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Environmental Policy

Statement of Intent

Social Spaces is a registered trademark of Dams Furniture Ltd. At Dams Furniture Ltd (Dams) we are committed to manufacturing quality products in a manner that ensures a safe and healthy workplace for our employees and minimises our impact on the environment. We will operate in compliance with all relevant environmental legislation and we will strive to use pollution prevention and environmental best practices in all we do.

The board of Directors recognise the importance of managing factors impacting on the environment, which includes the risks to the environment associated with hazardous substances used in the production of our office furniture and the recycling of waste produced in the manufacturing process.

Dams will, as far as is reasonably practical:
• Integrate the consideration of environmental concerns and impacts into all of our decision making and activities.
• Promote environmental awareness among our employees and encourage them to work in an environmentally responsible manner.
• Train, educate and inform our employees about environmental issues that may affect their work.
• Reduce waste through re-use and recycling and by purchasing recycled or refurbished products and materials where these alternatives are available, economical and suitable.
• Promote efficient use of materials and resources, particularly those that are non-renewable.
• Avoid unnecessary use of hazardous materials and products, seek substitutions when feasible, and take all reasonable steps to protect human health and the environment when such materials must be used, stored and disposed of.
• Purchase and use environmentally responsible products accordingly.
• Where required by legislation or where significant health, safety or environmental hazards exist, develop and maintain appropriate emergency and spill response programmes.
• Strive to continually improve our environmental performance and minimise the social impact of our current and planned future activities.
• Ensure the co-operation of its entire staff in the operation of this policy.

Introduction

This environmental policy statement covers every aspect of Dams operations, whether they are directly or indirectly involved in the design, engineering, manufacture, distribution or installation of office furniture products.

As an office furniture manufacturer, Dams recognise that our operations have an effect on the local, national and global environment. As a consequence of this, we strive for continuous improvement in our environmental performance and the elimination of pollution and waste at source in line with our business objectives, using recognised environmental best practices wherever possible.

As a growing business, we also recognise that the pursuit of economic growth and a healthy environment must be closely linked, and that ecological protection and sustainable development are everyone’s responsibility.

Our Objectives & Commitments

Dams comply as a minimum with all relevant environmental legislation as well as other environmental requirements. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment by:
• Recycling Initiatives
• Waste Management
• Reducing Energy Consumption
• Raw Material Sourcing
• Greener Transportation

Recycling Initiatives

Dams are committed to minimising waste and then reusing or recycling as much waste as possible. Throughout our operating sites, there are recycling points for paper, cardboard, cans, wood and plastic, and this initiative has more than doubled the volume of recycled waste sorted.

Dams Office Furniture Recycling Solutions (OFRS) has been set up to support our customers in offering an office furniture recycling solution to the UK market. It can offer a complete removal, environmentally friendly disposal or refurbish and resale of office furniture across the UK. Recycling office furniture will help eliminate long-term detrimental impacts to the living environment.

Legal & Policy Framework

• Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011
• The Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005
• Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991
• The Environment Act 1990
• The Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989
• The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations 2013
• Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
• Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (Amendment) Regulations 2004
• Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012
• Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Regulations 1998

Waste Management

Dams have recently invested heavily in new packaging technology and processes to reduce our dependence on cardboard packaging, which has also helped to reduce waste through damages. The aim is to avoid the environmental expense of replacing damaged goods whilst minimising the environmental expense of waste packaging. Our installation teams also return all packaging to Dams for recycling once the installation is complete.

Dams head office use waste wood from the factory to power the central heating system. We have two biomass boilers to heat the 200,000² ft. factory and warehouse space reducing our demand for oil and gas, whilst at the same time helping to improve our waste management, with over 95% being converted.

Approved waste disposal companies provide a service for the safe disposal for used chemical containers, fluorescent light tubes, aerosol cans and electronic equipment and issue Waste Transfer Notes for each collection.

Reducing Energy Consumption

Dams has a policy to maintain the extensive lighting systems for the building and externally to ensure timers shut off lighting appropriately to keep energy usage to a minimum. Sensors in the open plan areas of the operating sites automatically shut off lighting when motion is no longer detected. The only lighting that remains on in the building overnight is lighting that is required in accordance with health and safety regulations.

With a commitment to an ongoing reduction in energy and resource consumption, all our lights have been fitted with LED lamps for an energy saving of 90% compared to incandescent lamps and 60% in relation to low energy fluorescent lamps. In addition there are fewer lamps to dispose of resulting in a reduction in our electrical waste.

Raw Material Sourcing

Dams recognise that sourcing products locally can play a great part in reducing our company’s carbon footprint. To that end we are always looking for UK based component suppliers. This provides work for people who contribute towards the UK’s economy and considerably reduces our carbon footprint through greatly reduced transport requirements.

All of the particle board used by Dams is both FSC & PEFC compliant. FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) & PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) schemes are non-profit organisations concerned with ensuring the responsible and sustainable management of forests. Dams also use ABS edging around our desks as opposed to Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) as ABS is recyclable, reusable, non-toxic & non-carcinogenic.

Greener Transportation

Dams are committed to reducing our environmental impact and continually improving the environmental performance of our fleet of vehicles. We operate and maintain company vehicles (where appropriate) with due regard to environmental issues as far as reasonably practical and encourage the use of alternative means of transport and car sharing as appropriate.

Our state of the art Warehouse Management System automatically categorises office furniture orders by size. Smaller loads can then be delivered to the customer using our fleet of smaller vehicles more suited to urban routes than larger vehicles, so customers can be assured of the environmental validity of the products manufactured and supplied by Dams.

Board Responsibility

The Managing Director is responsible to the Board for the Dams’ overall performance and implementation of the environmental policy. However, all employees have a responsibility in their area to ensure that the aims and objectives of the policy are met. It will be monitored regularly to ensure that the policy achieves its objectives and this information will be communicated to all employees.

At some point in the future we will all have to move to a sustainable global economy built on using renewable energy sources and better managed natural resources. With this in mind Dams are playing their part in the move towards a sustainable economy.

Chris Scott
Managing Director
Dams Furniture