Our product journey so far
Before 2021, our collection was made entirely of solid brass. We used different production processes to achieve different colour finishes, e.g. Black, Satin Nickel.
But our first annual carbon audit in 2020 highlighted that some finishing processes had far greater carbon emmissions than others, e.g. electroplating brass to achieve a Black finish.
In response we introduced new materials in aluminium and stainless steel. Products made from these materials offer the high-quality properties we expect of our hardware, but produce less carbon during manufacture.
Our materials will always be our main source of carbon emissions. Diversifying our material range is the first step in our reduction journey, but we’ll continue to seek more ways to improve.
As well as reducing the carbon impact of our products, we pledge to offset our remaining emissions by investing exclusively in third party rated projects that we feel passionate about.
Product goals for 2023
1) Reduce the carbon impact of our average product by 10%. For reference, our current average product produces 2.1kg CO2e.
2) Continually scrutinise materials and production processes adopted for all new products. Where possible, we'll opt for the most responsible route relative to the product's end use and our manufacturing capabilities.
3) Educate our customers on the carbon impact of each of our product materials, so they can make informed purchasing decisions.
Commitments to Our Planet
We’re committed to helping you better your home, whilst ensuring our efforts don’t come at the cost of ours — Planet Earth 🌎
To remain a B Corp certified, carbon neutral operation, as we help more customers to create a home they're proud of 🪛
Keep reading to learn how we’re evaluating our A to Z environmental impact, from how we manufacture our hardware, through to how it lives within your home 🏡
Our production journey so far
Our first carbon audit revealed that our greatest impact comes from our raw materials and production, which is why we’re continually working with our suppliers to implement reduction strategies at the early stages of our product lifecycle.
For now, it’s production facilities in China, India and Sri Lanka that create our meticulously-made hardware. Each partner is a specialist in their field of engineering, meaning they’re attentive to the high level of detail that we demand of our products.
Ahead of collaborating, it’s our responsibility to ensure each partner meets our onboarding criteria, then continually abides by our strict Supplier Code of Conduct. We need all parties within our operation to commit to reducing our planetary impact, plus to protect the welfare of all workers within our ecosystem.
Production goals for 2023
1) Diversify our network of supply partners, to include the on-boarding of one UK supplier in 2023.
2) Audit our supply partners and hold them to account for operating responsibily according to our Code of Conduct and shared values.
3) Collaborate with our supply partners to ensure rigorous quality checks are adhered to, reducing the risk of commercial waste during production and damage during transit.
DEVELOPMENT AREA #3
We made big strides forward with our packaging proposition in 2022, but there's plenty more that we can do.
Our packaging journey so far
As of January 2023, 100% of new products are sent from our suppliers plastic-free. This is an example of how we've collaborated with our supply chain to create new processes that align with our impact goals.
We’ve replaced individual plastic cases and bubble-wrap with protective layers of recyclable paper and card. We also created card envelopes for screw components, plus use water-based adhesive tape for sealing packages.
For a short while, customers may continue to receive some plastic in their orders, as we work through our remaining inventory — bear with us 🙏
Packaging goals for 2023
1) Eliminate all plastic from our online order packaging, by the end of 2023.
DEVELOPMENT AREA #4
It's important that our planetary principles are brought to life through our employee culture and daily operations — both in the office and outside of work.
Our Plank People journey so far
In 2022, our employee headcount doubled. It meant we needed to get to better grips with a number of different HR processes, including setting up transparent on-boarding processes and establishing an employee handbook. We also activated a quarterly feedback session, to monitor employee satisfaction. We're proud to have averaged an employee satisfaction score of 90% in 2022.
Our daily operations at Plank HQ are a very small proportion of our overall carbon footprint. However, as we scale, we’ll be taking measures to keep it that way. This means operating on a green energy tariff and using our dedicated bins for organic waste and recycled materials.
The majority of our employees live close to our London HQ, meaning over 90% of us commute by foot, bike or public transport. We're also permitted to WFH two days a week, meaning we can optimise our work-life balance and not travel needlessly.
Since 2021, Plank Hardware has raised over £29,000 for two charities; Crisis and Furnishing Futures. We've also established a Charitable Giving Policy, meaning all staff members are encouraged to raise awareness and funds for causes close to their hearts. Each of us has one day of paid volunteering leave per year 🤝
Plank People goals for 2023
1) Evolve our HR processes as our business scales, ensuring that every employee feels valued, is treated fairly and is aligned with our company commitments to the planet.
2) Sustain our employee satisfaction score of 90%, based on an anonymous quarterly assessment.
3) Commit to fundraising for charitable causes we care about, inline with our business growth.
4) Inspire our community of customers to make responsible home improvement decisions, through demonstrations of transformational repurposing and upcycling projects.
How you can help:
1. Material choice
If you're yet to choose a design scheme, consider Black Aluminium for your hardware. The facts suggest it’s our lowest carbon material option.
2. Upcycle something old
Don’t always buy new. Save some money and emissions by considering upcycling, hacking or refreshing existing furniture, using our premium finishing touches.
3. Care for your new hardware
Routine, non-abrasive cleaning with a cloth and warm, soapy water will keep your finishes looking spick-and-span for years to come, so you won’t need to re-buy anytime soon.
4. Recycle your old hardware
Use your order number and our free returns portal to send your old hardware to us, then we’ll dispose of it responsibly. Alternatively, take it to a local recycling depot or dealer — you may even get some money back.
5. Recycle our packaging
All of our cardboard packaging and pamphlets can be recycled, plus our protective poly bags (the foamy ones) can be recycled in dry mixed recycling — just double check the terms of your local recycling facility.
6. Donate with us
If you’re fortunate enough to have a comfortable home, join us in supporting Crisis’ mission to combat homelessness in the UK. Read more here make a donation to Crisis and consider making a donation of your own?
7. Tell us how we can do better
Have ideas on how we can do better? Share your thoughts with us at firstname.lastname@example.org