Sustainability means not only reducing our impact on the environment, but empowering our people, both of which require foundations of proper governance. We know we’re only at the beginning, but we’re currently working on our Sustainability Strategy to map out our long-term journey, so watch this space.
Here’s what we’ve done and are continuing to work on so far:
We’re targeting Net Zero by 2040
This doesn’t just mean reducing electricity and gas consumption in our stores, offices, and warehouses, but also reducing emissions in our distribution and value chains. That’s right – we’re even committed to reducing emissions caused by cotton growing in our supplier’s fields, or mined steel which makes up the springs in our mattresses. Once we’ve reduced our emissions as much as possible, we’ll be offsetting our remaining carbon footprint by planting trees and funding projects. Read more about our climate change commitments by clicking the button.
We’re committed to a circular economy
In other words, we’re eliminating waste as much as possible when producing products. For example, when quilting our mattress top layers in the factory, any fabric and polyester waste is collected in bins for re-use. These off-cuts are then returned to our supplier who then shreds them into tiny pieces, blends them with other materials and supplies them back to us as mattress spring insulator pads. The supplier delivers new parts to the factory every day so there’s no extra impact on transport when collecting the off-cuts, either.
We’re introducing more sustainable products
Our Rollo by Slumberland mattress range has been designed and sourced with the environment in mind. From the eco-friendly memory foam, the chemical-free fabric cover to the I’m Greener™ carbon neutral packaging made from recycled polythene and sugarcane ethanol, which has been awarded the Good Housekeeping Getting Greener accreditation for sustainable packaging. We’re not stopping there; we’re always looking to produce and sell more sustainable products.
We’re using better materials
All our springs are sourced from a UK-based supplier and are made with an element of recycled steel. This not only reduces road miles but frees up room on the lorries as they are delivered in compressed packs. Across our group brands, all polyester white fibre layers used within the business are made from a minimum of 70% recycled PET (plastic bottles). In our Slumberland brand, this is known as Truecomfort and not only does it help the environment, but it has amazing comfort and performance properties too.
We’re using more sustainable fabrics
This includes prioritising suppliers who use more recycled cotton, post-consumer waste and Tencel™ yarn (wood pulp), as well as looking at the way they produce the fabric, limiting water usage and reliance on chemicals. For example, one of our suppliers for the Bespoke Collection - Maes fabrics in Belgium, takes water from the river running past their factory to use during production, before returning it to the waterways in a cleaner state than it was taken. This protects the environment from industrial impact too.
We’re introducing more eco-friendly fillings, including latex
Latex is a natural material that is used in our Eco Latex and Clima Control Latex collections. Produced by collecting latex liquid from the rubber tree, also known as the Hevea brasiliensis, latex rubber trees convert over 90 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into oxygen each year. What’s more, our suppliers only use rubber from trees grown in sustainably managed plantations.
We’re recycling more
Following the introduction of our recycling scheme in August 2018 – where customers can recycle their old mattresses and beds when they have their new item delivered, Bensons has saved over 4,000 tons of mattresses from going into landfill. Instead, our bed bases are recycled for fuel and biomass, while our mattresses are deconstructed and sent for reuse in various industries including textile production (recycled memory foam is often used in the production of cushions, pet beds and carpet underlay).
We partner up with the British Heart Foundation
We partner up with the British Heart Foundation so your old bed can be resold and reused once your new bed arrives. After collection from Bensons customers’ homes, your unwanted furniture is sold in one of 180 BHF stores, with funds raised going towards life-saving research. Bensons for Beds customers have helped raise over £7.1 million so far, enough to cover the cost of clinical trials investigating prevention of heart and circulatory disease.
We’re embedding sustainability at every level of the business
In 2017, we introduced an Energy Policy to reduce our gas and electricity consumption across our store portfolio. We’ve also introduced LED lightening in three-quarters of our stores, and we continue to track our consumption regularly. We also continue to raise awareness of energy efficiency by running internal workshops with our staff.
We’re also working with brands who care about the environment
Since Silentnight’s exclusive Eco Choices range launched at Bensons in 2018, we have saved over 56 million plastic bottles from entering the oceans and landfill. That’s the equivalent distance (with plastic bottles placed end to end) of London to Perth, Australia!