Doing the right thing since 1994

Liniar’s managing director Martin Thurley explains how the PVCU systems company has made sustainability and environmental issues a primary operational focus for nearly three decades.

It all began in 1994, when Liniar’s senior management team decided to save all operational PVCU waste from being sent to landfill.

With this in mind, the design and development team designed a fully recycled plastic piling and flood retention system, which would use all operational waste. Manufacturing this new recycled range using offcuts from the extrusion process allowed Liniar to achieve a waste-neutral rating, which remains in place today.

Looking to further expand its recycled range, Liniar added part-recycled PVCU decking in 1999 and part-recycled PVCU fencing in 2006. Following this, to allow for company growth and accommodate the ever-increasing recycled range, Liniar constructed its purpose-built facility in Denby, Derbyshire, with the environment at the heart of its plans.

The company’s new manufacturing premises featured underground water chambers, which recycle up to four billion litres of water per year, and an on-site PVCU granulator which assists in the manufacturing of Liniar’s recycled range. Since the building was completed in 2007, Liniar has had a firm commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and having a positive impact on the environment and community around it.

In the last 24 months, Liniar has reached several milestones, and its sustainability efforts really ramped up when the company signed a Climate Change Agreement (CCA) with the Environment Agency in 2018.

In addition to the work Liniar was carrying out for its CCA, the company achieved an ISO14001 accreditation for an exceptional Environmental Management Policy, and managed to meet and surpass the target set by the Environment Agency by 63%.

The phased project included installing heat pumps throughout the site, which require no fossil fuels or electricity to run, and the implementation of metering and controls across the site to provide flexibility for heat management, increasing energy efficiency. These initiatives were combined with changing company vehicles to hybrid models and modernising the HGV fleet to those with Euro 6 engines, increasing fuel efficiency and lowering carbon emissions. We’ve also replaced all incandescent lightbulbs throughout the entire facility, changing them to low energy LED lightbulbs to further reduce our energy consumption.

Personally, I am passionate about sustainability in the fenestration industry. It’s up to all of us to do the right thing, protecting the environment and ensuring our products are eco-friendly.

While we’ve made a lot of changes across our site, there’s much more that we can, and will, do. We will continue innovating products that save energy for buildings, reduce single-use plastics across our facility, replace packaging with recycled materials, and look at increasing the amount of recycled materials we work with in our product ranges.

Collecting customer PVCU profile offcuts has been in place for quite some time – we recycle those and use them in our recycled ranges. We’re looking to significantly scale this up in 2020, along with a project to manage post-consumer waste. Ultimately, our goal is a complete closed loop system.

We shouldn’t wait until legislation states that we have to make a move to protect the planet – we should work together as an industry to become more sustainable. It’s our mission to educate consumers that PVCU doesn’t have the same negative impact on the environment as single-use plastics and that, in fact, using it in construction can make a positive impact on carbon footprints.