Safeguard Europe – the UK’s leading specialist in damp-proofing and waterproofing technology – has won the Sustainability Award in the Property Care Association’s Best Practice Awards.
The Property Care Association (PCA) aims to promote high standards of professionalism and expertise in the industry, through training and other support services.
Sectors represented include damp control, residential ventilation, timber preservation, structural waterproofing, structural repair, and flood resilience and remediation.
The award is for the company’s new Oldroyd Xv Eco White Cavity Drainage Membrane and its contribution to reducing plastics in buildings, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and helping to remove plastic pollution from the marine environment.
Estimates for the size of the UK market for plastic cavity drainage membrane put the total annual demand at around 3.5 million square metres p.a.
The great majority of this membrane is manufactured using virgin plastic at a density of 500 grams per square metre.
This means approximately 1.75 million kilograms of virgin plastic are used per year in the form of cavity drainage membranes in the UK.
As the main users of cavity drainage membrane, the property care and waterproofing industries have a large role to play in reducing plastic usage and associated carbon emissions.
Safeguard Europe teamed up with its Norwegian manufacturing partner (Oldroyd AS) to develop a cavity drainage membrane with lower environmental impact than existing products, while also maintaining quality and customer acceptance.
The resulting product – Oldroyd Xv Eco White – represents the most environmentally-friendly cavity drainage membrane ever launched.
Oldroyd Xv Eco White also combines the use of recycled material with the use of fully renewable energy in production. If such a product became the norm in the UK cavity drainage market , the potential environmental benefits of the product would be enormous.
The company estimates that there would be 1.05 million kilograms of virgin plastic saved every year, 1.05 million kilograms of plastic recovered from the sea every year, and approximately 68,000 fewer tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
While membranes containing recycled material have been available in the UK for some time, uptake has been low. This is because of a combination of lower product quality and the fact they have only been available in dark colours, such as brown or black which are unpopular with contractors working in confined spaces with no natural light.
The unique multi-layer technology employed in Oldroyd Xv Eco White allows the recycled layer to be sandwiched between two layers of white virgin material, allowing the membrane to reflect light and allowing the production of a membrane with quality on par with membranes produced entirely from new plastics.
Safeguard and Oldroyd hope to improve the potential environmental benefits even further by introducing a recycling scheme for the membrane; and continuing to invest in research and development in order to produce a version of the membrane with an even higher percentage of recycled plastic.
The award was presented on 21 November last year, at a University of Warwick event hosted by PCA Board Member, Sue Uttridge.
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