Potentially how green is your customer?

What do your customers want from Eco-Friendly Products in 2019?

This is a difficult question to answer, are customers inspired by Eco – Friendly products or just really not sure of the benefits? When you consider the array of potential products in our sector from home furnishings, to garden to paint and building materials, it is confusing.

Does the increasing amount of ‘green’ household and home goods available to your customer, with the internet making even very niche products accessible, mean that consumers really care and are willing to pay for same? As always the answer is, it depends! It depends on the product and its perceived benefit to the purchaser. Recently healthy living has become more important than energy efficiency to many consumers, which has changed their spending priorities. In 2019 our colleagues in the USA, the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA), through their Hardware Retailing publication, surveyed hundreds of shoppers in Hardware, DIY and Homeware stores to find that products that contribute to healthy living matter to the consumers surveyed, and in particular those that are “healthier to my family and me“. A distant second was savings on utility bills.

The international research firm, The Nielsen Company, says that there is a global consumer trend on healthier living and products in the ‘healthy for me’ and ‘healthy for my family’ categories are growing in demand.

Best advice is ask your customer on a regular basis what they want and pay close attention to national trends. Retailers need to realise that they have a customer base that is interested in a spectrum of items that contribute to healthier homes and lifestyles and be prepared to offer products and services that reach out to that demographic on a regular basis.

Make the Quality Connection with Qual-Pex Eco Range

Specialising in the extrusion of polyethylene (PE) pipes, Pipelife is one of Irelands leading manufacturers and providers of plastic piping systems. The company offers industry leading products for the heating & plumbing, water pressure, electricity, cable ducting, gas and agricultural sectors.

With over 45 years of manufacturing and innovating from their production plant in Cork, Pipelife has been to the forefront in developing innovative products, and has been an  industry leader for many years. Quality and innovation continue to be the terms that define their philosophy and this is reflected in the range of Eco products and systems that they manufacture to this day. Their new range of “ECO” products are specifically developed with energy conservation and waste water renewal in mind.

The Pipelife Qual-Pex Eco range of products has been designed to meet the rapidly changing needs of the heating and plumbing markets and comes from a name you can trust. The range consists of Eco Insulated pipe, Underfloor Heating, Air Source Heat Pumps, Low temperature radiators and smart system control.

The company is driven by quality and precision to provide complete renewable heating solutions by using the most up to date technologies designed and proven to maximise
comfort levels, control and efficiencies in both the Irish and UK markets, specific to these climates, at a fair and reasonable cost to their customers.

Qual-Eco addresses the needs of both the end-user and the installer incorporating best-practice guidelines to integrate various energy efficient components together to form the complete solution.

Live in Comfort with a Qual-Pex Eco Underfloor Heating System.

Pipelife is Ireland’s leading supplier of thousands of underfloor heating systems each year for residential homes, hospitals, nursery homes, warehouses and car showrooms.

As the product’s manufacturer Pipelife guarantee the pipe for 50 years, which is vital when the pipe is being buried within the floor structure for the lifetime of the building. They have a proven track record of over 20 years service and commitment to the industry backed by exceptionally trained staff and a dedicated technical backup service. They cover every  aspect of underfloor heating and integrated renewables and deliver fully designed, energy efficient systems to a range of Installers, Developers, Builders, Engineers & Architects.

Pipelife accepts full responsibility for the design of the system and the specification and supply of materials. As an added re-assurance, for the customer, Pipelife carries professional indemnity insurance to cover all designs.

Air Source Heat Pumps

Pipelife Ireland specialises in Hitachi Yutaki Heat Pumps which operate by transforming energy from the outside air into heat, meaning every 1kW of electricity used to power the heat pump is capable of providing up to 5kW of energy in a well-insulated home – helping to reduce heating bills by up to 60% and cutting CO2 emissions by 50% compared to traditional boiler-led systems. The range of Yutaki Heat Pumps are the ideal heating solution. You can not only individually control your room temperature, but also use heating energy efficiently.

Smart System Control

Their comprehensive range of thermostats offer a wide variety of solutions and are ideal for new builds and retro fit projects. They can offer a standard room thermostat all the way up to latest smart technology controls, the possibilities are endless and the result is always an energy saving efficient system. All their thermostat range are programmable and available in hard wired (230v or 12v), wireless and Smart versions.

At Pipelife they believe in providing customers with a one-stop-shop for complete package solutions; from market-leading products, free initial advice, through to bespoke design, installation, final commissioning and technical support, allowing your customer to purchase with confidence.

Pipelife strive to bring new and interesting developments to the market, and are always open to new ideas, innovations or suggestions, in an effort to keep Ireland supplied with top quality products.

For more information and to talk to their team call 021 488 4700 or e-mail at ireland@pipelife.com

Small things matter now and forever!

When it comes to recycling, one small action can make a huge difference. On 27th March 2019 – WEEE Ireland, Ireland’s largest electrical and battery recycling scheme, launched the Small Things Matter campaign to encourage Irish householders to recycle waste energy saving lightbulbs and small electrical household items to benefit the environment and the future of our children. Participating businesses and householders will be pleased to know their recycling efforts will also support LauraLynn, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice, with WEEE Ireland contributing to the charity, as part of the campaign.

“For a small nation, Ireland is playing a big part when it comes to recycling WEEE with over 60% of household e-waste recycled each year compared to a global rate of only 20%. And
it’s not just our environment that sees the benefits. Because of the effort made by everyone to recycle, WEEE Ireland is able to support LauraLynn, meaning we are all helping to improve the quality of life for the children living with life-limiting conditions and their families. That is why WEEE say Small Things Matter”, said Leo Donovan, CEO of WEEE Ireland.

As of 1st January 2019, Ireland’s national target for e-waste recycling is 65% of material placed on the market, as part of the EU WEEE Directive 2012-19. These items are made up largely of old and broken electronic items mostly found lying in drawers and cupboards. This is an ambitious target is only possible with the amazing support of, businesses, households and schools across Ireland taking small actions.

Remember These 3 Things to Play Your Part

WEEE Ireland is making it easy for everyone to do the right thing with three simple reminders: that recycling small electronic household waste items is free, easy and local.

  • It’s Free: Any small electrical item with a plug or battery can be recycled for free. So, whether your customer is returning kettles, toasters, lightbulbs, batteries or clearing out the garden shed of electric lawnmowers and drills, there’s no need to worry about bin charges – it’s completely free.
  • It’s Easy: Every piece of Small WEEE can easily be recycled at recycling points across the country. Householders can return small electrical waste to their local recycling centre (at no charge) or at hardware or electrical retailers (where’s there’s no purchase necessary), and they can drop waste lightbulbs to recycling centres and hardware stores nationwide too.
  • It’s Local: Recycling electrical and lighting waste benefits the environment, allowing plastics, metals and glass to be recovered for manufacturing and ensuring hazardous waste is disposed of safely. 100% of Small WEEE returned is recycled in Ireland.

Visit smallthingsmatter.ie for more information and to view WEEE Ireland’s interactive map and find the nearest recycling point.

Ecocem publish revised Environmental Product Declaration

Ecocem Ireland recently published a revised Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) from the Irish Green Building Council (IGBC) for its low carbon GGBS cement. EPDs are third party verified documents prepared by a manufacturer to set out the various environmental impacts of their products in a clear and transparent manner.

Ecocem Ireland’s Ground Granulated Blastfurnace Slag (GGBS) cement is the only cement verified with an EPD in Ireland and the UK. They strongly advocate transparency in terms of the environmental impacts of construction products. Ecocem Ireland published its first EPD in June 2014, which in the absence of an Irish-based EPD system, was certified in Holland for use across Europe.

In 2017, the IGBC began developing its EPD Ireland programme with the aim of establishing an Irish based EPD database, and in 2018 began publishing Irish EPDs. In 2019, when it was due for revision, Ecocem Ireland published their revised EPD on the EPD Ireland database. The company already held the position as the lowest, independently verified carbon footprint for a cement in Ireland (42KgCO2/t) but further improved this position by approximately 24% in 2019, achieving a carbon footprint value of 32KgCO2/t. To put this in perspective, the carbon footprint for ordinary portland cement, the most commonly used cement, is approximately 900KgCO2/t (Ecocem’s GGBS being 96% lower).

The best means of reducing the embodied carbon of a structure is to understand the level of embodied carbon for each of the products specified in the structure. The most accurate,
simple and effective way of doing this in Europe is to reference products published on certified EPD databases. Each product on the database is assessed under the EN 15804 standard and the resulting EPD verifies the environmental impacts of the product across a number of predefined categories. This system enables specifiers to simply search and compare products to ensure the best performing product can be established.