There are a number of different ways in which our business activities in Peckham impact on both the local and worldwide environment. We have adopted a range of policies in order to reduce this impact and to improve the environment for future generations.
The sales, mill and storage areas are heated by energy efficient Ambi-Rad gas-fired radiant heaters. Our offices are heated by a gas boiler. The gas usage last year was 42,000 kWh.
Lighting of the building is achieved by a combination of 35 clear roof panels and low energy florescent lighting. The external lighting is switched off automatically by a time controller in the evening. The equipment was installed in 2002 when our building was constructed and was specified by ourselves as the main contractor. The electricity usage last year was 140,000 KWh.
Recycling and Reducing Waste
Wood chips from the mill are extracted for animal bedding once a month. Over 100 tons of waste wood was recycled this way last year.
Long Length Offcuts of timber from mill production are re-sawn wherever feasible to make smaller sections & mouldings for stock.
Small offcuts that cannot be reprocessed are sold in our ‘Knob-Ends’ bin. This is very popular with craftsmen, small users and woodworking enthusiasts who are looking for small pieces of an unusual species. Offcuts from our Panel Saw are sold in our Cut panel rack in sizes going down to widths as small as 1’6”.
Photocopier and Printer cartridges are recycled under the RNIB recycling scheme.
All of our waste paper is collected by Paper Round, winners of the Green Business award at the Thames Gateway Business Awards.
Our internal accounting records and reports are printed to a print manager on magnetic disk rather than paper wherever possible.
By way of some history, great granddad William Henry Whitten (Senior) started in business selling firewood around the Canal Head at Sumner Road at the end of the first war. The wood was spillage from the fleets of canal boats in the old Surrey Canal that used to run at the back of our current site. (see history page) That ethos of recycling has never gone out of fashion at Whitten Timber, although we don’t fish timber stock from the canals anymore – honest !
Purchasing of Timber
As a timber merchant we are able to source our timber from a wide range of importers and producers. Our policy is to only buy timber from legal and renewable sources. As certified timber become more widely available we will seek to purchase certified timber in preference to non-certified. A rough guide to the current level of certification is:
Softwood - at least 70% either FSC or PEFC
MDF Sheets – All FSC
Softwood Decking – All PEFC
Fencing – All FSC
Our suppliers of Hardwood Decking apply the Timber Trade Federation’s (TTF) Responsible Purchasing Policy which is a tool that is designed to assist them in implementing the TTF’s Environmental Code of Practice. To view the TTF’s Responsible Purchasing Policy please click here. Using resources from the TTF, the supplier is able to objectively assess the risk of illegal and unsustainable wood products entering their supply chains.
A delivery vehicle tracking system has been installed to improve vehicle routing and reduce mileage travelled.
All of our delivery vehicles have been upgraded to Euro IV emissions standard and are all subject to a maintenance schedule that will ensure compliance to the Euro IV standard.
All of our mill machines are connected to a sealed dust extractor. The machines connected include a Weinig Profimat 26 (6 spindle moulder planer), SCM Spindle Moulder, Stenner Band Saw, Wadkins Planer Thicknesser, Wadkins Circular saw and a Wadkins Radial Arm Crosscut Saw. The extraction system is checked and serviced regularly at which time dust levels in the mill are measured. A separate extraction system is used for the sheet cutting room for the SCM panel saw and cross cut saw. Our external lights are on a time switch to reduce light pollution.
Noise levels in the mill are checked as part of annual health & safety checks.
Use of Water
A water control system has been installed in the toilets
A water meter has been installed – The annual usage of water last year was 167 cubic metres.
Recycling Cycling !
We sponsor cycle racing at the Velodrome in Herne Hill, encouraging people of all ages to take up this environmentally friendly form of transport, to keep fit and enjoy a great sport.
The restoration of old buildings and furniture often requires a supply of one off custom made timber sections and mouldings. We can grind cutters for our Profimat moulding machine to suit any shape of moulding and strongly support this side of our business.