Sustainability is an increasingly important issue for many people, especially in the business world.
For manufacturers, sustainable business practices are becoming imperative. Human industry is a big part of climate change because it relies on land, resources, fossil fuels, and non-stop production and consumption.
Manufacturing businesses are now thinking about the environmental footprint they leave behind, devising strategies that assess their production methods and materials, overall commitment to sustainability, and the afterlife of the products they produce. Long gone are the days where no thought is given to how a product could be dismantled, reused, and dangerous components returned or made safe.
Responsible manufacturers must consider beyond a product’s useful lifespan. At the end of use, how can the product be broken down and recycled, upcycled, reused, melted down, re-purposed, or disposed of safely and responsibly?
Thinking Beyond the Product
DPI is a UK-based manufacturer based in the East Midlands. On a personal level, all management and staff are hardwired to do the best they can for the world we live in. However, at work, it is more of a challenge.
It’s a simple equation between profits and doing the right thing. Ensuring that the components we use are safe and recyclable takes time and research, and of course, costs money. But we understand the importance of taking care of the planet and the difference even the smallest efforts across the manufacturing landscape can make.
We have carefully assessed our processes and the materials we use to ensure we’re as sustainable as possible. Additionally, we’ve devised a client Recycling Programme, where customers return unneeded products and materials to us to recycle for them. When a product is returned to us, we strip it down and recycle the necessary components. The Programme also helps them to fulfil their own environmental plan too.
Since our Lumina range carries the only ‘Lifetime Warranty’ in the industry, if a client returns one to us for recycling, there’s also the possibility of reusing the returned product with a simple overhaul – replacing the frame or a driver. We also donate returned lightboxes to local charity shops for in-store use, and they, in turn, will re-join the recycling process years later.
Our Commitment to Sustainable Manufacturing
How we manufacture our products is imperative to our commitment to sustainability, and the materials we use must reflect this.
Here are some of the sustainable materials we use:
We use a range of fabrics, including a product that is made from recycled plastic bottles. UFabrik Backlit ECO is a backlit textile produced from 100% recycled plastic waste bottles.
The material is produced to the highest standards ensuring stunning backlit and front-lit applications, plus is REACH, Global Recycled Standard certified, and compliant with the California Proposition 65.
Silicone is a natural substance and is entirely safe to be reused and incinerated after application use.
Funnily enough, the bulkiest part of our products is the most easily recyclable. We have weekly collections for our aluminium cut-offs, returned lightboxes, and even the swarf that builds up next to our metal saws.
Aluminium is one of the only materials in the consumer and industrial waste stream that more than pays for its recycling. This recycling process propels business activity rapidly. Aluminium is continuously recycled and reused again in a true closed loop.
DIBOND panels are free of heavy metal, according to RoHS and REACH. A technical procedure separates and processes the valuable raw materials (aluminium and polyethylene) in DIBOND making them fully recyclable.
We use LEDs mounted onto an aluminium strip (heatsink). The plastic domes can be stripped off and the strips recycled with the aluminium frames.
The use of LEDs can reduce energy consumption by 80%, plus they last much longer than regular bulbs reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.
We use bubble wrap to protect our products during shipping, and it can be recycled! Some local councils collect it along with other plastics in their normal recycling collection, including items such as milk cartons, drinks bottles, and carrier bags.
Striving to Do More
Striving to do more for the environment and further extend our green footprint, we are currently looking into how we can recycle the smallest components in our lightboxes, the drivers (transformers), and the wiring.
Please get in touch to find out more about our commitment to sustainability or donate any unwanted materials for recycling.