Worktop Express® Environmental Policy
A genuine passion for solid wood is at the heart of our business and as such Worktop Express are firmly committed to promoting sustainability.
We have adopted a rigorous and multi-faceted policy to minimise our environmental footprint, which includes pledging over £10,000 towards tree-planting schemes in the next two years (for more information please see the 'Our Work with the International Tree Foundation' section below). For us, such a policy is much more than a marketing whim.
This dedicated approach will never change - and continual improvements to our environmental policy ensure that we do not rest on our laurels.
Timber is a wonderful natural product and perfectly sustainable if the correct procedures are followed.
- Most of our European and American wood worktops are manufactured from FSC or PEFC certified timber. Please see the FSC Certification section below for further details.
- Some of our African timber is available FSC certified, the rest is purchased legally from dedicated agents.
- All timbers purchased by Worktop Express - no matter what the source - are logged from forests with well-established replanting programmes. Please view our 'Sourcing and Manufacture of Solid Wood Worktops' guide for more details concerning our purchasing process.
EUTR legislation stipulates that all traders - like Worktop Express® - keep stringent documentation regarding the purchase of timber. Worktop Express® comply fully with these regulations: in fact, we have always kept such documentation and only purchase from reputable sources, maintaining close links with our suppliers and conducting regular site-visits. Please consult our published guide for more information on the EUTR.
We try wherever possible to promote proper environmental practice and are strongly against illegal or improper harvesting. Where possible we buy FSC certified timber from Africa to ensure compliance with these strict procedures. Where FSC is not available, we only purchase our exotic timbers from legal sources and we seek evidence from our manufacturing plant to support this.
Forest Stewardship Council® Certified Worktops
We are proud to confirm that many of our worktops are now available FSC® certified. FSC is a global, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of responsible forest management worldwide. FSC certified forests are inspected to ensure they are managed in an environmentally sound and socially beneficial manner, whilst protecting the rights of the indigenous people who may work in the forest. Only timber from forests that meet these exacting standards is awarded FSC certification.
Not all of our stock is FSC certified, so if you do require FSC certified worktops, please state this on the online order form, when enquiring or placing your order, so that we can ensure that the items you purchase are from an FSC certified source.
Your order of FSC certified worktops will bear the FSC logo on their packaging - your assurance that they come from an FSC certified source. Please note that any products altered by ourselves - such as those ordered through our bespoke cutting service - are not able to be supplied with FSC certification. Please ask for FSC certified worktops when you place your order!
We only use furniture grade timber and we finger joint all standard worktops using the best timber from larger sections. Our solid wood worktops are constructed from smaller individual sections (staves) which are finger jointed, edge glued and high-pressure bonded to create the desired size. As such, many individual sections of raw material can be used which results in minimal wastage. Our 'Choosing a Kitchen Worktop: Construction Types Explained' information guide may be useful if you would like more information on the different constructions found in our worktop collection.
The majority of our in-house finishing products (Danish oil, wax, etc.) are natural.
The Environmental Footprint
Here at Worktop Express we regard sustainability as crucial; as a result, we've worked long and hard to devise a manufacturing process that results in zero wood wastage. Our system is as follows:
- In the unlikely event of any worktops becoming damaged, or when offcuts are created during our fabrication process, the resultant wood is adapted to create either samples or chopping boards.
- Any final leftovers - such as offcuts that are too small for samples - are used to fuel our wood-burning biomass boiler, which provides 100% of the warehouse heating.
- The roof of our warehouse has recently been fitted out with 400 solar panels, which in time will be responsible for generating 100% of our electricity.
- Each quarter, we donate some of the wood that we are unable to use to create worktops to the award-winning social enterprise, Goldfinger Factory. They offer a complete fabrication service - specialising in woodworking disciplines and these donations help them with their mission of turning waste into gold.
Watch this short video of our visit to Goldfinger Factory to see how they repurpose our wood.
We also have recycling systems in place throughout our operation, employing reusable packaging wherever possible and recycling the majority of business waste (including wood dust, wood chips, paper, metal, glass, IT equipment and any cardboard). In the warehouse, we have a self-enclosed extraction system which captures and recycles all emissions. In the office - as we deal largely in ecommerce - the largest portion of our communications/marketing is electronic; however we also reduce our environmental footprint through utilising only FSC certified paper or recycled cardboard for all our printing and promotional material.
Funding Tree-Planting: Our Work with the International Tree Foundation
We are truly passionate about preserving nature for future generations to enjoy - which is why we will only purchase sustainably-sourced wood for our worktops. Having expanded our operations over the last few years, we are now at the point where we are able to take our commitment to the environment one step further. In recent years, we have partnered with the International Tree Foundation to support community tree planting schemes in both the UK and Africa.
In support of this excellent initiative, we decided to donate fifty pence from each worktop sample purchased through our website to the work of the International Tree Foundation. Thanks to the substantial sum that we were able to generate from over 20,000 sample sales (and thanks to our customers!), we have aided the restoration and protection of indigenous trees and their surrounding habitats whilst helping to raise awareness of the importance of trees through community engagement.
In 2014 we donated £10,000 in order to fund three community tree planting projects in the UK and three more in Africa, as planting and conserving trees can have an enormous impact on the local environment and the surrounding communities.
If you would like see the Worktop Express® team in action on a tree-planting day in Somerset, please visit our blog: 'Tree-Planting with the International Tree Foundation'!
Worktop Express is committed to supplying a top-quality, eco-friendly product. If you would like any further information regarding the points above or our environmental policy in general, please do not hesitate to contact us.