As a large-scale manufacturer of Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) building components for the construction industry, Stormking is more than aware of its responsibility to help protect the environment. As such, sustainability is at the core of its existing and developing business strategies and the company is continually working to minimise its effect on the surrounding environment.

The start of its sustainability journey

Stormking started its sustainability journey over 12 years go with the achievement of its ISO 14001 accreditation. The ISO 14001 Environmental Certificate is an international standard which specifies the requirements for an environmental management system. It aims to help businesses enhance their environmental performance by enabling them to develop and implement policies to achieve sustainable business practices. Over the next few years, this accreditation facilitated the creation of several new procedures, including the measurement and reporting of environmental and business data, the addition of an environmental awareness module to the employee induction programme, and the establishment of a ‘CO₂ generated per tonnage manufactured’ baseline. The implementation of these policies resulted in a 15% reduction in CO₂ per tonne in 2014, and a 30% reduction in CO₂ per tonne the following year. These achievements were a direct response to Stormking’s proactive approach and the deployment of a successful sustainability strategy. In 2016 Stormking was bought by the Epwin Group, which not only brought financial stability but also aided Stormking’s sustainability journey through shared knowledge and innovation.

The bigger picture – becoming part of the Epwin Group

As a large-scale manufacturer, the Epwin Group is energy and resource intensive. However, as with Stormking, it recognises this, as well as the subsequent need for sustainability strategies to optimise the efficiency of its production procedures and wider operations. Being part of this larger group provided Stormking with new, innovative ideas such as a ‘Cycle to Work’ initiative and changing all lighting to LED, and by 2019 Stormking had achieved a 40% reduction in CO₂ per tonne. Over the next two years, Stormking introduced a plethora of new procedures to further its sustainability journey. Firstly, a drive to reduce energy consumption during non-working hours led to the installation of timers on its manufacturing machines and a ‘switch off’ policy being introduced on all its sites. This was followed by a ‘manufacturing waste reduction’ initiative and process improvement being implemented, and finally a ‘cold pour’ process, which not only improves efficiency but also reduces waste, was developed and executed. To ensure these procedures were having the desired effect, Stormking liaised closely with its key customers and stakeholders to collect relevant sustainability data. This data was then used to analyse the success of current initiatives whilst also driving future plans. As well as focusing on business and manufacturing processes, the Epwin Group also understands the importance of continual innovation to maximise the performance of its products and the environmental benefits they deliver. This has also been key for Stormking in the development of its GRP building component range.

The sustainability benefits of GRP

Glass Reinforced Plastic products are significantly lighter than their equivalent products, for example brick or steel, which results in lower emissions from transportation, whilst their production is typically less energy intensive than the production of alternative materials such as steel or concrete. Also, due to the high-quality resins used in Stormking’s manufacturing process, many of its GRP products have a service life of more than 50 years.

Committed to a sustainable future

Stormking has been on a 12-year sustainability journey, but this journey is far from over. It knows that there are still many ways it can improve its processes and the lifecycle of its products. This is why it remains committed to reducing the environmental impact of its operations; to looking at alternative methods of manufacturing; and to the responsible sourcing and consumption of raw materials. Stormking intends to continue to manufacture the highest quality products possible, in the most sustainable way possible, and will continue to monitor, progress, review and enhance its strategies as it continues along its sustainability journey.