Ben Brocklesby, Director at Origin, the UK’s leading manufacturer of aluminium doors and windows, talks to us about the benefits of working with ethical suppliers and looks at the best ways of identifying them.
Sustainability credentials within the construction, building and manufacturing sectors are playing an increasingly important role in the end users’ purchasing decisions. From consumers analysing the thermal efficiency of a product to decide which one to select, to businesses looking at ethical qualifications during the tender process, sustainability credentials are being taken seriously. Those companies that are not prioritising them will lose out to more proactive, forward-thinking competitors.
It isn’t just down to the products or the way in which a business operates, it is much more granular than that now. Businesses are being judged on every decision they make, and that includes those that they partner with.
The Benefits of Picking the Right Supplier
1. Establishing Trust
As a business, you only have one reputation. You can’t buy a new one, meaning it is imperative that you build trust amongst your audience, and keep progressing it. By working with suppliers who are doing good for the environment, you are demonstrating your commitment to sustainable and responsible best practices. This aligns you with the ethical supplier, and allows your customers to meet their own ethical, moral, and corporate goals.
By proactively working to reduce your environmental impact by only selecting ethical suppliers that match your ambitions, you’re protecting your reputation and putting yourself firmly in the mix when it comes to tenders.
2. Making Compliance Easier
As we all know, the new building regulations have tightened up the way the industry operates. Regulations have become more stringent so that we can have a more sustainable future. To make this transition as easy as possible for yourself, work with suppliers who already comply with the new standards, or are at least working hard to reach them. This will ensure your project meets current guidelines and is futureproofed against any further regulation changes.
At Origin, we have worked incredibly hard to make sure our aluminum windows and doors not only meet the current guidelines but exceed them, ensuring the thermal efficiency and performance of homes and buildings across the country, now and in the future.
So, how do you find suppliers doing the right thing?
Finding Ethical Partners
It isn’t always easy to spot an ethical supplier, especially with more and more brands turning to ‘greenwashing’ in a bid to stay on top. However, there are some ways to identify the companies that mean business, and those that are out to deceive.
My first step is always to check accreditations. When making big decisions, trust is a crucial word. Can you trust this business? Do you trust what you are being told? Even when the answer is yes, one can never be 100 percent sure. This is where accreditations come in useful. They provide hard facts and can show a company’s commitment to excellence or demonstrate its moral and ethical compass.
Keep an eye out for own-branded logos and self-appointed awards. They don’t mean anything. You need to see third-party recommendations from reputable organisations and awards. Look for certifications that suggest long-term commitments to quality and sustainability, like the ISO 9001 certification for quality, ISO 14001 for environmental policies, and ISO 45001 for health and safety. Certifications offer an all-important, unbiased stamp of approval, giving added reassurance to decision makers.
In addition to awards and accreditations, one crucial area that is often overlooked is the materials being used. Aluminium is becoming increasingly popular in construction due to the high performance of the metal, and its positive impact on the environment compared to alternatives like UPVC or timber. In fact, according to the Aluminium Association, of all the aluminium ever extruded, 75% is still in circulation. This is evidence of its durability, as well as its recyclability, which is what makes it one of the best materials available.
Make it your business to learn about your suppliers and how they operate. Understand that having a working relationship with someone means you are linked and judged together. Align with a business that meets your expectations and is committed to growing together. This will help futureproof your business against economic or environmental uncertainties, keep you compliant, and drive sales.
To learn more about Origin, and its range of windows and doors, visit Origin Aluminium Bi-Fold Doors & Windows | 20 Year Guarantee (origin-global.com).