Armstrong Fluid Technology announced the launch of its Planet Proposition corporate sustainability initiative in June with an event at The Crystal. Members of the company’s senior leadership team introduced the initiative at a press reception, followed by an awards ceremony for the company’s first community project. Finalists in a competition for Key Stage 2 children in schools local to the company’s two UK factories (in Manchester and the West Midlands) gathered to receive their prizes and find out the name of the overall winner.
The company-wide Planet Proposition sustainability initiative has been developed to encompass customers, company employees and local communities. The stated objectives for these three strands are as follows:
- Our Solutions: Designing and supplying industry leading energy-efficient and eco-friendly fluid flow solutions. First and foremost, by delivering value to our customers, we will create a sustainable business which will continue to produce innovative energy saving solutions for the building services industry. We will also work with our supply chain to continuously improve and reduce the environmental impact of our production processes and the materials we use.
- Our Environment: Applying stringent environmental standards to our operations, measuring our performance and continually raising the bar. Company wide initiatives include efforts to reduce fuel use, energy consumption, water use and waste to landfill and to increase the proportion of waste that is recycled. We also continue to develop innovative energy solutions as well as producing case studies and white papers to help our customers reduce their environmental impact.
- Our Community: Educating and supporting the Armstrong community to make environmentally responsible choices at work and at home. Our aim is to create a working environment which values, inspires and empowers our staff. Training programmes linked to personal development plans are key to ensuring that our staff thrive in a learning environment that not only benefits the business but helps them meet and exceed their aspirations.
Armstrong Fluid Technology’s Planet Proposition reflects key drivers within the business – the development of products, systems and services that assist customers in their ambitions to reduce carbon footprint. One of the new activities to come out of Planet Proposition is the launch of its Sustainability Dashboard. This will be a vehicle for displaying the amount of energy, cost and CO2 it is saving its customers worldwide through its Design Envelope solutions.
Progress towards formal environmental targets has already been made on an international basis by Armstrong Fluid Technology. The factories in Manchester, Birmingham and Shanghai have already obtained the ISO 14001 environmental standard, and the plants in Toronto, Buffalo (USA) and Bangalore are on track to obtain it by the end of 2013. The programme of energy monitoring in all plants will show current and historical consumption, and these trends will be used to identify and fix anomalies as they occur. The company’s aim for 2013 is to reduce its energy and water consumption to below the average level of the last 3 years. It has also been working towards the reduction of waste to landfill. In 2011 waste to landfill was 14%. Last year this was reduced to 11% and, during 2013, the company aims to reduce it to just 5%. The ultimate aim is to achieve zero waste to landfill by 2015.
Armstrong’s Planet Proposition does not stop at the factory gates. A number of activities are already underway engaging with local communities. For example the company recently produced the ‘Saving Energy at Home’ white paper – a guide to help its employees, customers, suppliers and neighbours to save energy.
The official launch for its Planet Proposition also doubled as the awards ceremony for a competition open to schools near its factories in Birmingham and Manchester. The Superhero competition, invited children in Key Stage 2 to create a poster showing their own, imaginary, superhero who saves the planet by saving energy.
Twelve schools participated in the competition and the judges chose six finalists from more than 280 entries. On June 20th the pupils from the winning schools – Rufford Primary, Manor Way Primary and St Mary’s Brierly Hill in Dudley, Temple Meadow Primary in Sandwell, The Divine Mercy RC Primary in Manchester and Hollinhey Primary in Cheshire – were invited to London for the awards ceremony. The children and their guests received their prizes from the company’s managing director, Richard Strode. The overall winner, Hollinhey Primary received a £500 cash prize, and the other five finalists received £100 each. There were consolation prizes for all twelve schools, however, as every school that took part received a free weather monitor, to help understand weather and climate change. After the awards ceremony the children toured The Crystal’s exhibition on eco-friendly construction.
Steve Cooper, Director – Sustainable Design at Armstrong Fluid Technology, said “We have been working towards the objectives of our Planet Proposition for a number of years. Reducing carbon footprint drives our research and development, and environmental performance is a key part of our in-house continuous improvement programme. We have also been involved with many local community projects, and our employees have continued to raise money over the years for local good causes. But we felt that it was time to provide these activities with a more formal set of objectives. During an economic downturn it is easy to let these sorts of priorities drift, when in fact the imperative to drive them forwards is even greater than before. Our Planet Proposition puts fresh energy and commitment behind sustainability in its widest sense, and creates a clear focus for these efforts that can be shared by our customers, employees and local communities.”