MADE in Britain member Gresham Office Furniture makes furnishing for workspaces. It has joined the Green Growth Programme and John Carney (left), Gresham's design development manager, tells us how it's going.
How integral do you see sustainable business practices to the future of your business?
Gresham are a ‘True UK’ designer and manufacturer of quality work and social place furniture with complete control over any impact our processes may have on the environment and the protection of our future business. Integral to our portfolio of sustainable business practices is the core company objective of reducing our carbon footprint by five per cent per annum aiming for a value of net-zero by 2030 – this will be achieved by implementing the 17 sustainability development goals within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We are also committed to protecting the environment with an ISO 1400:2015 Accredited Environmental Management System and recognised industry accreditations and practices – FISP, FSC, FIRA and BSI – each also vitally integral to effective sustainable practices within our business.
To what extent does your approach to sustainable business set you apart (in your sector)?
Gresham is one of the UK’s leading designers and manufacturers in the furniture sector with state-of-the-art on-site capabilities producing quality products that meet strict environmental credentials. The appointment of a dedicated Design Development Manager and HSE Manager provides validation of being a sustainable business in our sector with qualified professionals implementing our environmental strategies and the operation of active green working practices including:
• Direct purchase of all sustainably sourced raw materials through material suppliers with similar environmental working practices and accreditations.
• Sustainable design and manufacture - state-of-the-art panel processing equipment, engineering, and metal fabrication.
• Offset of 82 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year with the installation of solar panels fitted to our factory roof.
• Waste reduction in our manufacturing processes with Giben Panel Processors that calculate the optimum cutting pattern for minimal wastage, BAZ machines calculate the drill holes required to the exact millimetre and PANOTEC packaging on-demand optimising the amount of recycled cardboard we use for packaging.
• Disposal of redundant furniture through our own certified waste handling facility.
• Modern in-house fleet of purpose-built delivery vehicles utilising the latest Euro 6 engines with additional Ad Blue tanks to minimise emissions – ensuring the correct size of the delivery vehicle and making each delivery sustainably responsible.
What are the advantages of doing business sustainably?
Gresham have adopted a robust sustainability action plan and strategy with sustainable practices and company policies at the heart of our business. We have a dedicated Environmental Statement that voices our commitment to reducing our environmental impacts by continually identifying, evaluating, and controlling the environmental risks associated with our products and business. Our sustainability strategy embraces the ‘lifecycle’ of our products, and we design and manufacture furniture with this commercial approach providing the viable business advantages of:
• Improved brand image.
• Cost reduction.
• Compliance with environmental working practices and regulations.
• Attracting a new customer base.
• Supporting and maintaining a loyal customer base.
• Attracting the right employees.
• Supporting and maintaining the right employees.
How have you engaged your team members/supply/chain/other stakeholders around the Green Growth Programme, if at all?
Gresham regularly engage with our employees, supply chain and stakeholders to discuss and consider green growth within our business. Green growth is key to the development of future business plans for the Company and discussions at board, department and shop floor levels provide a practical and flexible approach for achieving concrete, measurable progress across its economic and environmental targets. A current score of 63.1 per cent provides a confident benchmark for the sustainability objectives already achieved in our business and gives positive direction for continued growth and improvement.
What advice would you give to Made in Britain members as they progress on their sustainability journeys?
Enjoy your ‘green’ journey and the wealth of environmental information, intelligence and help that is available for everyone to discover and source. Be sensible and set out short, medium, and long-term goals to achieve your sustainability aims – utilise the bounty of organic environmental guidance available that will generate both commercial and sustainable rewards for every size of business.
If you would like your business to join the Green Growth Programme, the journey starts here: https://green.madeinbritain.org/
For more information about Gresham Office Furniture, see the company’s member profile page here.