Industrial and Safety’s division-wide commitment to environmental stewardship

Industrial and Safety’s division-wide commitment to environmental stewardship

The Industrial and Safety division is dedicated to reducing its environmental impact through a range of carbon, waste and packaging initiatives. Each business unit adopts a tailored approach, ensuring projects are relevant to their corporate values and goals and product and service offering.  

As part of Blackwoods’ commitment to reducing waste to landfill, the business partnered with ACT Logistics to repurpose or recycle 5.6 tonnes of redundant e-waste. In addition, reuse of IT equipment internally has saved approximately $250,000. 

Greencap has established a Sustainability Committee to impart sustainable thinking into how team members can consider more sustainable practices in their day-to-day work. Since its inception, the committee has launched Eco-News, a monthly grassroots publication showcasing the great work being done across the business. Another key initiative has been the GreenPower project. Since 1 January 2021, Greencap has been purchasing 53 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and hydro. 

With billions of plastic bottles going to landfill every year, Workwear Group was motivated to think of new and innovative ways to address this problem. The solution was to introduce the use of REPREVE® fibre, a leading branded performance fibre made from recycled materials, including plastic bottles. Workwear Group has now incorporated the REPREVE® fibre in its range of sustainable garments and footwear under its Hard Yakka and KingGee brands. Hard Yakka has been using the sustainable textile since 2019 and has seen great results with the Ripstop range, saving more than 24,000 post-consumer bottles in the first month of sales. In addition, the Tradies Utility range is gaining momentum with a total of 355,190 post-consumer bottles recycled and counting. KingGee has also used the fabric in the Raptor Active range, with each item saving 12 post-consumer bottles from landfill. Workwear Group’s sustainable raw materials sourcing strategy commenced in 2019, which aims to source 95 per cent of fibres and trims from sustainable sources over the next 10 years.    

Workwear Group New Zealand has been a trusted partner to Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) for over 20 years and through its TotalCare operations undertakes the laundering, repair and asset management of FENZ uniforms. Thanks to a strong collaborative relationship, significant gains and efficiencies were achieved through packaging improvements. Procedural changes have delivered big improvements to Workwear Group’s environmental footprint, such as reusing cardboard cartons until they are no longer fit-for-purpose and introducing 100 per cent recyclable bags for single-set uniform distribution. Paper usage has also reduced through simplifying internal processes and the use of degradable liners inside cartons has removed single-use plastic bags. It is estimated this initiative will remove around 40,000 plastic bags, 15,000 cardboard boxes and 60,000 pieces of paper from Workwear Group’s supply chain per year.