Roman: Reaching Carbon Zero

At Roman, they have been working on their environmental credentials for well over ten years and they see it as increasingly important commercially in the marketplace, as well as being their social duty and responsibility. Roman has long embraced the principles of the Circular Economy which is based around the circularity of materials before and after manufacture.

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Roman’s latest eco-friendly product innovations are predominantly focussed around material selection. They embed circular economy principles throughout their supply chain which is entirely focused upon levels of recycling before and after the life of a product. Circularity is crucial to the business in so many ways – perhaps most obviously around material selection itself.

Roman is the only volume manufacturer of showering solutions in Britain and their future is Made in Britain – not sourcing finished goods from China. It is a major differential that competitors cannot follow. Customers recognise this, especially major Hotel Groups who already crave such environmentally positive data on materials and it is becoming almost a pre-requisite to be able to work closely with them from a design stage.

Environmental credentials are already of huge commercial importance in the international hotel sphere – and are certainly of increasing relevance to housebuilders; and will inevitably become more important in the retail sector.

Roman’s aluminium is 100% recycled before they use it and at end of life it is extremely easy to recycle and re-use aluminium back at its original value. Likewise, with their corrugated cardboard packaging – their two box making machines use only fanfold corrugated cardboard which is already recycled before they use it. For over 14 years, Roman’s packaging is using cardboard for all inserts and added protection. Further to this in 2020, Roman actually returned over 600,000 square metres of cardboard from building sites around the UK back to Roman for further tangible recycling. The other key materials for Shower Enclosures are brass and glass. Roman is currently very close to eliminating the use of any virgin brass and have a very high percentage of their glass from recycled glass – bar fluted glass. They expect to be close to 100% recycled content by 2023.

Roman offer an End of Life (EOL) disposal programme for their products which is highlighted at all opportunities. However, due to the nature of the materials, their products are extremely easy to recycle at their EOL and the materials can be recycled and reused back to their original value. Roman’s Solid Surface Shower Trays are manufactured with polyester resin binding the man-made stone. These Shower Trays can be reground and reused back into the stone mix at their EOL making them fully recyclable – a huge breakthrough for Shower Trays. Roman’s fabrication plant currently moulds their own solid surface Roman Stone product and then fabricates using solid surface sheet such as Corian – during 2023 they will be making major advances in this area too. They will be able to regrind any waste back into the original mix when they are casting sheet – but moreover, once they are casting sheet, by design they will be eliminating waste. Currently any waste materials are reworked to then be sold as chopping boards etc.

At the end of 2021, Roman teamed up with a trusted, expert guide – the Carbon Trust, who have over 20 years of experience in pioneering decarbonisation. Roman’s Carbon Neutral certification took just over six months and the Carbon Trust undertook an extremely detailed audit of all operations and functions across Roman’s 400,000 square feet manufacturing site in Newton Aycliffe.

The next step for Roman in this journey is to become net zero which is a natural extension to Carbon Neutral – but a very different challenge. The ultimate goal is to reach a state where no carbon was emitted at all so there is no need for carbon capture or offset. Clearly this is a significant challenge for a manufacturing business like Roman – but one that they are focussed upon as the next long term goal.

In business and social terms, none of us can continue to ignore climate change. Achieving Carbon Neutral status has been a key objective for Roman over recent years and highlights Roman’s enormous and ongoing commitment to the environment. Roman is extremely proud to have achieved Carbon Neutral status. As the leading British manufacturer they give huge focus to sustainability and further breakthroughs will be coming over the next few years.

Contact Roman through BCFA Product Finder.

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About Phoebe Train

Phoebe is a Marketing and Events Executive, who joined the BCFA as an English graduate in 2021. Working closely with designers and BCFA members, Phoebe has published an array of content for Design Insider.
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