Monday 4th August, 2008
Ultraframe has long been renowned in the industry for its innovative conservatory roofing system designs and use of technology, which has established it as the industry’s leading roofing system supplier. As well as keeping ahead of the times in terms of technology, Ultraframe also operates in a socially responsive way by respecting the local environment and community in which it operates.
The Health, Safety and Environmental Department take environmental responsibility very seriously and are constantly working with the Operations team to find ways to further refine the manufacturing process and conserve energy around the site. This has resulted in the culmination of projects such as a ‘switch-off’ campaign around the Clitheroe head office, which encouraged staff to turn off lights and computer equipment and has resulted in energy savings of £40,000 to date, and changes to the processes involved in packaging its Elevation product, saving both cardboard and energy.
The most recent project undertaken by the Health, Safety and Environmental Department is the clever recycling of metal glue drums which are used during the foil laminating process. The nature of the process means that the drums, once empty, are ready-cleaned and were identified as having potential to be re-used in support of the companies recycling efforts. Around the Ultraframe site there are different collection points for the various types of waste, but some waste which could be recycled still made its way into the general waste skips, and so the Health, Safety and Environmental Department thought this could be a perfect use for the empty metal drums. Holes were drilled into the top of lids and the drums are now used around the site to collect empty drinks cans. When full, the lids are removed from the drums before they are placed into the metal waste bin and weighed in along with other metal waste.
Not only is this a great way to recycle and help the environment but is also a way to improve the revenue stream received by Ultraframe for recycling. Steve Pountain, Health, Safety & Environmental Manager at Ultraframe commented: “Over the last 12 months we have introduced many initiatives around Ultraframe which have improved efficiency, but more importantly, which help the environment and have helped to reduce Ultraframe’s carbon footprint. The drinks can recycling bins are a simple idea but have proved to be a great success, helping us to further increase our recycling efforts whilst also yielding a small return for the business. There are currently many projects in place around the business which are not only helping us move forwards in terms of world class lean-manufacturing, but are also reaping benefits for the environment. We have recently introduced an Environmental Committee, made up of staff from around the business who meet regularly to put forward suggestions for further waste management and energy savings initiatives. After careful review by the Health, Safety and Environmental team, those that are viable, such as the drinks can recycling idea, are then put into practice. We believe that every business has a responsibility to ensure that they are trading in an environmentally friendly way and Ultraframe’s commitment to this will continue into the future. We invite any of our customers who would like tips on energy saving within their business to contact the Health, Safety and Environmental team for advice.”
In 2007 Ultraframe won an award for Best Engineering Plant at the prestigious Best Factory Awards (BFA). Now in their 16th year the Awards acknowledge and reward manufacturing companies that demonstrate pioneering working practices. Organised by Works Management magazine, in partnership with Cranfield School of Management, BFA stands apart from other awards schemes because of their rigorous judging procedures, which examine every aspect of operational and manufacturing management performance. Entering these awards is about benchmarking - the detailed entry procedure that encourages business to evaluate KPI’s across the breadth of the company, and the in-depth judging visits where a business is truly measured by a team of experts.