Sustainability and the Environment

Cam Graphic

We are a company working in the North Cotswold foothills and we had over 30 years experience in the signage and graphics industry.

Why we love wood - using legal, sustainable and responsibly harvested timber over other materials reduces our dependence on fossil fuels and their consequent carbon emissions. Wood is a natural carbon storing material. It has minimal embodied energy (the finished product actually stores carbon) and the ability to change. Wood is recyclable, biodegradable, insulating and hypoallergenic. It is the only truly sustainable building material we have.

Sustainability and Environmental Concerns

We will only source materials from suppliers who are operating within the laws of their own country. With the growing public awareness of the environment and environmental issues, and with many customers specifically requesting certified timber, we stock woods originating from sustainable and correctly managed forests, and in particular FSC certified products. (FSC products have their forest of origin independently inspected and evaluated according to environmental, social and economic criteria agreed by the Forest Stewardship Council AC.)

Information about the main woods and bamboos we supply.

Plywood - We buy from a supplier that has both FSC & PEFC certificates (Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certication) which show compliance with the Chain of Custody scheme. We can also supply Product Data sheets for the Thin Birch Plywood and the Performance Plywood should these be required.

Bamboo - this not a wood it is a fast growing grass. It has impeccable green credentials and we purchase from a UK supplier that has a a clear Chain of Custody and FSC Certification. We can also supply Product Data Sheets on the Bamboo we buy.

Driftwood - the driftwood is collected from beaches and riverbeds and thoroughly cleaned. The very nature of this product demonstrates the ultimate in recycling. As the trees themselves give up this wood we cannot offer FSC certification as there isn't any forest management to talk of.

Alderwood - this is an American hardwood and is classed as “an abundant, sustainable and legal resource under the United States rule of law.” Virtually every portion of the alder log is used during the lumber manufacturing process. While the timber is manufactured into wooden products, furniture or cabinetry, the tree bark becomes mulch and the sawdust is fuel for the manufacturing mill. Furthermore, it takes less energy to manufacture timber than it does to manufacture steel, concrete, aluminum, glass, or plastic. Alder trees grow quickly and die relatively young – at approximately 60 years. If a tree dies in the forest it begins to release the carbon it had previously sequestered. By harvesting this prolific tree and manufacturing it, carbon remains sequestered for the life of the finished product. It is estimated that each year more than 175 million tons of carbon are stored in wood products. The supply chain for Alderwood is FSC and Chain of Custody certified.

Hardwoods – Oak etc. - again we buy from FSC approved companies. All our oak is either FSC bought or reclaimed or recycled oak (oak beams).

Wood off-cuts and wood waste from our production processes - all of the wood waste we create is either used by us (kindling) or collected and dispensed to local businesses and friends and family to be used as kindling for log fires.

UK Woods – it is virtually impossible to buy woods only from the UK. Where we can, we take time to source only the very best hardwoods from sustainable forests within the United Kingdom. Due to our climate limitations, some of the other woods listed above are sourced from countries with their own native timbers using FSC or PEFC certified suppliers.

Cork - this is bought from a two companies both who import cork. The Cork oak is grown in the Mediterranean region; mainly in Portugal where there are 720 thousand hectares of cork forest (54% of world cork production) and most companies import all of their raw cork material from this region. The Cork forest is the dominant ecosystem that provides food and habitat for indigenous mammals and birds in risk of extinction such as the Iberian Lynx and the Imperial Eagle. The bark of mature trees is harvested just once every nine years. Cork trees are not regarded as mature enough for bark harvesting until they are at least 25 years old. A common misconception is that people recycle cork because there is a “shortage” of cork. This is incorrect. In fact, there is enough cork in the regulated Mediterranean cork forest to last for another 100 years without needing to grow another tree!

Some of recycled cork can be ground up into granulated cork or cork grain. This cork grain is then used to make many other cork products including cork flooring, cork wall tiles and bulletin boards.

Cork is a sustainable product that has little impact on the environment, all by products are easily recycled and in with the challenges of climate change cork is now making a return as the wine and bottle stopper as choice due to it’s sustainable and environmentally friendly status. Once harvested from the tree, it is made into various cork products including the main use as wine stoppers.

One of the companies we buy from became a major player in North America’s first natural wine cork recycling initiative and from there has continued keeping natural cork out of landfills (which includes collection bins and direct mail back to the company - natural cork only).


Reduced environmental burdens

Historically, solvent inks have been used to create outdoor signage because of their durability and resistance to deterioration from sun, rain and wind. However, solvent inks emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that result in odors and release of high-burden chemical substances such as cyclohexanone into the atmosphere. As support has grown to reduce negative human impact on the environment, solvent inks fell out of favor.

To address this issue, our printer supplier was the first to develop an inkjet printer and low-odor solvent ink in 2002. In 2008, we continued these developments with the creation of a new eco-solvent ink, Eco-HS1, which reduces the environmental burden without sacrificing ink adhesion.

In 2004, they introduced a UV-curable inkjet printer that does not generate ozone or VOCs. Later that year, ahead of competitors, we introduced a UV LED curable inkjet printer that uses half the energy of conventional UV light systems. Today, UV LED curing is the preferred method among most manufacturers of UV-curable inkjet printers. They are proud to have led the way in making UV inkjet printing more environmentally sustainable.

WOOD - End of Life

Wood can be put out for recycling. As this wood is small and usually plywood based, it is classed as treated wood. This is not usually classed as Grade A recycling (woods are usually divided at recycling plants for processing). Many recycling plants make use of a shredder and a mill and some can turn wood waste into compost or mulches. Another use for recycled wood waste is to create biomass and biofuel, both of which provide clean and renewable energy. Otherwise it can be kept locally and can be burnt on open fires or log burners.