It’s been officially confirmed in several trusted reports and studies worldwide: being a sustainable brand is not only good for the environment, it is good for business too. With the current economic climate, many consumers are becoming more risk-averse and careful about where they spend their money. According to some studies, including those from Nielsen and the Shelton Group, sustainable brands are preferred by consumers.
Sustainability goes beyond green
Contrary to popular belief, a sustainable brand is a brand that has successfully integrated environmental, economic and social issues – it’s not just about being green. Most companies that people consider sustainable meet only one-third of the requirements. A sustainable brand like Swartland manufactures sustainable products sustainably, integrates sustainable economic and social pillars in business operations, openly exercises ethical business practices, advocates pro-social behaviours, and applies sustainable manufacturing principles.
When considering sustainability, you must consider the cradle-to-grave theory versus just looking at the product. While it is important to use sustainable products, it is essential to look at whether the product is manufactured from sustainable materials in an ecologically beneficial manner. For example, Swartland’s windows are SANS 613 certified and compliant. They have all been tested for deflection, structural strength, water resistance, air tightness, operating forces, and the best possible energy efficiency. However, more than that, they are made from sustainable materials, including timber sourced from sustainable FSC- and FLEGT-certified mills, or aluminium that is 100% recyclable.
Swartland also sustainably manufactures its windows. Only the best wood is used to create windows and doors. Lower-grade offcuts are used for wood laminate products, and the timber that doesn’t get used in production is used as fuel for the boilers that kiln-dry the wood. Any leftover shavings or sawdust are sold to local farmers for chicken bedding; nothing is wasted.
Swartland products are also manufactured to last, minimising their overall carbon footprint. Whether it is windows, doors, timber mouldings or insulation – all Swartland’s products offer best-in-class quality and longevity. Knauf mineral wool insulation, for example, boasts a high recycled content mainly derived from naturally occurring materials. It also features a revolutionary binder technology called Ecose Technology, which has cemented its place as a truly sustainable building material. It offers a reduced impact on the environment through lower embodied energy, as well as diminishing pollutant manufacturing emissions and workplace exposures.
Ethical business practices and pro-social behaviours
Sustainability is also about ethical practices and dealings. Running an ethical business that stands as a pillar within a community goes hand-in-hand with creating true sustainability. Over its lifetime, it has built its reputation on honest dealings and quality craftsmanship. Internally, Swartland has value statements and codes of conduct that are used as management guidelines and relate to its economic, environmental and social platforms, enabling the company to run as ethically and sustainably as possible.
Swartland has for many years operated in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way and has found that cutting costs in the present can be more costly in the future. As a result, sustainability will always be Swartland’s primary focus, and they are uncompromising in pursuing this goal, despite the financial cost attached. Swartland likes to think of themselves as investing in the future.