Good, Green Things About Us!
We must be the change we want to see" Gandhi
1. Firstly, one of our core principles when we started the business in 1993 was to produce building materials with minimal environmental and health impacts and this was almost 25 years ago before it was fashionable. It is still a fundamental principle that runs through the business and our products.
2. We take huge pride in ensuring that the company operates with minimal environmental impact and are proud to say that we operate our ISO14001:2015 Environmental Management System this ensures that:
- we comply with all applicable environmental legislation,
- we monitor our environmental impact and set targets year on year to reduce our environmental impact through making improvements.
- We are audited against the above annually by the British Standards Institute
3. Achievements over the years have included:
- For the restoration of the Ty-Mawr site, we have sourced all of the materials as locally as we possibly can e.g. Welsh slate, our own timber, Welsh wool insulation etc. minimising the road miles of building products as well as supporting the rural economy. We have installed our own warm roof, limecrete floors and internal wall insulation systems to ensure energy efficiency in all of the buildings possible.
- We are now completely off oil - the heating system for the house, offices and training centre is from a biomass chip boiler (saving at least 40 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per annum).
- We have installed solar thermal for hot water.
- We have a green purchasing policy and recycle everything possible so always look at the environmental implications of the products we use from the coffee we drink, to the paper we use, to the cleaning products we use
- We received a biodiversity award in 2007 for the work that we have done to the surrounding land (in which the main business is located) – we have reinstated the old pond and kitchen garden, replanted old orchards (and planted a new orchard of 47 trees – all local varieties), reinstated hedges, stone walls and ditches and planted 100s of indigenous oak, cherry, ash, rowan and chestnut trees. For the millennium, we sent our top 2000 clients an oak or cherry tree to plant (and get various updates about their progress!) as a small gesture to offset carbon.
- We have installed rainwater harvesting for our training centre and a sophisticated system on the manufacturing yard to capture and reuse rain-water (we have lots here in Wales!).
- We have just taken delivery our first 100% electric car - and are soon to install a PV roof to generate all of its power!
- We are committed to using low impact packaging when possible.
i. Our bubble wrap is biodegradable.
ii. The shredded paper to pack and protect paints is the waste paper from our offices and where possible we reuse the packaging we receive.
iii. Our boxes and fitments can all be recycled.
iv. Plastic product wrap, bags and buckets as well as paint tins can be cleaned and taken to recycling points.
v. Bulk bags, unfortunately, can only be landfilled at this moment in time, as they are 'one-use' only for safety reasons.
vi. We have to meet minimum packaging standards for hauliers (otherwise goods cannot be put into their system) but we want to reassure clients that we are continually working to improve packaging to reduce waste and our environmental impact whilst ensuring that the product reaches you safely and in useable condition.
vii. We use Welsh raw materials where we can for the products we make and sell (e.g. in our wool insulation, many of our sands, recycled glass for our plasters and mortars etc) or British products (e.g. lime, hemp, paint) where they are available. We do import products where they are not made in the UK e.g. wood wool boards, woodfibre boards, cork boards, recycled foamed glass and the plant and mineral-based paints – but with all of our suppliers, we ensure that they have the highest quality standards and excellent eco-credentials; we also seek to work with small and family businesses as opposed to multi nationals. We are acutely aware of maximising the potential of any delivery to reduce road miles where at all possible and so ship full containers whenever possible (as opposed to road haulage/odd pallets etc) and have invested in adequate warehousing to ensure that we can support this.
viii. We insist on knowing exactly what our products contain and supply the full declaration of all constituents and where they are sourced.
11. We continually work to improve the green credentials of our products and look for e.g. alternatives to sands (which deplete a natural resource) and as a result have developed exciting products like the glaster product range, the sublime limecrete floor and the hemp-lime plaster - we will continue to innovate for the benefit of the environment.
12. We employ all local people and use local hauliers, caterers, gardeners, contractors, trainers - in fact, we spend the majority of our gross income within a 40-mile radius contributing to creating a sustainable community.
13. We were part of the Welsh Government's Workforce Development Programme and have recently completed a staff engagement project with Corporate Instinct showing our commitment to looking after and developing our small team giving them job satisfaction and ensuring that our clients get the best possible advice, product and service.
14. We have re-established the Victorian Kitchen garden and provide food from it for course delegates and those hiring our training venue.
15. We have also achieved our Ethical Award and the All-Parliamentary Corporate Social Responsibility award which help to demonstrate that we are a socially and environmentally responsible business and operate in an ethical manner. In 2016, we were delighted to be included in the Good Shopping Guide's top Ethical Companies in the World!
16. We are a family run business. Our children, after all, have to be one of the main motivators for taking better care of the planet on a daily basis.
17. At Ty-Mawr we are certainly trying to work and live by the principles that we believe will create a better future and strive to provide advice and products to our clients that will help them to reduce their own environmental impact and that of their buildings to be part of the change they wish to see in the world too!
That feels good and worthwhile every single day!