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A Sustainable Decade

The Coronavirus crisis has rightly absorbed all attention, but as we gradually emerge, there is a growing consensus that we must collectively look to return not to “business as usual” but “better business”. Central to Knauf’s Build for the World We Live In mission is a commitment to improving the sustainability of our business and that focus is as strong as ever.

As a manufacturer our role is to support the creation of sustainable buildings and there are three aspects to our sustainability promise.

Positive products

Our product development programme has sustainability at its core.

Positive impact can take many forms – from the reduced water use associated with our Airless Finish to the Akustikpanel perforated board actively tackling both air and sound quality issues.

On the cusp of an unprecedented shortage of both houses and people to build them, the UK industry is searching for solutions to increase the speed, simplicity and adaptability of building methods and is finding answers in a move to modular / offsite construction.

In this new, lightweight world, our ThroughWall systems, dry screed flooring and demountable ceilings provide practical answers for high quality factory-based construction.

Minimising impact

We are committed to minimising the environmental impact of our activity.

As our products are based on a material that is both abundant and endlessly recyclable, a primary focus is on reducing waste and increasing recycling.

 In 2010 The Plasterboard Sustainability Action plan turned a spotlight on the gypsum industry, highlighting its potential to be a trailblazer.

In the decade since, Knauf UK has made enormous progress. In the last four years alone the quantity of waste from our factories that is recycled or reused has risen by over 100% and Knauf is part of an industry-wide collaboration to support the collection and recycling of gypsum products (both virgin and post-consumer) from building sites.

A relentless focus on the efficiency of our plants ensures that our greenhouse gas emissions continue to fall and collaboration throughout our supply chain also means that the carbon emissions generated through haulage fall year on year.

The real test of an organisation-wide commitment to minimal impact, however, goes beyond the headline figures to the incremental improvements that collectively make a real difference. 

Small steps such as the provision of charging points for electric vehicles in our car parks or the planting of reedbeds around the perimeter of our site demonstrate a collective sense of purpose.

A business for the future

Knauf is a business that puts its people first.  Ensuring our staff are safe, encouraged and treated with respect is a central objective for the business.

We nurture talent and work hard to maintain an inclusive and consultative working environment. 

The 2019 Engage Awards recognised our proactive approach to employee engagement and we focus on personal development, encouraging our staff to enrol on personal development programmes.

We are proud that women are strongly represented on our senior management team (43%) and of the family-friendly policies that allow every member of our staff an equal opportunity to progress.

No business exists in isolation: we work hard to be a good neighbour (zero local complaints), open our doors for tours and support a range of charitable organisations. 

As a company we have actively supported CRASH for over 20 years and Knauf’s match-funding for individual fundraising activity allows staff to benefit their own chosen charities.

Put simply, Knauf’s sustainability strategy is both precise and far-reaching: We measure our performance against a range of criteria, making sure that we can demonstrate a constantly improving commitment to a sustainable future.

 

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