A Sustainable Approach
A Sustainable Approach to Business
Fews are committed to environmental sustainability and it forms part of our long-term planning. Wherever possible we look for ways to adopt green working practices, including recycling goods consumed in the process of running the business.
From the structures we build to office paper to print cartridges, we make every attempt to operate efficiently, minimise waste and ensure used products re-enter the process to be converted in secondary goods.
Amongst other green initiatives, we regularly check our vehicle fleet to enable optimisation of fuel efficiency, by ensuring van & lorry tyres are at the correct pressures, engines are serviced and loads are to the correct specification for vehicle capacity
A continued investment in biomass
In the last 5 years we have invested over £1 million in an efficient, comprehensive biomass system to fuel our warehouse and offices, including the supply of heating and hot water. Burning biomass is as near to carbon-neutral as any energy source, with flammable plant matter being burned to release energy in the form of heat and power.
Biomass is an especially attractive fuel source because huge amounts of it are generated inadvertently through industrial and agricultural production. Harnessing this waste material and extracting more energy from it improves all-around efficiency and reduces the ecological impact mankind has on the environment.
Fews only use wood that cannot be used for other purposes like clippings, prunings, and other arboricultural arisings. Our in-house collection team are the “wombles” of the industry – making sure we use and recycle wood that would otherwise be discarded.
Biomass fuelled heating, state-of-the-art cleaning and storage
Our business is driven by biomass. The heating of our offices and warehouses through the winter and hot water throughout the year to clean vehicles, biomass provides the energy for it all.
Using our state-of-the-art cleaning machine, matched with locally sourced eco-friendly cleaning products and water heated by our biomass boilers we are committed to cleaning with integrity.
This process is followed by our biomass heated oven which ensures our PVC is cleaned, dried and stored in the most energy efficient way possible.
All of our PVC roofs and walls, and internal linings are stored using a box system in a temperature-controlled biomass fuelled environment. This eliminates mould and maintains condition, extending the usable life of our stock.
Wherever possible we look for ways to adopt green working practices, including recycling goods consumed in the process of running the business.
Fews have developed a unique stillage storage system that protects our inventory ensuring product longevity and maintaining appearance. In addition, the stillages offer faster, more efficient picking, loading and unloading times, reducing environmental impact.
We have replaced all of our lighting with efficient LED throughout the business and use them in our marquees and structures where possible.
Having invested in our own fleet of vehicles, we are able to control servicing, tyre pressures and planning to ensure the most efficient use.
The heaters we use are also serviced regularly to maximise the efficiency of their output.
A commitment to solar power
In 2015 we further extended our commitment to the environment by introducing solar power with an investment of over £300k. Panels were fitted to the roof of the office and warehouse buildings to generate on average 2400kw/hr per week proving all the businesses electricity and returning surplus to the grid.
The next step here is to install batteries on site and be “off-grid” when we feel that the technology is robust enough.
Fews are currently working on a project with a solar panel supplier to develop a system when panels can be installed on longer-term hire structures to produce efficient energy.
Woodchip from sustainable sources
Fews utilises its own wood-chipping service to produces biomass woodchip from sustainable sources through brash removal and site clearance. Once prepared on our drying floor it is used as fuel for the biomass boilers. This helps to make our operation as sustainable and efficient as possible.
Our in-house team source wood that cannot be used for other purposes:
– Clearing woodland designated for building projects where the wood would normally be mulched
– Looking for small wood trapped on the ground that has no commercial use
– Dangerous trees which are usually logged and dumped
– This consists of low hanging branches at the edge of fields which are trimmed off and typically burnt as brash.
– Material that cannot be used for any other purpose
Our wood-chipping business is called Chessgrove Woodchip – more information here