Going green: Stannah’s approach to a more sustainable future started with small changes that add up to making a big difference!
On World Environment Day, let’s imagine you were back in the 19th century, when most people could only buy or trade local, seasonal, organic products, usually supplied in re-used wicker bags! Or simply imagine how it was to buy products that were meant to last a lifetime, through an endless process of repair or reconditioning?
Well, that time seems now more like a utopian distant future, right?
Without disregarding all the important technical and scientific advances, it is a fact that the 20th century brought an exponential increase in the human consumption of disposable and non-renewable resources. Stannah has been around for more than 152 years now, so, we can say we’ve lived through it all! But despite challenging times, our commitment to conducting business ethically, responsibly and sustainably has stood firm and has been passed down by successive generations of the Stannah family. Now, our focus is on the future and on how we can continue to evolve to meet the ever changing demands and challenges the 21st century presents and ensure that our customers can continue to see us as a company to rely on to keep “elevating sustainability”!
Energy efficient stairlifts: how much electricity does a stairlift use?
Stannah has been manufacturing stairlifts for more than 40 years now and we know this is a product bound to many misconceptions. One of them is the operating cost of a stairlift. Many think it will be an unaffordable expense in the long term, but you would be surprised to know how much electricity does a stairlift use! Customers can trust our word when we say that a stairlift will be one of the cheapest appliances to run in the average home, compared to a kettle or a microwave. This is all due to advancements in efficiency standards and the technology behind power saving devices, which make Stannah stairlifts as energy efficient as ever: it only costs around €13 per year to run!
Another important aspect that adds up to our sustainable practices is that our stairlifts are engineered to be durable, robust, i.e., to stand the test of time! With proper use and with preventive maintenance, a stairlift can last decades. So, it’s basically a one-time investment to make your home more comfortable!
However, producing energy efficient stairlifts and the removal of paper and plastic cups from our departments is not all we do for the environment! In the last 10 years, Stannah has seen an increase in its eco-friendly and sustainable business practices, by addressing environmental sustainability through “green” initiatives in terms of production, servicing and manufacturing.
Get to know more about Stannah’s approach to reducing its environmental impact!
We take a full life cycle approach with regards to sustainability
We have always been proud of our heritage and our independence because this is what gives us the freedom to run our business in accordance with our core values. That is why the challenge of “going green” is not a response to a trend, but an active and sincere will to finding sustainable ways to grow, while protecting the planet and the resources we have left. Our approach to sustainability encompasses our entire value chain, going beyond our own operations and our customers. We do this because we recognise that we can only create a more sustainable future by addressing the interconnected nature of the environmental, social and economic challenges we face.
We can trace this concern for self-sufficiency and the ability to “do more with less” since the time of Leslie Stannah, when he rebuilt the family business after WWII. Since then, Stannah never stopped seeking for more innovative methods to eliminate the creation of waste, a concern that, with time, evolved into integrating green practices in our business functions by applying a Continuous Improvement (CI) philosophy to reducing our environmental impacts. From the warehouse to the factory, we have now surveyed the waste produced, and appropriate recycling facilities and processes implemented to capture and divert this waste away from landfill.
We also believe that the larger value of becoming an eco-friendly company relates to spreading the culture to preserve natural resources by using those that are sustainable, or by taking measures to reduce the amount consumed.
We are also concerned about educating our employees to sustainable practices and that is why we conduct in-house training on environmental awareness. But that is not all! We also provide sustainability classes and lectures to our surrounding communities, based on our experiences of implementing sustainability across the business – in both John Hanson School (Andover) and Oxford Brookes University. We do this because we recognise that we can only create a more sustainable future by involving younger generations in this process.
Eco-friendly Product Packaging and Distribution
It is paramount to Stannah that we respect the responsibility we have as a business to be as environmentally friendly as possible. So, we are taking the necessary measures to make our contribution to a brighter future. Some of our contributions have been rewarded with the Green Apple Award, which recognises excellence in sustainable business practice.
“We are excited and honoured to accept this award. At Stannah, we take our environmental responsibilities very seriously and constantly strive to improve our products and packaging to lower our impact on the environment. (…) Projects like this demonstrate that sustainability should not be seen as a burden, but in fact a driving force for the industry to improve the way in which they operate, as well as reducing its impact on the surrounding environment.”
Charlie Symonds, Business Sustainability Manager of Stannah Stairlifts
Stannah was a winner of the Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice improvements with its Packaging Cube. With the focus on reducing its impact on the environment, a team was tasked with creating a new design for shipping its goods worldwide. The design change created a more robust and smaller cube, with the potential to go four wide and three high, it reduced empty voids in boxes, reduced the amount of shipped air goods and the amount of lorries used each year, causing the lowest environmental impact possible.
Also, by removing polystyrene from our packages, we increased the use of renewable materials, like cardboard, improving the end of life recyclability of packaging. But this improvement in packaging was implemented to help us meet a much wider business environmental objective!
Zero waste to landfills
“There is no such thing as ‘away’. When we throw anything away it must go somewhere.”
Annie Leonard, Proponent of Sustainability
Stannah won the Green Apple Award again for the project entitled: Staff Restaurant Zero Waste to Landfill.
The Stannah restaurant waste is either recycled or biodegraded, therefore, moving away from sending waste to the landfill. Also, the restaurant takeaway packaging was moved from expanded polystyrene to paper pulp, enabling recycling to take place. The restaurant staff are now engaged and proud for having an essential role in reducing our impact as a business on the environment.
Eco-friendly fleet management for CO2 emissions reduction
“Good driver behaviour has been instrumental in gaining this award so thanks must go to the Stannah drivers who are on the roads every day of the year”.
Martin Carter, Stannah Management Services
Stannah’s commitment to climate protection is demonstrated by steps we take to reducing the environmental footprint of our products, processes and operations and it is embedded in our culture and mindset. It could not be otherwise, as we recognize that the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is a growing concern for all segments of society. Some degree of climate change is now inevitable as a result of the current atmospheric concentrations of these emissions. But at Stannah we believe that the scope of future warming is largely dependent on our choices regarding emissions today and in the near future. That is why we support the goals formulated in the Paris Climate Agreement, to keep the global temperature rise below two degrees and achieve net greenhouse gas neutrality in the second half of the century. Therefore, and from around 2009, Stannah took the commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of our fleet by introducing driver behaviour training and a tracking system that has significantly improved our already high driving standards, so to reflect upon the amount of air pollution produced by urban community of our fleet and the effect this has on our global environment.
Our consistent and sustainable eco-friendly management process was rewarded with the Gold Fleet Awards in 2018, granted by Masternaut, for reducing CO2 emissions.
Stannah’s message on Environment Day
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead, Cultural anthropologist
A few decades ago it seemed like the world’s resources were limitless. Today, we know that it isn’t so, and that the global push to “going green” must not only be driven by concerned citizens, politicians and non-profit organizations. In today’s business, world companies cannot continue unaware of their impact on the environment. Companies need to recognise that they have a role to play in safety, quality of life and health and the fact is that a growing number of companies have made a strong effort to become more energy efficient in their everyday practices. Not only will this approach reduce unnecessary waste and improve the overall efficiency of a business, but will also create a healthy environment for employees, while recognizing the role that businesses play in leading the way for social change.
If we all cared enough, every day would be Environment Day, but for a growing number of concerned global citizens, it already is!