Our responsibility as a company
The question of corporate social responsibility has been debated for a long time. But the answer is very clear for us. In our daily work, we think about our role in our social environment. We want to do it justice! That’s because we believe that in our business it’s not just about giving back what we get as a company from society but also about participating actively in shaping our common future.
Our world is characterised by fast-paced change and important points of orientation become lost in all of these changes. That’s why we see it as part of our responsibility to adhere to traditional values and show them in our actions. Success is the basis of every company. But success also involves a high level of environmental and social responsibility. And this responsibility has to be sustained.
Sustainable business and social engagement are closely interwoven at DURABLE. The use of high-quality recyclable materials, waste reduction and energy-saving production processes are just a part of how we do things. Targeted strengthening of the region, support for all our employees and commitment to social projects are also essential components of our business.
If we want to continue to grow responsibly in the future and be successful, we have to be a sustainable and socially engaged company. These pages will provide you with some insight into our activities in this regard.
We hope you will find it interesting.
Horst-Werner Maier-Hunke, Matthias Laue
Sustainability is part of our overarching company philosophy. Not only are we committed to developing and producing innovative products, the plastic materials we use are robust, have excellent recycling properties and can be disposed of together with normal refuse. Social commitments including voluntary fundraising and sponsorship programmes have also been a part of our corporate culture for many years.
Across DURABLE we operate an Environmental Management System (EMS) that is certified to meet the requirements of ISO14001. This standard has been awarded to our parent company in Germany and is valid across our entire organisation including the UK.
At our DURABLE UK site in Wimborne, improvements have been made continuously in the recent past to enhance our sustainable performance. Within the last 24 months we have installed waterless urinals, ensured that 92% of our waste is recycled rather than being sent to landfill and developed a ¾ acre nature conservation area adjacent to our offices which has been planted with trees and shrubs indigenous to the local environment.
Within the past 12 months we have undertaken some key environmental and social actions to improve our performance once more, some of which have provided us with commercial benefits.
Social Responsibilities Environmental Financial
Durable UK have undertaken a variety of actions to engage stakeholders and support the local community.
Supporting the local economy and staff
Durable UK is committed to developing initiatives to support local businesses as well as the health and wellbeing of staff. In November 2016 Durable UK engaged a local greengrocer and introduced a fruit bowl system for staff which offers a selection of fruit, free of charge. Staff have also had the opportunity to take part in an acupressure session in April 2017 which was delivered by a local practitioner at our offices. Durable UK also supports the local economy, using local cleaning and maintenance firms.
For numerous years Durable UK has donated obsolete stock such as signage, desk accessories and name badges to local charities and schools. In 2016, 2½ pallets of stock were redistributed free of charge between several local schools including Bournemouth Grammar, Lockyers Middle and Ferndown Middle and Upper schools. 3 boxes of stock have been donated to a local school as recently as June 2017. Durable UK have also given stock, ranging from mugs to office furniture, as well as cash donations, to Routes to Roots which is a local homeless charity in Poole.
Some of the feedback we have had off the back of this has been extremely positive.
"During the past 12/18 months Lockyer's Middle School has been fortunate enough to receive donations from Durable UK via a link with Russell Shivas. These resources have been beneficial and well used across the school. Examples of how these resources have been used include:
- Providing folders for pupils' to keep their homework in.
- Flip folders that have enabled us to share exemplary work with parents at open evenings.
- Bins and storage boxes to help us meet Health and Safety requirements.
- Screen cleaners to help maintain our IT resources.
Headteacher - Lockyer's Middle School"
At Christmas, Durable UK sends e-cards to all customers and donates £250 to 2 local charities. In March 2017, we took part in ‘wear a hat day’, raising £210 in aid of Brain Tumour Research and local cause ‘Fighting for Tim’. Every year the team also support Macmillan’s coffee morning raising £100 on average each year. More recently, Durable UK supported a local Young Farmers clay shooting event attended by over 150 people, providing a cash donation as well as files and folders which were used to hold the scorecards.
We are always striving to reduce our environmental impact at Durable UK. Sustainability is ingrained within our manufacturing and distribution processes and we have consistently delivered improvements to our energy management systems. We have applied for carbon neutral accreditation and are currently awaiting a response
Low-energy office lighting
Following our installation of low-energy LED lighting in our warehouse 2015, we have also replaced our office lighting with low-energy LEDs in January 2017. 103 light fittings were replaced which are projected to save 51 tonnes of CO2 over their lifetime.
In early 2016, Durable UK installed solar panels on the roof of our premises in Wimborne. Over the past 16 months the solar panels have produced enough electricity to power all electrical needs within the building with enough spare to return to the grid.
42.4 MWh of electricity have been generated by the panels since February 2016, the environmental benefits of which equates to:
- 16,543.84 kg CO2 emissions saved
- 55.29 trees planted
- 127.889.95 lightbulbs powered for a day
Upgrading vehicle fleet to hybrids
Durable UK is migrating its fleet of 5 cars from eco diesel to hybrids. The first car has been ordered with delivery in September. By 2019 the fleet will have been completely upgraded and the cars will be producing c.70 grams of CO2 less per kilometre than the current cars. Over the 4 year lease, the new cars will save 58 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Supply chain efficiency
Durable UK has utilised group logistics to fulfil 40% of its orders, reducing mileage and the need for multiple shipments within our supply chain. We also use a courier that is committed to reducing its carbon footprint; DPD use low emission vans and delivered 1,066 bn carbon neutral parcels worldwide in 2016.
Durable UK’s initiatives outlined above have yielded a number of commercial benefits. Many of them are longer-term initiatives requiring significant upfront investments, so financial benefits are projected in the longer term.
Durable UK’s investment in low-energy office lighting will reduce energy consumption and therefore reduce energy costs. As per graph 2.1 above, electricity used to power the office lights will drop from 22,831 to 6,610 KWh/year and so the annual spend on electricity is projected to reduce by £1,946.50 to a total figure of £793.20 per annum. Despite the cost to upgrade and install the new low-energy fittings, the lighting payback period will be 4.5 years, providing the company with savings following the investment from 2020.
Since early 2016, the solar panels installed on the roof of Durable UK have generated more than enough electricity to meet the needs of the building. Income has been generated based on how much energy the solar panels provide rather than what is specifically sent back to the grid.
The upgrade of the Durable UK vehicle fleet from eco diesel to hybrid cards will produce financial savings over the lease of the vehicles. Although the cost of the cars is broadly similar, vehicle tax will be lower and fuel charges will be reduced by 21% annually.