From rain water to waste, PlaceMakers is committed to reducing its emissions through a number of avenues, and suppliers are boldly coming on board
Sustainability is a high priority for PlaceMakers and we have been working on reducing our emissions through lighting and efficiency initiatives, capturing rain water in new or upgraded sites, managing waste, looking at more sustainable packaging solutions (we ditched single-use plastic bags in 2020) and, in Christchurch, installing an EV charging station for customers at our Riccarton branch.
On the landscaping side of things, we have either introduced or continued with a range of initiatives. We are a proud member of the NZ Imported Timber Trade Group (NZITTG), which is firmly focussed on responsible sourcing and distribution of imported timbers into New Zealand. All of PlaceMakers Kwila, Garapa, Purple Heart and Modified Pine decking is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)-certified and Vitex is harvested as “community production” from the Solomon Islands.
For a number of years, we have been including sustainability in our requirements for new products and we have believe it is important to do this when going to market for suppliers. Here are just some of the things we are doing with our suppliers:
Decorative Stones & Aggregates
In the North Island, we partnered with Highroads to supply its range of decorative stones and structural aggregates, specifically because they brought a unique and innovative solution to us.
Highroads’ 20kg-sized bags can be returned to store, free-of-charge, and will be sent back to the supplier to be refilled for another person to use. On average, the bags can be re-used 7-10 times before they are recycled or composted. So, once you have used your bags, feel free to take them back to your local branch next time you visit. If there is a display stand in the branch, simply pop your bags into the space provided or hand them to a member of staff.
PlaceMakers offers a great range of reclaimed NZ, Australian European and UK sleepers from Interlink, who are passionate about quality ecological solutions and have supplied sustainably reclaimed rustic railway sleepers for over a decade. Interlink believes in the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ ideology and takes pride in its commitment to re-purposing beautiful and durable hardwoods. The Wanaka-based company reduces the number of trees being milled for new, fresh timber, and
reduces carbon emissions through minimal resource extraction inputs. Old railway sleepers and reclaimed hardwoods are re-used wherever possible, including recycling old wharf, bridge and other rustic structures into long lasting natural materials.
PlaceMakers has a great range of low-maintenance composite decking available from a number of reputable NZ suppliers. These don’t require staining, sealing or the use of harmful chemicals to keep them looking good for years to come. An occasional sweep or light scrub is all you need to maintain their appearance and performance. Outdure Resortdeck is made from 95% recycled material (35-40% non-toxic HDPE and 60-65% wood fibre), is recyclable at the end of its life, and its Qwickbuild aluminium sub-structure is Global Green Tag certified. Eva-Last I Series is made from recycled plastic and bamboo – a highly renewable resource – and is free from toxins and preservatives, making it safer for you and the environment. This does not compromise performance and comes with a 25-year warranty. Plus it’s manufactured using solar energy! Timbertech decking is made from up to 80% recycled content, with 100% of the wood and plastic in the core made from recycled materials. The quality and integrity of the cap and core of the boards isn’t compromised in the process and even scraps from the board-making process are repurposed and added back into production. BiForm decking boards are made from 60% recycled timber and 30% recycled HDPE plastic (+10% anti-fungal agent and colouring). Every year BiForm recycles hundreds of trees’ worth of timber and millions of bottle worth of plastic in their boards.
For example, 10,547 recycled plastic bottles + waste timber (equivalent to a 10M tree) = 30M2 of composite decking. And it comes with a 25-year limited warranty.
Made from 100% recycled domestic and commercial waste plastic, these posts are as strong as timber posts but won’t split, crack or rot. They are CCA-free (no leaching of CCA into the soil) and are environmentally- and organic farm-friendly. With a 50+ year life expectancy, they will look good for years to come and can even be recycled to make more posts.
We have undertaken an NZ first by converting our fastenings range from plastic bags, clams, boxes and pails to cardboard boxes, starting with our loose nail range that will eliminate 55,000 poly bags and 60,000 plastic boxes going to landfill annually. ECKO came up with a carboard packaging that is robust enough to withstand a few falls and eye-catching enough for customers to recognise what it is without using gloss colours or plastic tape to hold them together.
There is a small plastic window to allow customers to see the product, but ECKO are even aiming to change that in the future.
We still have a long way to go but we have made a start on increasing sustainable initiatives within PlaceMakers and will continue to do so going forward!