Hard landscaping leader Marshalls plc has enjoyed another year of success with an intensive series of sustainability campaigns, which was matched by a 7% increase in revenues.
The FTSE250 company has continued to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability, setting new standards to reduce its environmental impact. As well as carrying out rigorous ethical audits on its own sandstone suppliers to ensure bonded labour and child labour are not used within its quarries, Marshalls has also provided funding for Indian NGO, Hadoti Hast Shilp Sansthan.
Closer to home, Marshalls continues to work with The Carbon Trust to label all domestic products, following the launch of its Carbon Calculator in January 2007. This was a pioneering move for the industry where there had previously been little effort to make consumers aware of the environmental impact of their buying decisions. This continues to be a successful approach in 2008 as public awareness of environmental impact grows.
In April 2007, Marshalls held its second Sustainability Summit to mobilise action on the ethical sourcing of imported Indian stone, focusing specifically on how to influence consumer choice. The summit saw an international audience of key decision makers including The Royal Horticultural Society, the Dutch Sustainable Stone Initiative and the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). The first hard landscaping company to belong to the ETI, Marshalls continues to work with partner organisations to combat ‘informed ignorance’ of ethical issues and to expose ‘Greenwash’.
Marshalls has been measuring the environmental impacts of its operations since 2002 and utilizes the Construction Products Association (CPA) KPIs to measure its impacts annually in terms of energy and water usage, transport, waste reduction and packaging.
Having brought in new environmental performance features to its product range, Marshalls recently launched a selection of domestic paving solutions that allow rainwater to permeate quickly. Priora, Tegula Priora and Grassguard permeable paving were designed to reduce the strain on drainage systems in periods of high rainfall and prevent local flooding and pollution.
Marshalls has also started to manufacture the majority of its extensive portfolio of concrete block paving using environmentally conscious and sustainable materials. Supported by independently approved data, initial calculations have shown Marshalls’ new Innovative Mix Design has reduced the CO2e* embodiment of the company’s overall CBP portfolio by up to 39%.
Marshalls has gained a great deal of recognition for its work in 2007 headlined by coming top of its industry in the Management Today ‘Most Admired Business’ League Table, as well as 3rd for its Environmental and Social Responsibility and 12th ‘Most Admired’ overall – a massive rise of forty places since 2006.
Other credits have included winning a National Gold Award for Environmental Best Practice at the International Green Apple Awards as well as Biodiversity Benchmark status awarded by The Wildlife Trusts for Marshalls’ Maltby site’s work towards reducing environmental impact on the local wildlife. As well as Silver Scotland’s Health At Work status for its Health and Safety initiatives at Falkirk, Marshalls also continues to support the British Precast Concrete Federation’s Concrete Targets initiative.
Through a targeted PR drive with national, trade and consumer media, Marshalls’ sustainability campaign in 2007 went a long way to raise public awareness of ethical issues in the hard landscaping industry and beyond, including articles in The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian.
Moving forwards into 2008, Marshalls is set to raise its targets even higher: “We’re always looking for new ways to minimise our impact on the environment and fulfil our social responsibilities, while ensuring that we achieve continued economic growth,” says Chris Harrop, Group Marketing Director at Marshalls. “The success of the business will in turn allow us to further our support for ethical trading, and commit even more of our resources to making a difference.”
For more information on Marshalls’ sustainability campaign, visit www.marshallsforsustainablelandscapes.co.uk