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Net Zero Journey: Creative Play’s Commitment To A Greener Future

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‘We want to be sure that when children enjoy playing on outdoor equipment, it is not at the expense of their future’

– Managing Director James Harris

HOW CREATIVE PLAY ARE REDUCING CARBON EMISSIONS AND EMPLOYING ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY PRACTICES

As a responsible and forward-thinking organisation, Creative Play recognises the importance of promoting greener practices in all business operations. We are committed to a comprehensive environmental policy which guides decision-making towards minimising our carbon footprint, encourages ideas of social accountability, and prioritises the use of sustainable resources.

For over 20 years, environmental awareness has led us to attain all wood, our primary production material, from a sustainable source. But we believe that much more can be done to further reduce the environmental impact of the design, manufacture, installation, and maintenance of playgrounds.

That’s why we’ve employed the services of environmental specialists to help us achieve our goal of zero carbon by 2045, half a decade ahead of government expectations.

AUDITING OUR GREEN EFFORTS

Since 2023, we’ve been working with Go Green Experts, a sustainability-focused waste and recycling review organisation. After collecting and analysing data on Creative Play’s environmental impact, they were able to provide an audit report which we use to guide our waste management.

Their support has allowed the company to focus on best practices, identify cost efficiencies, and develop then implement an environmental strategy – which has led to a radical shift in improving our green status, primarily through social change and surplus prevention.

Over time, their auditing will help us reduce all 3 scopes of our carbon emissions to achieve Net Zero.

Logo for Net Zero consultancy Go Green Experts

CREATIVE PLAY'S RACE TO NET ZERO

In short, Net Zero is an international carbon emissions reduction target aiming to minimise global warming. The output of emission contributions is measured in tonnes of CO2e, which includes various greenhouse gasses as well as CO2.

When it comes to business, there are 3 scopes which need to be addressed.

Scope 1: Burn

All emissions we burn directly, such as fuel in company vehicles or to power equipment. This scope currently accounts for 8% of all Creative Play’s annual CO2e (50 tonnes).

Scope 2: Buy

All energy we consume that is generated off-site, such as purchased electricity. Currently it accounts for 4% of all our yearly CO2e (23 tonnes).

Scope 3: Beyond

All greenhouse gas emissions produced from Upstream purchases and practices (raw materials used in manufacturing etc) and Downstream events (delivery of products etc) – basically, business activities not owned or directly controlled by Creative Play. Currently accounts for 88% of all our CO2e (520 tonnes).

Our goal is ambitious yet essential – we strive to achieve a Net Zero halfway point by 2031, eliminating 300 tonnes of CO2e from our business methods.

Scrutinising data of our production practices from 1st June 2021 to 31st May 2022, green consultants have calculated a Baseline from which we can set goals. Due to the audit’s findings, we can make plans for minimising CO2e output across all 3 Scopes.

This allows Creative Play to understand how our carbon footprint can be reduced, so we can contribute to the 1.5-degree Celsius global target, and become emissions-free by 2045, a full half-decade before government expectations.

Creative Play's Net Zero logo which consists of a cog, half of which is covered by a couple of leaves. Images is predominantly green and white with the word ZERO in black

NET ZERO AUDIT - ACCESS FULL REPORT

Whether you’re a partner, supporter or simply curious about our sustainability progress, this report is your ticket to understanding Creative Play’s commitment to making a difference.

Step inside the pages of our Carbon Emissions Audit And Decarbonisation Strategy Report to discover the intricate story behind our environmental impact. Produced by the dedicated team at Go Green Experts, it reveals all the details of our areas requiring greater sustainability focus. From energy use to waste management, every page provides insight into our commitment to a greener future.

More than just numbers and graphs – although there are many – we invite you to be inspired by our Net Zero journey. With actionable recommendations, you’ll see first-hand how Creative Play aims to improve and lead the way in environmental stewardship.

Download it now and discover how our Net Zero efforts are shaping a greener world.

Predominantly green front cover of a report about the state of Creative Play's carbon emissions and how to reduce them

OUR SUSTAINABILTY STORY SO FAR…

From a top-level perspective, Net Zero efforts can seem quite abstract, so let’s explore what it means by focusing on some of the changes we’ve already implemented and the difference they’re making.

A commitment to using sustainable materials applies to both products and packaging. Suppliers are selected based on their environmental standards, ensuring all our raw materials are sourced from trusted providers who prioritise sustainability in their manufacturing processes.

TIMBER

Creative Play’s most prominent production material, all our timber is from a sustainable FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) accredited supply chain that meets PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) standards and complies with all relevant environmental regulations and legislation.

Wood had been accounting for 10% of our overall annual carbon footprint, approximately 61.5 tonnes of CO2e. This is mainly due to our use of softwood timber (51 tonnes), and plywood (8 tonnes) as a basis for playground equipment, plus particle board (2.5 tonnes) in the construction process. However, since calculating our Net Zero baseline in 2023, we’ve transitioned most plywood use to a recycled option, and as a result, the total wood contribution to our carbon footprint is now estimated to be closer to 9%.

PLASTIC

The plastic elements of our outdoor play equipment previously accounted for around 168 tonnes of CO2e per year – but in 2023, we introduced two new sustainable materials to replace this core component of playground manufacturing. Both are part of a circular economy, meaning that offcuts and any waste are returned to the manufacturer for reuse.

PlayTec PCR replaced the standard PlayTec plastic. It consists of three layers, one of which is made entirely from post-consumer recycled material, making it 80% recycled. At the end of its life 100% of it will be recyclable.

EkoGrip is a tough polyethylene sheet with a top layer of virgin granular TPE (thermoplastic elastomer). Like the other plastics we now use, it is made from 80% recycled material and is 100% recyclable when it is no longer needed.

WORKPLACE

Environmental progress efforts have accelerated since July 2022, helped by a relocation to premises more accommodating of sustainability modifications. So far it has allowed us to:

  • Fit 104 solar panels for 50% self-sufficient electricity (helped by energy-efficient motion sensor lighting). Further installations are planned over the coming years, and we expect electricity usage from 2026 onwards to be free from contributing any CO2e.
  • Install a charging point for future integration of hybrid and electric vehicles into the fleet for greener transportation.
  • Employ water-efficient taps and low-flow toilets to reduce sewage waste. They are expected to bring it down to zero by 2026.
  • Invest in new woodwork technology offering more efficient production, minimal cut-off waste, and less energy consumption due to faster work times.

The Net Zero goal is achieved when overall emissions are reduced to 10% from the Baseline (set for 2045), and the remainder is reviewed for offsetting – so eliminating 50% of the baseline volume by 2031 will, technically, be more than halfway to Net Zero.

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