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The sustainable choice

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Glass reinforced plastic (GRP) is far more environmentally friendly than most people realise. A material’s environmental impact relates to the entire value chain, from extracting the raw materials and the strain these activities put on the environment, to the transportation, production, further transport, assembly, and erection of the final product.

  • Glass fibre production requires 75% less energy than steel production. The curing process is exothermic (gives off heat), which means the energy consumption per unit produced is extremely low.
  • Glass fibre structures are 75% lighter than steel which means 50% less energy is required for transport and assembly.
  • GRP’s CO2 equivalent is less than half that of concrete equivalents and approximately a third of the equivalent for steel.
  • Very few harmful by-products are created during production – pultrusion takes place in a fully closed process that minimises the evaporation of volatile compounds.
  • The production of basic resins and fibre rovings does not have the same negative environmental impact as that of metals such as steel or aluminium.
  • The resin used to make GRP is derived from a by-product of refined crude oil.
  • Due in part to the high-quality resins that are used, many GRP products have a service life of more than 50 years and even more than 100 years in some cases.
  • GRP doesn’t require environmentally harmful finishing operations, such as hot-dip galvanising or painting (steel), or other preservation methods (such as those used for wood), in order to guarantee its service life.

100% recyclable

According to the European Composites Industry Association (EuCIA), GRP is 100% recyclable and can be reused in many different applications. GRP products can be professionally recycled to produce high-quality substitute fuels and reclaimed fibres. Furthermore, processed GRP waste is a high-grade alternative for the cement industry where it is used both as a fuel and as a mineral raw material (SiO2).

Sustainability and environmental policy

At Step on Safety Ltd we recognise that our operations can have significant economic, environmental, and social impacts. We are committed to assessing sustainability risks and opportunities, and taking appropriate steps to mitigate negative impacts and enhance positive impacts for the benefit of our business, ,our stakeholders and the wider environment.

Step on Safety Ltd implements practices that promote environmental accountability and social responsibility and strives for continuous improvements in these areas.

Environmental protection

Step on Safety has integrated the consideration of environmental concerns and impacts into all our decision making and activities. We promote environmental awareness amongst our employees and encourage them to work in an environmentally responsible manner. We train, educate, and inform our employees about environmental issues that may affect their work.

Reducing carbon footprint

Where possible, Step on Safety installers are encouraged to travel to site via public transport or car share to reduce the level of pollution, Step on Safety vehicles have been fitted with trackers, so that we can plan and monitor the best routes. Prior to project commencement, Step on Safety provides a material management plan and delivery schedule to reduce onsite deliveries; as part of the material management plan and delivery schedule Step on Safety ensures deliveries have a sufficient volume of material. By setting a pre-construction target, Step on Safety minimises the volume of onsite cutting which reduces the need for a diesel generator. Where possible, plant hire will be electric and power tools will be battery operated.

Before materials are prepared, Step on Safety uses a 2D cutting calculator to ensure there is minimal wastage. Where off-cuts are produced, Step on Safety reuses the material to create, brackets, cleats, fishplates, structural stair treads, and packers.

Protecting the environment

Step on Safety avoids unnecessary use of hazardous materials and products, seeks substitutions when feasibl,e and takes all reasonable steps to protect human health and the environment. When such materials must be used, Step on Safety correctly stores and disposes of hazardous products.

As part of Step on Safety’s construction target, materials will be cut in-house at Step on Safety to reduce the volume of onsite cutting which will decrease the amount of GRP dust exposed to the environment. Where cutting is necessary, GRP dust and waste is collected in M-Class vacuums and extractors.

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