We’re regularly asked, ‘Why are your single-use products grey?’ The truth is they have always been green. We are committed to minimising the impact we have on the environment from the source of our raw materials through to the end of our products’ life cycle when they are broken down in our disposal units and flushed to the drain.
We’re regularly asked, ‘Why are your single-use products grey?’ The truth is they have always been green. We are committed to minimising the impact we have on the environment from the source of our raw materials through to the end of our products’ life cycle when they are broken down in our disposal units and flushed to the drain. Our manufacturing plant holds green credentials and is accredited and audited to the internationally recognised ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standard. This is because we take our environmental responsibilities seriously.
All of our single-use moulded fibre products are made from recycled fibre. From the outset, we’re committed to minimising waste with the Vernacare system incorporating our unique SmartFlow™ technology to allow our moulded fibre products to be used once and then flushed to the drain without adding to landfill.
At Vernacare, we work hard to reduce the amount of energy we consume. Our manufacturing site has a Climate Change Agreement (CCA) in place with the UK Government, committing us to implementing energy saving initiatives in relation to the consumption of electricity. A measure of our success is that in 2016 compared to 2008, we produced a tonnage of moulded fibre products that was 2.9% greater, but consumed 13.4% less in kWh’s of electrical energy.
We also participate in the EUETS (European Union Emissions Trading Scheme) UK Small Emitter Opt out scheme. This encompasses the recording, reporting and independent verification of all emissions from our manufacturing site resulting from the consumption of fossil fuels. Under this scheme, we hold a greenhouse gas permit. Although the tonnage of moulded fibre produced in 2016 was greater than 2008 output by 2.8%, the overall gas consumed by our manufacturing site fell by 0.6%.
Our entire manufacturing site is permitted and regulated under the 2010 UK Environmental Permitting Regulations (England & Wales) Act. We report all forms of waste that our site generates on a quarterly basis to the UK Environment Agency. Our site also holds a waste effluent consent with the local water authority. This details the maximum acceptable limits of any pollutants that we are permitted to dispose of via the public drainage system and samples are taken and analysed at least once a month in a laboratory to ensure compliance.
In addition, we declare to a UK compliance scheme (Paperpak), the total amount of all types of packaging materials from our complete range of products that we place on to the market in both the UK and globally. This complies with the EU Packaging Waste Regulations. As an obligated packaging producer, we must follow rules which help to:
· reduce the amount of packaging we produce in the first place;
· reduce how much packaging waste goes to landfill, and;
· increase the amount of packaging waste that’s recycled and recovered.
This is in addition to waste duty of care rules that all businesses must comply with.
We also comply with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations (WEEE), a Directive within the European Union that designates safe and responsible collection, recycling and recovery procedures for all types of electronic waste.
Our environmental awareness means we also look to minimise the impact on the environment and surrounding area from the use of our machinery and equipment and in the process become more eco-friendly. In August 2017, we replaced all of our factory gas powered forklift truck fleet with electric powered ones in order to further minimise pollution.
We’re also proud to have a successful recycling programme in all areas of our operation, encouraging all of our employees to segregate other wastes in recycling bins placed throughout our premises.
Patients are at the centre of our business, but that’s not to the detriment of the environment. Our Vernacare system uses 39% less water and 97% less energy than a competitor’s reusable system. We’re green, and we can help other healthcare facilities to become green too.