At Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens we aim to tackle the ‘throwaway culture’ head-on by providing clients with solid and high-quality kitchens which are built to last. So many kitchens end up in landfill within a relatively short period of time and we aim to change that.
We put an emphasis on sustainability and incorporate locally sourced materials and high-recycled content materials into our kitchens wherever possible. For example, we use a lot of recycled glass worktops and create shelving or work surfaces and breakfast bars from reclaimed timber.
We encourage clients to opt for greener alternatives, consider more eco-conscious appliances and low energy LED lighting. More and more people are looking for greener alternatives and want to know the provenance of what they’re buying.
A strong aftercare service is a good way to a greener business, repairing things wherever possible, to increase longevity – we aim for a lifespan of a 20-year-plus minimum. Approximately 30 per cent of our projects are now refurbishments, where we replace just part of the kitchen, or overhaul the current kitchen to function better, giving it a new lease of life. For example, cabinet doors can be repainted rather than replaced.
In November 2018 we were proud win the award for Excellence in Corporate, Social and Environmental Responsibility at the Sheffield Business Awards. It’s not hard for businesses to adopt socially responsible practices – they are at the heart of everything we do, since the company began 11 years ago.
You can minimise the impact of the business on the environment and benefit the local community in which it is based, whether it’s reducing waste, increasing recycling practices, or sourcing locally wherever possible, reducing carbon emissions and bolstering the local economy.
Looking at your company’s transport policy can have a massive impact on the well-being of the workforce as well as your local environment, helping to tackle air pollution – a big local problem. We are expanding our fleet of electric vehicles and also encourage staff to cycle or walk to work, embracing cycle-to-work schemes and educating the team on eco-driving courses. We’re also considering adding an electric bike or two to our fleet, reducing diesel miles further.
A greener workplace could encompass a more ethical approach to business (for example choosing an ethical bank for your company), socially responsible supply chains and acting as a responsible employer.
A small move that shows a big commitment would be to introduce a named Sustainability Champion, responsible for pushing this agenda forward and encourage all staff to think creatively to identify ways in which the company could be more socially responsible, sustainable, and ethical.