Leaders of Sternfenster hosted a roundtable in January to discuss the importance of manufacturing windows and doors sustainably, and to share best practice in measuring and reducing the glazing industry’s impact on the environment. The aim of the event was to collectively develop strategies to help reduce carbon emissions and increase recycling while maximising commercial opportunities.
Sternfenster’s leaders invited key suppliers to explore how each business is taking steps to reduce carbon footprint, and how this data can be passed through the supply chain on to retail companies. Representatives from Deceuninck, Smart Systems, Saint-Gobain Glass and Edgetech shared their business’ sustainability journey and committed to working together to place greater importance on the environment and communicate this to the end user.
“More of our consumers are asking us for information on how our products are recyclable, and how we’re reducing our carbon footprint,” explained Mike Parczuk, Sternfenster’s managing director. “We had an engaging roundtable debate to discuss this, and how each of us are making our products are as recyclable as possible. I’m pleased to say there were some really positive outcomes.”
Charlotte Hawkes, Edgetech’s head of marketing shared how the company is benchmarking its impact on the environment, an initiative driven by many factors including investors. “With sustainability, we’ve got an awful lot to contribute,” she said. “By embracing it as an opportunity rather than pushing against it, we can really do the industry a favour by improving the reputation.”
The communication hurdle was also highlighted by Richard Green, Saint-Gobain Glass’ regional sales manager. “One of the biggest challenges within the glass industry is educating and enabling our customers to be able to talk about the benefits and the appropriate energy-efficient options,” he said. Darren Woodcock, Deceuninck’s operations director, agreed.
“The biggest challenge is educating people, without a shadow of a doubt,” Darren said. “If you’re replacing your windows, you need to be sustainably thinking: What’s happening with old windows? Are they going to go back into the system? Are they going to be in the supply chain again? Is that circular economy known to the end user?”
For Anthony Murray, Smart Systems’ technical manager, the hardest thing for companies developing a sustainability strategy is obtaining data, and gathering the key performance indicators. “If you analyse the data instead of just collecting the data, it shows you where you can improve efficiencies,” he highlighted.
Jennifer Young, Saint-Gobain Glass’ market manager, added: “Our biggest opportunity is to really look at how we do things – from the manufacturing process to product innovation – and how that product performs. We’ve got a real opportunity to make the world a better home for all of us.”
Nathan Court, Sternfenster’s sales director, said: “The roundtable event was a great success, and is just another step in our sustainability journey. I am encouraged by where Sternfenster currently sits, and I urge suppliers to start working more closely with each other and their supply chains to forge a more joined-up approach to sustainability.
“There’s some great information that we’re all going to share with our trade customers over the coming weeks and months. That way, they can confidently inform the end user about how sustainable our products are, and to improve the sustainability journey that we’re all on.”