“As a manufacturer, we know we have a responsibility to be as sustainable as possible. Sustainability and environmental impact has always been a high priority for us and I am delighted to announce that we have introduced further environmental initiatives, all with the aim of reducing our environmental impact,” says Mark Shorrock, managing director at Instarmac.
UltraTile prides itself on its sustainability practices and all its subfloor preparation materials are produced at its manufacturing facilities in Tamworth, Staffordshire.
“Having as little impact on the environment as possible is behind every decision I make about the running of our production and warehouse facility. Over the last few years, I am proud to say that we have introduced further initiatives which include using variable speed drivers across the plant, consuming less electricity at start up, replacing lighting with LED bulbs and using Intelligent Wrapping Technology to select the best wrapping solution for each product, focusing on stability and efficiency,” says Paul Evans, works director at Instarmac Group.
By adapting its manufacturing processes to utilise the most sustainable procedures possible, UltraTile reports in 2020, its carbon footprint was measured at 3303.53 tonnes per CO₂E, representing a 16% improvement on the previous year.
The environmental improvements to the company’s manufacturing and office facilities do not end there. In February 2021, it invested over £420,000 to install 3,771 sqm of solar panels at its Tamworth premises. Power generated by the panels will be converted into electricity for use at the site and is predicted to save at least 36,000kw per month.
Research is also underway to install more solar panels across the wider Instarmac group infrastructure and properties.
UltraTile says it’s helping customers reduce their own carbon footprint with the introduction of ProLevel Ultimate. The product is a water-based floor leveller that reportedly eliminates the need for single use plastic bottles. Utilising Ecosphere technology in its formulation, every bag of ProLevel Ultimate also contains 20% recycled material.
When the company’s products do require the use of plastic bottles, they are now made from 100% recycled material, which can also be recycled.
ProLevel Ultimate and the other tiling products available from the company are delivered to customers on its privately owned fleet, which now includes two CNG lorries. The introduction of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles will reportedly result in a reduction of CO₂ emissions by 115 tonnes per truck, per year. The company is committed to using fuel alternatives and aims to have 25% of its fleet running on CNG by the end of 2024, and 60% by the end of 2025.
Every other vehicle in the fleet features AdBlue, an additive which is used alongside diesel to reduce mono-nitrogen oxide emissions produced by the exhausts of vehicles. The additive transforms the harmful mono-nitrogen toxins in diesel into nitrogen and water vapour reducing the negative impact vehicle emissions have on the environment.
UltraTile’s drivers can collect unwanted pallets and return them to be recycled or reused. During 2020, the company’s drivers collected approximately 15,000 pallets, equivalent to 193 tonnes of wood, which saved around 1,900 trees.
Other initiatives implemented at the company include intelligent lighting, a grey water system and climate control. It has also sent zero waste to landfill since 2014, meaning 100% of its manufacturing waste is recycled.
All of UltraTile’s environmental practices have been acknowledged by ISO 14001 – an independent accreditation which UltraTile have been awarded for the last 15 years. The ISO standard allows UltraTile to reflect a good level of professionalism and demonstrates best practice. “This accreditation is a great accomplishment for UltraTile,” the company says. It shows customers, the supply chain, and the tiling industry as a whole the company’s intent to continually improve all aspects of its business, and how committed it is to providing sustainable solutions.
The company’s environmental and social responsibility report is available on the Instarmac website.