The common methods of going green are not enough, according to a leading ceiling tile manufacturer and supplier.
Armstrong Ceilings, which supplys Crossrail, Heathrow Airport and the London Underground, says innovative business models are essential to achieving a truly ‘circular economy’ and firms need to re-think their manufacturing processes from the ground up.
Speaking at the Rushlight Show today, Sustainability Manager Jeremy Sumeray said that measures to use less carbon intensive energy, pollute water less and emit less emissions were the right place to start.
However, he said: “The aim should be to eliminate the concept of waste and acceptable levels of environmental damage altogether. Being less bad is not the same as being good.”
Armstrong Ceilings developed its product, paper-based ceiling tiles, to be as sustainable as possible from the beginning. The tiles can be recycled over and over without needing chemical reprocessing at any point.
The process is set up so there is no minimum quantity for a batch and even competitor’s tiles can be used.
The recyclable product even incentivises building contractors to separate them from other building waste and take them back to the Armstrong Ceilings plant – each tonne returned offers £250 of landfill cost savings.
Mr Sumeray said the firm aims to eventually see effluent waste water leaving the plant at the same quality it enters.
The company uses renewable power, with one of its main plants in the UK having gone 100% green already.