Based on the work that has been done already, the company can demonstrate significant improvements in some important sustainability measures. As we progress, we will develop more relevant measures for areas that we will address.
Our Investment in a Sustainable Future
In 2018, in response to an Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme Assessment, John Smedley made a major investment in new gas boiler plant resulting in significant process efficiencies and improving the environmental footprint of the company. The move from heavy fuel oil to natural gas has enabled the business to operate with an
on-demand steam supply, eliminating the environmental risks associated with storing high volumes of oil. In addition to putting John Smedley at the forefront of steam process technology, this investment has reduced our carbon footprint and improved garment quality for our customers. Continued investment in our water plant and processes is being made in 2019 which will further reduce our energy consumption and improve our sustainability profile.
Our Pledge to Lower Emissions
John Smedley are proud to have achieved a significant improvement in emission levels in 2018. The graph highlights a 60% reduction in our CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions following the investment in the new boiler plant. Our SO2 (sulphur dioxide) emissions have now been reduced to zero from a previous average of 80 tonnes per annum. John Smedley now exceed the targets set within the new European Emissions Regulations and are committed to delivering a further reduction through continued investment in plant and processes.
Our Electricity Reduction Plan
Since 2017 John Smedley has made a concerted effort to reduce electrical consumption across the business. This has resulted in a 26% saving, achieved through several key initiatives. An initial Investment in LED lighting throughout the business was supplemented by the installation of a high efficiency electrical transformer including voltage optimisation at our Lea Mills site. This reduces the voltage of electricity supplied to our production machines optimising consumption but reducing carbon emissions and electricity costs. Further electricity reduction initiatives are planned to maximise efficiency and support our sustainability commitment.
Our Improved Carbon Footprint
Environmental impact is at the forefront of John Smedley’s sustainability goals and influences our investment strategy. Energy is essential to our manufacturing processes and the cumulative effect of the initiatives delivered to date has resulted in a 56.5% reduction in our carbon footprint across our production areas. The change in fuel used for our steam raising process is a major contributing factor to our carbon emission reductions to date. John Smedley have an on-going commitment to explore viable green energy sources and the further investment we are making in our plant and processes will safeguard a continued reduction in carbon emissions.
Our Achievement in Reduced Water Consumption
Following an upgrade to the process water management at our Lea Mills site John Smedley has achieved a 35% reduction in the volume of water extracted from our spring. Whereas, previously, 250 cubic metres of water were extracted and stored daily, the new water management system allows us to extract and soften our water on demand. This enhanced technology also allows us to constantly monitor the quality of our water resulting in improved efficiency within our dye process. As part of our ongoing commitment to reduce water John Smedley are embarking on dye machine control upgrades that will improve dye ratios and water usage.
Our Commitment to Zero Landfill & Recycling
Following the collapse of the Chinese textile recycling market in 2018 John Smedley set up a ‘Sustainability Team’ with a dedicated focus on sustainable waste management. Up until this point and for the past 25 years, China had handled over half of the world’s recyclable waste. John Smedley are very proud to have achieved a zero-landfill status through delivery of several key initiatives including the segregation of plastic and cardboard waste streams. We upcycle our yarn through a back-wind process and splice partly used yarn spools to ensure that every thread of yarn is used wherever possible, minimising waste and maximising product output. We have also recently embarked on repurposing our waste in other ways through partnering with local businesses and charities and are investigating using our offcut panels as fillings for mattresses and insulation. Our continued passion for quality and sustainability remains at the forefront of our recycling strategy.