Since its establishment as a family business in 1989, Stormtech has always held sustainability as one of its core values. In the business’ early days, sustainability was largely rooted in necessity: a small staff, budget constraints, and concerns of profitability made efficiency in terms of production and material usage absolutely critical. Thanks to the diligence of founder John Creighton and other early Stormtech team members, the business was able to lay the groundwork for what has since become one of the drainage industry’s best examples of a comprehensive approach to sustainability.
As Stormtech grew into the Australasian leader in architectural drainage solutions, so too did its sustainability goals. Today, sustainability and environmental considerations are embedded at the very heart of Stormtech’s company culture, informing all aspects of operations from the sourcing of materials to manufacturing, freight, and post-consumer programs. The centrality of sustainability is evident in three key ways: a carefully considered supply chain, sustainable material use, and a wide-reaching take-back and waste recovery program.
Refining the supply chain
The Stormtech approach to sustainability extends to the pre-production stage, in which the company makes an effort to select only suppliers that align strongly with their own environmental goals. To do this, Stormtech searches for partners that strive toward meeting global best practice as opposed to mere common practice. Before engaging suppliers, Stormtech thoroughly investigates their backgrounds by taking a closer look at how materially and environmentally sustainable their product is, the details of their supply chain, and whether they have demonstrated compliance with the relevant industry standards.
This is paired with an examination of the social sustainability of the supplier; for example, whether they support local businesses and avoid cheap labour, any charitable activities they may undertake, and how consistently they adhere to their own ethical standards. In this way, Stormtech has over the years supported a number of local, family owned-business and significantly advanced the cause of sustainability within the Australian drainage industry.
Ensuring sustainable material use
Another key element of Stormtech’s sustainability approach is their use of recycled and recyclable material. Stainless steel – a material that can be recycled virtually infinitely – is used throughout a large number of Stormtech products, enabling recycling and reuse in the post-consumer stage. Recognising the ongoing industry demand for the material, Stormtech also collects stainless steel offcuts generated during manufacturing and on-sells these to other suppliers and manufacturers as a product in themselves.
The Stormtech commitment to efficient material use also extends to ensuring that all materials are carefully considered for compliance with the relevant Australian safety and sustainability standards. All Stormtech products offer outstanding durability and longevity, meaning that they will not require premature repair or replacement – both of which are costly in a financial and environmental sense.
Taking back waste
Established in 2012, the Stormtech take back and recycling program has grown with the business to become a nation-wide operation. Responding directly to the poor recycling and reuse rates of PVC offcuts and post-consumer waste, the program allows users to return waste PVC to the point of purchase or one of nine Stormtech local representatives. The waste products are then returned to a local Stormtech facility, where they are upcycled into new PVC products. The company estimates that at present, 99.9% of waste from their PVC products is recovered and recycled.
For the second year running, Stormtech are proud sponsors of the Sustainability Awards. To learn more about Stormtech’s take-back program and ongoing sustainability journey, head to https://www.stormtech.com.au/about.
About the Sustainability Awards
The Sustainability Awards is Australia’s longest running and most prestigious awards program dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating excellence in sustainable design and architecture. Nominations received are shortlisted and then winners for each category are announced at a five-star Gala evening hosted this year at the Star, Sydney on 11 October 2018. The daytime event Sustainability Live is a CPD-endorsed education event where industry experts present a range of topics to educate, inform and ignite learning. Buy tickets