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Kone has good cause to argue that it’s the most environment-friendly lift manufacturer and supplier operating in the UK today. The Finnish company is committed to re-using and recycling as many products and components as possible, and as it is the fourth largest lift and escalator company in the world, this really does make a difference. Its MonoSpace elevator, for example, is 95% recyclable.
This dedication to environmental matters is backed up by the company’s approach to research and product development. The most significant impact a lift has on the environment is when it is operated, not when it is made. So Kone has developed technology that enables its lifts to run on about half the energy of conventional machines. On top of that, it has created a virtually oilless system, removing the risk of soil contamination.
Not only have many of Kone’s factories earned ISO 9001 environmental management certification, but the rigorous ISO 14001 environmental management framework is in use at 10 of its facilities.
DGS may be a little family-run housebuilder, but its work with Canadian company DAC International has ensured that it is at the forefront of sustainable building. DGS has built the UK’s first “Super-e” home, supplied by DAC, in Cornwall – Super-e construction has an air-tightness performance of between 0.5 and 1.5 air changes per hour at a pressure of 50 Pa. But perhaps the most valuable service it has provided is to prove that you can base a company on sustainable housing – turnover almost doubled in 2003/4 from £500,000 to £920,000.
ecologia environmental solutions
Ecologia offers a one-stop shop for the treatment of contaminated land on brownfield sites. It designs and builds its own treatment systems at its factory in Sittingbourne, Kent, and it conducts on-site vapour extraction, product removal and insitu groundwater treatment as needed. Its turnover has increased in recent years, from £220,000 in 2001/2 to £530,000 in 2002/3, and this reflects the vital role it plays in many of the UK’s urban regeneration projects.
Given the sensitivity of extractive industries, Lafarge has excellent reason to establish is environmental bona fides. And Lafarge Plasterboard is the only UK plasterboard manufacturer accredited to the ISO 14001 environmental management system, testament to the fact that it takes recycling seriously. The company has built a recycling plant at its Bristol factory and works in partnership with drywall contractors to recycle site waste. Indeed, arrangements for recycling form an integral part of such supply contracts such as the Great Western Hospital PFI project.
While other businesses consign millions of tonnes of carpet to landfill sites every year, Milliken has introduced technology that has a Lazarus-like effect on them. Its Earth Square process super-cleans, retexturises and repatterns carpets, giving them a second, or even third life. It is this innovative approach to sustainability – which is also reflected in its new product ranges – that has enabled Milliken to become the first commercial carpet manufacturer to achieve a BRE environmental profile rating.
Kier subsidiary Wallis has long been committed to raising awareness of the use of unsustainable and illegal timber. This was recognised in February 2003 when it became the first bespoke joinery company in the UK to get Forest Stewardship Council certification for joinery manufacture and installation. This independently audited scheme confirms that Wallis uses timber from sustainable sources – a seal of approval for customers such as The Royal Household, Amnesty International and Christ Church, Spitalfields.
Specialist Contractor Awards 2004
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