Our environment

The Howdens culture is to be “worthwhile for all concerned”, and that means that we take our environmental responsibilities seriously. Our main concerns are around zero waste to landfill, reducing our emissions, and energy efficiency.

For more details of what we’ve done in 2020, together with our commitments and targets for the future, see our full sustainability report here

Reducing waste

Lowering emissions

Energy efficiency

In 2020 our manufacturing and logistics operations achieved zero waste to landfill. While we had less than 5% of this waste going to landfill for several years, getting to zero in 2020 represented a terrific achievement and is the culmination of years of hard work.

In our UK depots, we have moved from 40% to landfill to 10% to landfill in 2020. Waste management across our depot network is a bigger challenge than it is in our manufacturing and logistics operations, but we are pleased with the significant progress and will continue to put in place processes to close the final 10% gap.

We continue to look for ways to reduce our emissions. In 2020 we reduced our electricity demand from the grid by using gas to generate electricity onsite at both of our Howden and Runcorn factories. We’ve offset the impact of this using certified biomethane or ‘Green Gas’, which has reduced our carbon equivalent emissions from manufacturing by around 33% compared to 2019.

We have committed to being carbon neutral in our manufacturing operations by the end of 2021.

Our manufacturing, warehousing and transport are certified to ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. This assures us that we have sustainable processes in place and also encourages us to look for improvements.

We converted 11,000 tonnes of sawdust into energy in biomass boilers at our Runcorn and Howden factories, which generated over 40,000 MWh of energy, equivalent to the average electricity consumption of over 10,000 households.