Swish achieved ISO14001 Environmental Management Certification in 2007. Since that time Swish has continuously improved the environmental performance of its manufacturing and distribution operations. In 2015 Swish achieved ISO50001 Energy Management Certification, a further demonstration of the company’s commitment to continuing environmental improvement.
Swish Building Products is an industry leader in the efficient production of cellular PVCue and PVCu products. We recognise that it is becoming increasingly important to use our material and energy resources more efficiently, effectively and with greater regard to the environmental effects that flow from their use.
The Swish Resource Use Policy sets out the company’s commitment to reducing and refining its use of resources based on the principles of Vinyl Plus, the European PVC industry’s own commitment to meaningful environmental action over the period to 2020.
In 2007 Swish achieved ISO14001 Environmental Management Certification and as a result has improved its performance in terms of production efficiency and waste management. This in turn has led to significant reductions in energy inputs, water usage and scrappage rates during manufacture. Improvements in our transport efficiency have led to better levels of service and reductions in fuel usage.
These represent the most obvious and effective actions that the company could take in the short to medium term in order to make meaningful reductions in resource use.
Electricity consumption continues to be one of the most challenging areas for reductions in usage. The process improvement team continued to roll out the installation of new low consumption vacuum pumps and LED lighting. High performance, low energy chillers were installed in part of the factory and an old dust fan in the regrind area was replaced with a modern, low consumption unit.
Plans for 2016 include the completion of the vacuum pump installation scheme, another low consumption chiller and LED lighting in the office area. The injection moulding plant will be measured systematically to form a full baseline picture of this recently installed operation in order to identify problem areas for improvement.
Water usage reduction has been one of the remarkable success stories of the Swish environmental programme. The site used 30% less water in 2015 than in 2014. Two new high efficiency chillers installed during the year not only reduced the electricity requirement but decreased the amount of water lost during cooling. More sub-meter monitoring was undertaken and as a result issues of non-standard usage were flagged up more quickly. There are currently no more plans for improvements in 2016.
The Company's Environmental achievements during 2015 and since 2008 look like this:
|Emissions of Greenhouse Gasses (GHG) from operations Tamworth||2015 Actual||Change since 2008||2016 Target|
Swish is committed to continuous improvement in the environmental performance of its delivery fleet in order to minimize its impact on the environment.
In order to do this we monitor the number of miles that our delivery vehicles cover and the fuel that they consume over that distance. We can then tell how efficient we are in our delivery operations and as a result monitor the effect of strategies we put in place to reduce our fuel usage.To achieve the considerable efficiencies since 2008 we have put in place some carefully monitored actions:
Diesel usage was always going to be an unknown for 2015. During the year the Telford warehouse was closed and all operations brought to Swish’s Tamworth site. No vehicle movements out of Telford had been previously recorded and so for 6 months of 2015 these movements came into the Tamworth figures. These figures were recorded and will be used in conjunction with 2016’s figures to set a proper baseline for the expanded transport operation out of Tamworth. During the year and addition 6 vehicles (Euro 6 compliant) were leased to further minimise emissions at Tamworth.
During 2016 there will be further work undertaken on route and load optimisation as the new warehousing facility beds in.
The Company's Transport achievements during 2015 and since 2008 (benchmark year), look like this:
Change since 2008
Moving Impacts (Transportation)
Transport Vehicle Fuel, LPG
As a result of forthcoming changes to our warehousing arrangements during 2015, we will be viewing 2015 as a bench mark year and not setting a CO2 reduction target.
Since 2010 Swish has collected and sorted its own cardboard, paper, polythene, wood and metal waste. The remaining general (unsorted) waste is collected by Swish’s waste processing partner Briers.
All of the sorted and unsorted waste is reprocessed by Briers and a report supplied to Swish on a monthly basis showing the outcome of the sorting process.
Since 2010 no waste has gone directly from the Swish site to landfill.
Swish reports its waste figures in two forms. In overall terms during 2014 the following waste was collected and processed:
Non Recycled Waste has risen considerably (25%) as the number of deliveries to the Tamworth site has increased. The new warehouse has generated large amounts of waste during the installation and commissioning period. The stockholding on site has also increased with consequential changes in the waste generated.
2016 will be used as a baseline year in which to measure the whole site’s performance. During the year there will be a programme to improve the management of waste streams in order to ensure that all recyclable waste can be captured.
|Emissions of Greenhouse Gasses (GHG) from operations Tamworth||Elements||2014 Actual||Change since 2008||2016 Target|
|Production & office waste||Primarily card, poly, paper, wood and metal||+25.0%||+115.1%||New baseline|
|General waste||Unsorted waste||+0.6%||-50.7%||New baseline|
Swish is a highly efficient manufacturer that creates little waste. Any manufacturing waste that is generated, including saw dust from in line saws, is recycled back into the production process.
Waste from raw material transportation and storage is minimised by the use of silo storage and supplier control of the material levels in those silos.
The following report sets out the actions that Swish is taking to:
Future Resource Use
The Short to Medium Term -
The reductions in energy inputs, water usage and scrappage rates referred to above represent the most obvious and effective actions that the company could take in the short to medium term in order to make meaningful reductions in resource use. The key to these reductions is a policy of close monitoring and incremental changes based on purchasing high quality, low energy consumption and low maintenance equipment.
The Longer Term -
It is important to note the following facts about PVC in general and cellular PVC in particular.
So PVC can be recycled many times over but because of its longevity the amounts of PVC available in PCW format are extremely small. It has been estimated that 2,700 tons of scrap are generated during installation and that less than 100 tonnes of cellular PVC is removed from buildings under refurbishment each year. This represents a tiny fraction of the cellular PVC industry’s annual output and even if it were recoverable as clean material it would not constitute a viable source of material on which to base production planning.
Swish has looked at its options for reclaiming and reusing the installation waste element above and has identified the major barriers to implementation that face the company and the industry:
Alternative material sources
An alternative approach is to use appropriate recycled PVC from other sources. Swish has started to look at other recyclable materials as an alternative to cellular PVC off cuts. Plastic bottles present a possible source of material; it is clean with a predictable nature but may not be obtainable in sufficient quantities on a sustainable basis.
Swish believes that there is a virtuous circle which helps the company and its employees to drive waste and inefficiency out of the manufacturing system and allows the workforce to realise the benefits of that process in terms of bonuses against specific targets.
Swish therefore measures specific efficiency improvements as per the table below.ts.
Target Range 2014
96% to 98%
1500 to 1200 PPM
6.7% to 5.3%
0.92% to 0.62%
0.28% to 0.24 %
All of these measures are aimed at improving resource use by, for example reducing errors in the system that require reworking product or taking back and redelivering orders, with all the costs and squandering of resources that this involves.
Staff Training and Engagement
All staff are given regular training on the best and safest way to perform tasks in the workplace. This is done through drawing up SOP’s that are the result of Risk Assessments which are themselves drawn up in conjunction with affected employees. This encourages efficiency and safety which in turn promotes better use of resources. Swish also operates business improvement teams (BITS) drawn from staff members that look specifically at current methodologies and seek to improve the ways that tasks are done. In 2015 The following BIT projects were successfully completed:
During 2014 Swish successfully launched an Employee Suggestion Scheme. In 2015 a number of significant changes were made as a result of employee suggestions.
Typically the following suggestion resulted in a significant and real energy saving – To fit a timer on the waste shredder to stop it running continuously saving approximately £2,000 pa for an investment of £500 on a controller
Joint Consultative Committee
Swish runs a regular consultative committee where management and workforce representatives meet to discuss company performance and general issues concerning working conditions.
Supply Chain Engagement
Swish works with its major suppliers to try and reduce waste in the system. Leading examples of this are:
Installers and Contractors
Electricity usage is monitored on a weekly basis by a series of sub-meters to understand where energy is being used on site. Efficiency plans and targets are in place to continuously improve energy performance. Swish has invested in energy efficient equipment including motors, pumps, lighting, compressors and inverters.
Water usage is monitored on a weekly basis by a series of sub-meters to understand where water is being used on site and to identify any leakages. Efficiency plans and targets are in place to continuously minimise water usage. Swish has invested in new , more efficient equipment across its manufacturing site.
Simple reduction measures are in place including employee awareness training, reducing numbers of heaters in unnecessary places, closing windows, shutting down heaters when not required, regular servicing and turning down the level of heat output overall.
All waste streams on site have been identified and are segregated and processed where possible (this includes all paper, cardboard, polythene, wood and metal). Since May 2010 any waste which cannot be processed on site has been sent to a waste management supplier, who sorts the waste to minimise landfill. All production scrap, start-up scrap, saw dust, misshapen or damaged boards are ground up and recycled back into production.
Vehicle CO2 Emissions
Vehicle fleet is Euro5 compliant and replaced the older Euro4 compliant fleet at the beginning of June 2011. Optimised vehicle servicing, load planning and vehicle routing contribute towards fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 output.