Following Deceuninck’s recent Sustainability Initiative of the Year G-Award win, we ask MD Rob McGlennon how important environmental concerns are for businesses.
Congratulations on the G-Award win! Why did you enter the Sustainability Initiative of the Year category?
Rob McGlennon: Thank you. Sustainability has often sat in the background, but as we move forward, it is playing a far bigger role in everyday life.
If you look at the people buying windows and doors in 2023, they are moving beyond the standard concerns of security and aesthetics. Energy efficiency is now right at the top of their lists of features, and sustainability quite often sits alongside that.
In fact, our own research at the start of 2021 showed that more than two-thirds of UK homeowners (68%) would choose windows and doors with a higher recycled content over and above products that don’t contain recycled content, or which did so at lower levels.
That independent survey, conducted by YouGov, also found that 63% of homeowners said that they would be more likely to purchase home improvements, which they saw as being more ‘sustainable’.
Furthermore, 38%, would be prepared to pay more for home improvement products that had higher recycled content and reduced impact on the environment.
Since then, nothing has happened to change this mindset. In fact, the market conditions going into 2023 look set to support it.
How important is your investment in sustainability for your customers?
RM: As the key supplier for many fabricators in the UK, what we do filters down to their own operations. So, the fact that Deceuninck has built a new recycling plant that can reprocess up to 45,000 tonnes of post-consumer and post-manufacturing PVC-U per year – the equivalent of preventing three million windows from going to landfill annually – then that is a powerful message that can be passed down through the fabricator to the installer and the homeowner.
This messaging also includes reducing CO2 emissions by 90,000 tonnes (recycled compared to virgin feedstocks), as well as a 90% energy saving.
If you are a retail business looking to capitalise on the increased in sustainability, and you have a section on your website on sustainability, then this is the sort of information you can include – and the fact that we won a prestigious industry award as a result of it is the icing on the cake!
Are you offering any other support?
RM: We have developed a web-based Energy Calculator, which clearly shows how replacing old windows can save homeowners money while reducing their carbon footprint.
According to the Energy Calculator, owners of a detached house on mains gas will save over £18K in ten years if they upgrade from single-glazed wooden windows to triple-glazed Heritage 2800 from Deceuninck. They will also save almost 28 tons on emitted carbon.
Even replacing existing PVC-U double-glazed windows with Traditional 2500 double-glazed windows from Deceuninck in a similar property will save the homeowner more than £6,500 over ten years, and more than 10 tons of carbon.
Are you developing products that support this mindset?
RM: Yes. Last year, we launched our energy efficient Elegant, which comes in a range of frame depths (76mm, 84mm and 115mm) and five different sashes.
Thanks to our patented ThermoFibra glass fibre reinforcement system and our Forthex extruded insulated thermal reinforcement, Elegant is 30% more thermally efficient than steel-reinforced windows while boasting the same strength. There are also 40% savings to be made on materials and weight, and both ThermoFibra and Forthex are 100% recyclable.
Elegant demonstrates that we are moving of from standard PVC-U systems to modern, premium low-maintenance and energy efficient composite windows and doors.
It’s what you would expect from the UK’s leading systems company.