If Not Now, When?

Without a serious plan to incorporate sustainable practices in your business and without a true sustainable offering in your product range, you could find yourself outflanked by more forward-thinking competitors, writes Deceuninck’s Rob McGlennon.

How do I know this? Because I’ve asked homeowners. As a result of what they’ve said, I’ve put Deceuninck on a path to be the most sustainable systems company in the UK.

I’ll admit that when I’ve read articles and press releases about sustainability in relation to the window and door industry, I’ve always taken it with a pinch of salt. Afterall, if you sell a window or colour or security, you can immediately demonstrate what you are talking about, with the figures to back you up.

The sustainability credentials never had the same gravitas as, say, an Irish Oak-foiled window with PAS24-rated locking, for example.


Measured approach

So, if Deceuninck was going to drive the sustainability agenda, we would need to know if it resonated with consumers and we would need the measurements to back up any subsequent agenda.

On the first point, we carried out extensive customer research into homeowner attitudes to sustainability and published the results in a White Paper, which is available to download.


Sustainable and energy efficient

Independently conducted by leading consumer research company YouGov, our research shows that homeowners are prepared to pay a premium for products they see as being more sustainable or particularly in the context of rising energy prices, which will help them reduce their bills.

More than two-thirds of end-users (68%) said they would choose windows and doors with a higher recycled content over and above products that don’t contain recycled content or which did so at lower levels; and 63% of homeowners said that they would be more likely to purchase home improvements which they saw as being more ‘sustainable’. Of these, 38% would be prepared to pay more for home improvement products that had higher recycled content and reduced impact on the environment.


Science Based Targets

Now we had the data, we committed ourselves to ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse emissions through the corporate carbon reduction scheme, Science Based Targets (SBTi).

Targets are considered ‘science-based’ if they are in line with what the latest climate science deems necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – limiting global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.

Our targets include a commitment to cut the CO2 emissions from our own operations (Scope 1&2) by 60% by 2030 from a 2021 baseline.

Allowing for future growth in real terms, this means reducing CO2 per tonne of product produced by 75%. This goes significantly beyond the SBTi minimum target of 42%.


Supply chain and net zero

We have committed to cut emissions from within our supply chain (Scope 3 emissions) by 48% per tonne by 2030, as part of our wider journey to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.


Recycling plant

Deceuninck’s carbon reduction roadmap includes plans to phase out the use of fossil fuels, a switch to renewable energy and increased electrification of processes.

We have also invested more than €15million in one of the world’s most advanced recycling and compounding facilities to create the capacity to reprocess up to 45,000 tonnes of post-consumer and post-manufacturing PVC-U per year.

In real terms, this gives us the capacity to prevent more than three million windows from going to landfill annually.

We know that our customers working in the commercial and specification sectors are already having to evidence the embodied carbon in the products that they supply, yet it’s no less important in retail as homeowners seek out sustainable products.


Everyone has to play a part

This isn’t something that only systems companies need to be looking at. We all need to do our bit for the environment – including fabricators and installers – because sustainability is fast becoming a prerequisite for growth and profitability.


Picture: Deceuninck’s Rob McGlennon believes you will have to offer products with a high level of recycled content in them to succeed in the coming years.


Article written by Cathryn Ellis
09th January 2023


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