperFOIL to ensure many of our more commonplace operations are far more sustainable and produce far fewer harmful emissions. But that’s not the end of our efforts.

We are more than just our business operations, we are a collection of driven workers. And that means that we must consider the impact of our workforce’s commute as well. Understanding this point was essential, and allowed us to take another significant step toward sustainability. How? By working to reduce the impact of employee commutes. To support the use of more sustainable forms of transport. To their credit, our teams are every bit as dedicated to sustainability in their commutes as they are in our work, which is why 23% of our workforce have changed gear and decided to cycle to work. That’s more than one in every five people, but we believe we can take our sustainable commutes further!

To do so, we have made certain to provide plenty of electric vehicle charging facilities for our employees, both practically and affordably. Currently we are in the process of installing 4 more electric vehicle charging units on site! Including our existing 3 charging stations, this will bring us up to a total of 7 electric charging points, a massive benefit for employees considering an electric vehicle.

In fact, if you are thinking about going electric yourself, feel free to let us know. We would be more than happy to give you advice and guidance!

Category 2: Materials and Products

We produce plenty of products as a part of our business, and that kind of production brings plenty of environmental responsibilities as well. After all, the materials we choose to use and the products we produce as a result are necessarily going to have an impact on the environment, one that will only continue to grow as our business does.

As a result, it is vital that we give careful consideration to the materials that we use in our production process, and the products that we produce. Fortunately, we have given this matter plenty of thought, and that can be seen in the initiatives we use to shape our production processes.

Making Use of Recycled Materials

Sustainability in materials is a vital issue when it comes to producing any product. We want our products to be a net positive on the world around us, and that starts with the materials that we use to create our products in the first place.

We pride ourselves on the quality and performance of our products, but are just as proud to know that those products are built on the principles of sustainability. Our foil insulation products are created using up to 40% recycled materials, providing high-quality insulation to customers while still prioritising responsibility in their production. In fact, the wadding that is the heart of our insulation products are made from up to 75% recycled material on average. A point that we at SuperFoil are incredibly proud of, something that our CEO, William Bown, shows when he speaks about our products:

“Looking at our overall production and sales so far for 2022, I estimate that we’ll be using more recycled plastic bottle waste per year! That’s less waste clogging up our nation’s landfills. Plus, it all goes towards making homes and businesses across the country more efficient and driving down heating costs”

Quality and sustainability are issues close to William’s heart, and that sentiment is echoed at every level of SuperFOIL.

Our Production Process

Of course, achieving this vital mix of quality and sustainability isn’t something that happens overnight. It is a constant process of development, improvement, and innovation. And these values are at the forefront of our production department.

Our production team is always working on ways to improve and enhance the quality of our products and the processes we use to create them, with the majority of our most important manufacturing tools being specifically designed to fit the purpose of producing a quality product in an efficient way.

This home-grown approach to production is a key element of our success, in terms of product quality but also in achieving our sustainability goals. Innovation is the key to building businesses that can thrive sustainably and, much like our production team, SuperFOIL as a whole is dedicated to cultivating that innovation at every possible opportunity.

Another great example of this attitude can be found in our approach to packing our products for delivery. We have optimised the amount of insulation material that can be packed on each pallet, reducing transportation requirements by shipping up to five times more insulation per truck compared to traditional materials, such as: foam boards, mineral wool, etc. Thanks to this efficient packing and the lightweight design of our products, the number of delivery trucks needed for transportation is reduced by half! On a 500 mile round trip, this saves approximately 3,765 kg of carbon emission.

Reducing Our Waste

The materials we use and the products we create – these are two of the most important points to consider for sustainability in our production process. However, there is one more major point that SuperFOIL has set its sights on: reducing our waste. To be more specific, we have committed to sending absolutely zero waste to landfills. Nothing at all. This is easily one of our proudest achievements – one we achieved through a careful combination of steps in our strict Zero-waste to landfill initiative.

To begin with, we have set a focus on maximising resource efficiency and minimising the amount of waste we produce.To support this, we have set up points across our site to separate all waste, monitor waste creation, and reduce any excess packaging. This has had a massive impact on the amount of non-recyclable waste that we produce, but we weren’t done there!

Any and all waste material from our production facilities that cannot be immediately recycled are now delivered to our fantastic waste recovery partners, Mid UK Recycling and ShredMaster, which extract as much recyclable material as possible. Finally, any remaining waste is used to generate electricity for the national grid. Not only does this functionally maximise the amount of waste we are able to recycle, but it also ensures that absolutely nothing is sent to landfill!

We are incredibly proud of this achievement and believe this to be a fantastic first step toward cultivating a long-lasting culture of responsible waste management with our employees, suppliers, and customers in any way that we can.

Quick Facts About Our Products:

  • 1 truck of SuperFOIL will insulate the same number of homes as 6 trucks of PIR.
  • Just one roll of SuperFOIL SF40 contains recycled content equivalent to over 500 plastic bottles. 
  • In the last 12 months SuperFOIL have used the equivalent of approx 80 million recycled bottles in our products.

Category 3: Partnering with the Best

Working to conquer a complex and nuanced issue like long-term sustainability is no small task for any business to face. In fact, it may very well be beyond any single business to make the kinds of changes that are needed to truly overcome the challenges of Net Zero.

However, that doesn’t mean that we’ll shy away from the issue. Instead, we have made it a priority to focus on crafting strong connections with like-minded businesses that can help to give us an edge in conquering our Net Zero efforts. We’re proud of our successes, but we can also recognise that many are only possible thanks to the amazing partnerships we have been working hard to secure.

Working with Local Partners

For some time now, embracing local partnerships and on-shoring to strengthen our local communities has been our new norm within SuperFOIL. These kinds of partnerships are essential to our drive toward sustainability, but can also really help us to ensure the quality of the service we provide. After all, we have always considered customer satisfaction to be a major focus with our team and our products, and often the only way to guarantee that satisfaction is to work alongside partners we can trust to prioritise our customers too.

In fact, since SuperFOIL products have steadily gained momentum in the market over the last few years, the need to meet the market demands and reduce our dependence on overseas suppliers has become clear. We had plenty of options when looking to address this, but our dedication to sustainability and quality made it clear what our approach should be.

As demand for our products continues to grow, we are focusing on expanding our on-shore production activities and investing in local partnerships to help close any gaps in our operations. By collaborating with more local suppliers, services and delivery partners, we can work to significantly reduce our carbon footprint while also fostering a circular economy that will benefit our partners as well as ourselves.

Excitingly, the benefits of local partnerships extend far beyond environmental considerations and even reach into the area of local economy. By shifting our focus to a local system, we can ensure that we provide plenty of opportunities to our local communities, which is the responsibility of any successful business in our opinion. From increasing job opportunities to improving the local economy, our goal is to support the growth of our local communities alongside our own.

Depending on Our Net Zero Toolkit

Local partnerships are vital. However, they are not the only resources available to support our sustainability goals and it would be foolish not to invest in every opportunity available to us. So, to guide us along our sustainability goals we have officially invested in the Net Zero Toolkit, supported by Make UK. The right tools are essential to any significant goal, and we want to be sure ours are the best they can be.

Through the Net Zero Toolkit, we aim to truly understand our environmental impacts. After all, if we wish to strategise and make future business decisions in a consistently climate-responsible manner, then we must first understand the issue before us. To help with this, the toolkit provides us with the perfect tools to review our energy usage patterns within our business environment and actively measure our overall carbon footprint, all with a view to develop a groundwork that allows us to prioritise a greener approach to our operations.

In particular, by enabling us to consider Scope 2 and 3 emissions, the toolkit enables us to develop a far more nuanced understanding of the broader impacts of our business. After all, Scope 2 and 3 emissions (which you can learn more about here) can be far harder to recognise from within the confines of your own business. By broadening our viewpoint, these tools help us to avoid focusing solely on the more immediately evident emissions and instead allow us to get a genuinely comprehensive overview of our emission profile, which we can use to start reducing those emissions as well.

As a proud member of Make UK and as a Construction Leadership Council Business Champion, we aim to achieve carbon neutrality in the near future (as soon as 2030) and attain our Net Zero Target well before the 2050 deadline.

Help from Ecologi

Speaking of external organisations that have the potential to support our sustainability goals, Ecologi has been invaluable in helping us to improve the carbon footprint of our business as we have worked toward making concrete changes. 

Through our partnership with Ecologi, we have supported the planting of over 8,560 trees to date, saving 683 tonnes of carbon and contributing to a number of different projects. All of which has helped SuperFOIL to maintain its sustainability focus. Find out more here.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, sustainability is something that should be at the forefront of every business’ mind in the coming years. Not because it will be important for their “image” or a “popular issue” but because it is a genuinely important cause. One that many people are passionate about, and we’re proud to count ourselves among their number.

These initiatives have allowed SuperFOIL to make brilliant strides in our journey toward becoming a more sustainable business – in every way that we can. And their core ideas will continue to pave an environmentally-minded path for our business to walk going forward. It is our genuine hope that others will follow us on that journey, whether by following in our footsteps or forging their own path.

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