Our environmental Ethos - the way we work
Inspirwood is all about wood.
We like wood because it’s inherently sustainable.
It’s a natural resource that is continuously renewed.
It’s carbon neutral as it absorbs carbon as it grows.
It looks awesome and is timeless.
It isn’t plastic or man made
Wood does not sit in landfill for 1000's of years, or pollute our oceans.
Our company is built around our desire to work in an Earth-friendly way, one that helps the environment rather than keep taking without giving back.
We are not one of those companies who carry on producing as the status quo and have a meaningless environmental policy just to tick a box.
Therefore we call this page ‘The Way We Work” rather than a policy.
So where do our raw materials come from?
We source our wood from controlled and managed forests, such as FSC and PEFC certified plantations. This means that every time a tree is cut down to make our wood, more trees are planted.
This is important as it prevents deforestation and the collection of timber from ancient woodlands or from the worlds rainforests.
Much of our wood stocks are made up especially for us, meaning we have continued quality and environmental countability.
What is sustainable wood?
Sustainable wood comes from sustainably managed forests. It’s renewable because the forest stewards manage the landscape to prevent damage to eco-systems, watersheds, wildlife and the trees themselves, taking a long term rather than short term view of the resource.
Sustainability in this context means the forest will still be there for generations to come, and be able to soak up carbon emissions keeping our air clean as well as being a haven for wildlife.
Wood from unsustainable sources, on the other hand, is chopped down without a second thought leaving areas that never really recover to their former glory. Illegal logging leads to wholesale destruction of habitats and adds to the problems relating to climate change.
Why bother buying sustainable wood?
Unsustainable wood has a profound effect on the areas where it’s harvested, including human rights abuses, hunting of endangered species, threatening the lifestyles and even the lives of indigenous tribes, as well as making countless rare and threatened creatures homeless.
What is EUTR
The EU has introduced legal measures to protect its woodlands and forests called the European Timber Regulations, and these days more trees are planted than felled. It’s great news, with EU forests actually growing instead of diminishing. Because the law places a minimum requirement on replacing harvested trees as well as limiting annual harvests, buying wood with an EUTR certificate adds extra reassurances.
What about wood from outside the EU?
Wood sourced from Asia, Africa, South America and even the USA and Canada comes with fewer guarantees, which is why it is imperative that all wood we buy is certified by organisations such as the FSC and the PEFC where available, or from local managed forest initiatives.
Working by the sea - our studio is actually located on Teignmouth Quay - gives us a very real experience of nature and human interactions with the world. When we renovated and moved into our 16th century warehouse, we wanted to do it the right way so, we installed the latest low energy lighting and building materials, extra insulation, re-used items that had to be taken out, such as wood flooring repurposed to shelves. We even found a fossil in the wall when extending a doorway!
The electricity we use is 100% renewable, supplied by BULB.
We reduce, recycle and reuse as much as we can.
Our inks are UV cured, giving an odourless, energy efficient result, as apposed to solvent based used by many printers.
We plan up our printing work to give us absolute minimum waste.
All our staff live very locally, meaning that road miles are very low - in fact two thirds of our workforce walk to work.
About our packaging
As part of our company wide policy to only use sustainable and natural products in our design and manufacturing processes, we strive to use the most environmentally friendly packaging when sending out our products and without the use of plastics.
This ambition has led us to source alternatives to common packaging materials, sometimes finding better and even more cost effective solutions with just a little research and asking questions against the status quo.
Below is a breakdown of what we use and why:
- Bubble wrap - we have now stopped using bubble wrap in our packaging. We used Oxo-biodegradable plastic version for a while, but found that they did not degrade completely in the environment. We therefore, now use a corregated card option that is recycled, fully bio degradable and does the same job.
- Parcel tape - you may notice that the parcel tape we use is made from a waxed paper. This is a great alternative to the conventional plastic based tape that does not degrade and made from fossil fuels and harmful chemicals. We have also found that this paper based tape is as effective as conventional tape. It is admittedly more expensive, but only marginally.
- Boxes - all our boxes are made from 100% recycled cardboard. They can also be recycled again after use.
- Spacial packing - we use wood straw within our boxes rather than plastic air pockets or foam. This wood straw is a natural product and can be reused time and again, it is also 100% compostable. We think the wood straw is also a lot nicer than plastic or foam alternatives, and a lot cheaper!
If you would like any more information on these easy alternatives, or if you have any recommended products we can use, get in touch!
Our off-cuts and waste materials from productions
The offcuts go to various places - nothing goes to landfill:
- Some goes to local charities / schools for art projects
- Some goes to homes for log burner fuel
- Any usable offcuts are kept here to be used for samples and smaller projects
- Anything not usable is then recycled via 'Zero to Landfill' who have a nothing to landfill policy.
In an effort to keep our supply chain as earth friendly as possible, we choose suppliers who have the same ethos as us when it comes to sustainability.
We also try to choose local suppliers where ever we can, and we definitely avoid suppliers who are large corporate types, with call centers in other countries and play lip service to tick the boxes that mean a lot to us.
If you are a looking to supply Inspirwood, please do get in touch and include your environmental and social credentials.