When Primex joined the CRH group of companies a couple of years ago, it also endorsed corporate initiatives such as the CRH commitment to sustainability. As one of the largest building materials businesses in the world, CRH has been using its leadership position in the industry to drive real change in the fight against climate change for years. For example, CRH has set goals, such as being 100% carbon neutral along the entire concrete and cement value chain by 2050.
As a CRH company, we share the view of the opportunities available for businesses to effect positive change and embrace a commitment to lowering emissions, promoting biodiversity, and creating a more circular economy. That outlook helps us set clear and meaningful sustainability goals without sacrificing our growth objectives.
As the risks and costs of living with unmitigated climate change mount, it’s becoming increasingly popular for organizations to adopt a “going green” mindset, or to champion eco-conscious value statements. Too often, these efforts are incorrectly seen as a loss leader—as initiatives that might be the right thing to do, but ones that will deliver a hit to the bottom line.
At Primex, we have a much different view. Going green isn’t just a trendy marketing angle or something an organization has to take on at a loss. When done earnestly and honestly, adopting more sustainable and eco-friendly business practices isn’t just the right thing to do it’s also actually good for business. As we’ve found, those greener practices can save your customers money and make your own processes more efficient, such as using our new SOHO ProTM product presentations that save on packaging, freight, and onsite labor.
As we set ambitious sustainability goals for ourselves, we’re not only making environmentally friendly changes to how we operate, but we are also driving real growth.
Here’s a quick look at how Primex is doing so far. If you’re in a leadership position at your company, we hope this inspires you to drive for the adoption of more sustainable practices in your organization.
Reduce material scrap and water waste
Reducing material scrap is no easy feat. In fact, in a lot of manufacturing circles, it’s even seen as the cost of doing business. But as a sustainability-focused organization, we nonetheless set out to dramatically reduce the amount of material scrap we produce, as well as reduce the amount of water we waste.
Our goal: We’ve set a high bar to clear. We want to reduce the amount of scrap we produce by more than 80%.
Our progress so far: We continue to work towards our goals. We’ve reduced material scrap by approximately 70%—from 100kg per week to less than 30kg. Additionally, last year we earned a Certificate of Diversion from Urban Impact for our scrap reduction efforts, saving 3.4 metric tons of carbon and 27,500L of water.
Reduce plastic waste
Plastic waste is one of the most significant environmental crises of our time. More than 400 million tons of plastic waste is produced each year, with nearly 40% of that coming from plastic used in packaging and single-use plastic products. To date, an estimated seven billion tons of plastic waste has been produced globally. Of that seven billion, less than 10% has been recycled.
The big problem with plastic is it doesn’t fully degrade. It breaks down into smaller pieces, persisting in the environment for generations. Microplastics pollute our water and can now be found in human organs.
Our goal: By 2024, we want to have reduced the amount of plastic waste created by our products and packaging by a total of 100 metric tons. We’ve started by focusing on a handful of our products and will continue to roll out improvements to more products in the years to come.
Our progress so far: We set this goal last year and we’re already averaging 20.5 metric tons saved annually. These plastic waste reduction efforts have also led to significant savings in material costs.
Along with reducing the plastic used in packaging, we also identified multiple benefits tied to a reduction in packaging materials as a whole. When it comes to construction projects, extraneous packaging can inflate freight and storage costs, increase onsite labor costs for unpackaging, and create unnecessary onsite waste.
Our goal: Significantly reduce onsite packaging waste and unpackaging labor. Achieving this goal will not only reduce waste, but it also saves our customers money.
Our progress so far: We’ve redesigned our packaging processes for SOHO Pro media panels so there’s significant waste reduction and cost savings at every step. The redesign to multi-packs and bulk pallets has led, on average, to a 35% reduction in freight and storage costs for bulk pallets and 10% for multi-packs; a 40% reduction in onsite labor time needed to breakdown packaging and remove products; and a reduction in onsite waste that needs to be recycled or disposed (77% reduction for bulk pallets and 58% for multi-packs).
Going green takes commitment, time, and innovation. We’re excited to continue developing sustainability initiatives that support a healthier environment and provide value to our customers.
Plastic waste section: https://www.unep.org/interactives/beat-plastic-pollution/