Any colour, as long as it’s green

Deceuninck’s MD Rob McGlennon explains why being flexible on colour is the most reassuring way to be green.

A year ago, we revealed that 75% of homeowners rate colour as an important factor when purchasing replacement windows and doors. Today, the colour of what’s inside the profile is just as important.

According to a recent survey, more than two-thirds of UK homeowners (68%) would choose windows and doors with a higher recycled content over and above products that don’t contain recycled content, or which did so at lower levels.

The independent survey commissioned by Deceuninck and conducted by YouGov, also found that 63% of homeowners said that they would be more likely to purchase home improvements which they saw as being more ‘sustainable’.

Furthermore, 38% would be prepared to pay more for home improvement products that had higher recycled content and reduced impact on the environment.

If you make, sell, and install windows that meet these expectations, then you are well-prepared for what is expected to be the next battleground in the window industry. The only sticking point is trust, which affects every part of the supply chain.

According to a recent report by Compare Ethics into consumers’ trust in sustainability, a third of consumers would doubt a brand’s sustainability claims, with 83% or respondents saying they would only trust those claims if they were verified by a third party.

This chimes with separate research by the Chartered Institute of Marketing that found that many marketing agencies are reluctant to discuss sustainability for fear of being accused of greenwashing.

I believe this is also prevalent further up the supply chain, with fabricators and installers not always confident that what they are making and installing is sustainable, and that the quality will not be as expected.

However, I believe that these worries are largely unnecessary, in much the same way as a fear of flying is irrelevant when you are catching the train.

A recent report into the sustainable design of windows by a consortium of organisations – including The European Trade Association of PVC Window System Suppliers, and VinylPlus – found that one tonne of recycled PVC saves about 2.2 tonnes of CO2 compared to the use of virgin material, and the use of new PVC windows at least halves energy consumption. The old PVC frame can then be recycled without any loss of quality.

The expectation is that the UK will likely follow Europe: that a modern PVC window profile consists of approximately 50% recycled material, which is usually found in the core of the profile. Visually and in terms of quality, the new windows with recycled cores are no different to windows made from virgin material.

Since Deceuninck is a byword for a secure supply of coloured profile, this plays to our strengths.

We have invested heavily in the foiling process in the UK, so we can be flexible and agile in our delivery of product to our customers – a decision that was made before the pandemic.

Supply of recycled PVC-U for profile extrusion is also secure: Deceuninck has invested more than €15million in one of the world’s most advanced PVC-U recycling and compounding facilities, which gives us the capability to reprocess up to 45,000 tonnes of post-consumer and post-manufacturing PVC-U per year – the equivalent of preventing 3 million windows from going to landfill annually.

Use of recycled material also reduces CO2 emissions by 90,000 tonnes when compared to virgin feedstocks, as well as a 90% energy saving.

It is a simple fact that sustainability – in all its shapes and forms – needs to be central to the way we do business. It might not seem overly important right now, but it will soon become the key topic in months to come, especially when the revised Building Regulations come into force in June.

Thanks to significant investment by Deceuninck into colour and recycling, homeowners can be shown not only how they have diverted old windows from landfill, but less energy has gone into their manufacture.

Deceuninck can certainly be trusted deliver. But we can also deliver that rarer component: trust.

Deceuninck Ltd
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