Smart steps to sustainability

With the help of Envirowise, Huddersfield-based commercial interiors company, Interface Fabrics embarked on a programme of waste minimisation which yielded cost savings of over £1 million. The company has been making a determined effort to minimise its impact on the environment for the past decade, and was the first textile company in the UK to achieve ISO 14001.

Since 1993, when warm water replaced the cold water process, the company has achieved total water savings of over £650,000. Interface Fabrics has also introduced customised loom selvage savers, which eliminate the need for a strip of selvage fabric on the left hand side of the material they produce. When these were introduced in 1999, they reduced fabric waste by 32,810kg, delivering savings of £164,000 in that year alone.

Waste minimization

At April’s Waste Minimisation Seminar organised by Envirowise, Ian Burn of Interface Fabrics shared the company’s approach to sustainability with representatives from 70 companies in the Yorkshire area.

Mr Burn comments: “UK business has much to gain from spending some quality time focusing on the way they interact with society and the natural world. Waste minimisation is an obvious starting point as it offers a double benefit. Firstly, by minimising your waste you increase your profits. With the help of our Envirowise FastTrack visit, we identified costs savings of over £1 million. Secondly, eliminating waste has a positive effect on the environment.”

FastTrack visits are free and confidential on-site waste reviews, primarily aimed at SMEs. carefully selected independent consultants work with companies for a day to identify waste minimisation opportunities.

Knowledge and expertise

Envirowise director, Martin Gibson, says: “Envirowise has a wealth of free knowledge and expertise to offer to UK businesses. Waste alone costs many companies about four per cent of their profit, so reducing waste will help businesses of all sizes to increase their profitability in today’s competitive environment.

“Bringing companies together and enabling them to hear first hand accounts of the fantastic environmental work that is currently being done definitely helps to inspire change. Those looking after the financial side of businesses are delighted to learn that there are substantial savings to be made from waste minimisation. Envirowise helped UK business to save £170 million last year and we hope to substantially increase this figure in 2002.”

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie