Sustainability means business

Posted On 21-08-19

“Climate change and green issues were really starting to take hold in the run up to the Covid pandemic but at the start of lockdown, they suddenly seemed less important,” says Ian Cocken, Director of Sales and Marketing, aluplast.

“Most people were focusing purely on how they were going to cope with the immediate situation, with anxiety over the virus and with job security.

“However, as lockdown progressed, it served to highlight that we could actually live more sustainably if we really wanted to,” continues Cocken. “Working from home might not have been an ideal solution for everyone, but it certainly made a lot of people reassess their needs and that has helped to accelerate the green agenda as we emerge from Covid.

“Combine that with the environmental disasters we are now seeing on an almost daily basis – from extreme flooding to forest fires and the increasingly alarming reports that our ability to combat climate change is now hanging in the balance – and the business case for sustainability has never been stronger.”

Increasing consumer appetite for ‘green’ products has been emphasised by research from the WWF that shows the popularity of Google searches relating to sustainable goods has increased by 71% globally since 2016.

That’s backed up by a recent Accenture survey of more than 25,0000 consumers across 22 countries in which 42% of respondents said that they were changing their buying habits across all 14 industries covered in the report.

ecotech is supplied as standard across the Ideal70 and Ideal4000 ranges

Among that grouping, 76% state that they are attracted to doing business with brands that source services and materials in highly ethical ways and 65% want to do business with brands that are environmentally friendly, can provide credible green credentials for products and services or invest in sustainability.

Another survey by Deloitte, said that ethical and sustainability issues remain a key driver for almost a third of consumers. Carried out at the start of 2021, the report revealed that 34% of respondents had specifically chosen brands with environmentally sustainable practices over the previous 12 months, and 28% said they had stopped purchasing certain brands or products because they had ethical or sustainability related concerns about them.

Deloitte’s survey also highlighted that Generation Z is adopting more sustainable behaviours than any other groups, with 45% prepared to boycott a product or brand accordingly, values that are likely to impact on consumer buying habits over the long term.

“It’s absolutely clear that consumers are increasingly prepared to make a purchasing decision based on how sustainable a product is,” says Cocken. “That presents a big opportunity for businesses, including those operating in the fenestration industry.

“For our customers, that’s represented by ecotech, our ultra-green profile that is supplied as standard across our Ideal70 and Ideal4000 range.”

ecotech is the result of an advanced, co-extrusion process that uses two compound screw feeds to push recycled and virgin polymer through the profile dye at the same time. This ensures that recycled material is only used in the internal webbing, remaining isolated from the external wall, with virgin polymer used to provide the external ‘face’ of the profile.

“The recycled element of ecotech may be locked away at the core of the profile, but the quality of that material is extremely important,” explains Cocken. “We know exactly where it comes from, so we can guarantee it only contains calcium organic stabilisers and that there is no trace of lead or cadmium.

“It’s also critical that we can deliver a perfectly flat, non-pitted exterior surface. That gives an optimum quality of finish, but it also means we can confidently offer our range of foils without the risk of delamination.

aluplast’s range of foils now extends to 40 different options, including the next generation aludec and woodec finishes. Its popular ‘off the shelf’ stock options, which include Anthracite Grey on white, Anthracite Grey on both sides on a grey substrate and smooth grey have also recently been expanded with the addition of Agate Grey.

“Demand for colour has increased significantly, and that’s reflected in the fact that sales of foils now account for nearly half of our total order volume,” says Cocken. “Our customers are very well placed to respond to this demand, which follows the move away from commodity to higher value, more premium products.

“With ecotech at the heart of those products, they also have an advanced, genuine solution for the increasing number of consumers who are making a purchasing decision that’s based on sustainability over and above anything else.”

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