The changing faces of sustainability
Owlett-Jaton, the UK’s largest wholesaler of fasteners and fixings, highlights that it was early to recognise the importance of environmental responsibility and became one of the first fastener and fixing wholesalers in the UK to be awarded environmental accreditation ISO 14001:2015.
Owlett-Jaton started the 18 month process to implement an environmental management system in 2017 and achieved accreditation in September 2019. Since becoming accredited, the company has reduced its carbon tonnage by 20% – whilst growing the business. Owlett-Jaton has also put in place KPIs, including measurement of Scope 1 and 2 emissions, water usage and waste generation. Targets are also reviewed regularly to ensure continuous improvement.
In achieving these improvements, the business has undertaken a wide range of initiatives, including sourcing all electricity from renewable sources; installing LED lighting across offices and the warehouse at its Stone site; as well as investment in lithium-ion battery powered mechanical handling equipment, which not only uses less electricity but eliminates the use of lead-acid batteries and the potential for hazardous chemical spills associated with their maintenance.
Owlett-Jaton has also introduced plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles to the company car fleet, together with the installation of on-site charging. To add to this, the consolidation of operations onto a single site has allowed the business to increase sales – whilst reducing its overall energy consumption by 20%.
Other iniatives by the company include all waste being segregated and recycled or re-used whenever possible. Plus, packaging changes have been made to improve the environmental performance of products, including all purchased cardboard packaging being fully recyclable and FSC sourced – with high recycled content; the introduction of paper gummed tape in place of polypropylene; as well as the reduction of the use of plastic packaging formats and switched to recycled materials.
Ian Doherty, chief executive at Owlett-Jaton, commented: “We are committed to sustainability and minimising the impact our activities have on the environment. Achieving ISO 14001 demonstrates our leadership in the market. Becoming more sustainable is the right thing for the planet, but I firmly believe it is the right thing for the business, our staff and our customers. We are constantly seeking ways to further reduce carbon and become more sustainable in all aspects of our operations. More and more of our customers are thinking this way too, and the requests for information and re-assurance in the extended supply chain are rapidly increasing.”
Sustainable practices are becoming more of a requirement for larger customers and Owlett-Jaton is committed to supporting these initiatives. More than ever, requests for 3rd party audits, completed by external audit companies, are being received from customers focussing on their own environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance.
Having got its in-house initiatives in order, and in response to these increasing customer demands, Owlett-Jaton has been looking more closely at its extended supply chain – with a focus on responsible sourcing.
“Historically, supplier audits were predominantly product and quality based, they are now broader, taking into account environmental, sustainability and ethical considerations,” points out Ian. “With over 15 factories already audited in 2023, we are making significant steps to further cement our position as a leader in this area and meet the needs and expectations of our customers.”www.owlett-jaton.com/environmental