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Sustainability

OUR PURPOSE IS TO FIND A MORE SUSTAINABLE WAY


Sustainability is a journey of taking care of people, planet and profit. Not all solutions to sustainability are already here so we are taking a research-based approach to find better ways of doing things.


We’re focusing on natural and compostable solutions; reducing waste; energy efficiency and carbon reduction.


We can’t do this on our own, so we’re partnering with some of the country’s brightest minds to take a transparent and science-based approach.


READ MORE BELOW ABOUT OUR JOURNEY TO GOING GOOD.

A $4.9 MILLION INVESTMENT

In 2021, our $4.9M research based sustainability programme began with support from the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund.


To assist with this work we are partnering with the University of Auckland and AgResearch and have three PhD students to add even more brain power to our research team.

NATURAL & COMPOSTABLE SOLUTIONS

We believe that natural and compostable solutions are better for our planet because natural materials form part of Earth’s carbon cycle and have been part of the environment for millennia. 


Unfortunately, all synthetic carpet fibres are essentially plastic. In 2019 over 17,000 tonnes of synthetic carpet yarn was imported into New Zealand.


Our 60+ years of experience has taught us that wool is a high performing, natural alternative to plastic fibres. Wool is also grown in New Zealand, it’s 100% biodegradable and it’s also renewable.


So in May 2021 we celebrated our last ever synthetic carpet production. By exiting the synthetic carpet market we reduced our annual plastic consumption by about 2,500 tonnes.


Our focus is to move towards circularity and manufacture our products using 100% sustainably sourced natural materials that can be returned to the earth.


CASE STUDY: TERRA AND STRATA RUGS

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this experiment was to challenge ourselves to make a highly desirable and functional rug using only biodegradable natural fibres and almost nothing else.

LEARNINGS

We created an entire palette of beautifully soft yarns using the natural colours of cross-bred and alpaca wool instead of dyes and colourants. We learnt how to work with these different types of fibres at large scale to produce a 100% natural yarn efficiently.

WHAT'S NEXT

Rug Experiment 2 is underway – watch this space as we continue to push hard to find better ways to bring our beautiful product to your floor.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY & CARBON REDUCTION

We are aiming to make a carpet that leaves our manufacturing facilities with a zero-carbon footprint. 


To do this, we are working hard to reduce our contribution to climate change through removing or reducing greenhouse gases we release into the atmosphere. A key area of focus to reduce carbon emissions is our energy sources.


We currently use two key sources of energy which are electricity and natural gas. Our electricity is sourced from the New Zealand grid which is made up of over 80% renewable energy. The below case study shows how we are reducing our natural gas consumption.

CASE STUDY: NAPIER & WHANGANUI NEW MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY


In April 2022, Bremworth received co-funding from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) to adopt new energy efficient technologies that will reduce carbon emissions by up to 30%.


According to EECA, industrial heat processes accounts for around a third of New Zealand’s overall energy use. An estimated 60% of industrial production heating is fossil-fuelled.[1] 


INITIATIVE 1

The $2.1 million project for our Napier wool yarn spinning plant, co-funded by EECA, will see us transition from natural gas process heat to electric heat pump technology. The project is designed to improve the energy efficiency of manufacturing processes, by detailed process heating measurement, minimising waste heat and optimising the heating system configurations and technology to meet future production volumes.

INITIATIVE 2

A second decarbonisation initiative, which is also co-funded by EECA, at our Whanganui plant will see a gas fired dryer replaced with an alternative which uses radio waves to dry woollen yarn during the production process. 

ESTIMATED RESULTS

Transitioning to electric heat pump technology in our Napier plant will save up to 1,500 tonnes of CO2e per annum.


The installation of the radio frequency dryer in Whanganui is estimated to save a further 197 tonnes of CO2e per annum.

[1] EECA Energy End Use database

REDUCING WASTE

We are aiming for a circular economy where waste and pollution are minimised, products and materials are kept in use and natural systems are regenerated.


We are systematically working through our supply chain to look for opportunities to be more sustainable and efficient in our processes including ways to use our natural resources efficiently, moving to green chemistry principles, reusing, and recycling material, and ensuring that all waste can be safety returned to the biosphere.

Our commitment to increasing circularity and decreasing single use items extends beyond our product with initiatives such as:


  • Replacing synthetic-based PPE gear, such as work shirts and hi-vis vests, with natural products.

  • Replacing plastic courier bags with FSC certified paper-based packaging when delivering samples.

  • Rolling out Lanaco masks for staff, which are wool-based and made in NZ.

  • We’ve also held a series of educational workshops for our people to live a less wasteful life at work as well as at home.

  • We have recycling facilities throughout our sites.

  • Our production wool waste is recycled locally into other products.

  • Used wool carpet can be recycled into underlay for new carpet installations.

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Country: New Zealand  |  Australia