Companies must be sustainable to survive, warns Crystal Doors MD

Businesses around the world will have to adapt and up their eco credentials if they want to survive, says Richard Hagan, MD of Crystal Doors, speaking from the COP26 summit in Glasgow.

In the latest kbbreview Podcast, Hagan gives his views on the climate summit and why companies must adopt sustainable practices.

Hagan said: “In 2050, [there will be] a lot of new companies that have these sustainable credentials. For Crystal Doors to survive, I wanted to get those credentials as soon as possible and it is the same for our industry.”

Over the past year, Hagan has been writing a monthly Climate Champion column for kbbreview and has detailed Crystal Doors’ eco journey. Hagan has taken a broad look at the company and tries to find small ways to save carbon that add up to large savings on emissions.

Hagan believes that companies should be disruptive and all sizes of company in every industry need to step out and make a change. He said: “We need disruptive companies saying this is a new way to do business.”

Plastics and metal are two main areas that KBB manufacturers can look at to help reduce raw materials and emissions. Crystal Doors has gone through a process in the past few years of figuring out the main carbon contributors within its business. The Rochdale company found that it had 300 tonnes of carbon emissions just from plastic and is finding ways to reduce that.

Hagan suspects that, as consumers become more aware of a company’s environmental policies, their buying habits may change. He believes that the younger generation, millennials and Gen Z, will not buy from certain shops because they don’t think the eco-credentials are strong enough.

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Hagan said: “As soon as the Carbon Credits [a method for a company of offset its carbon emissions] come through people will not just be looking at the money but the impact and there will be certain products within our industry that will need to change radically.

“It’s going to be new products in our market that have a low carbon footprint and can last a lifetime that will drive the circular economy. It might sound like it is outlandish, but just watch this space in the next five years.”

COP26 is a landmark event and Hagan says that it is focused on real change. He said: “The flood gates are open and there’s an opportunity to understand your business’s carbon footprint – as a person it is very easy. The steps [you need to take] are now being pushed out into the open, to say: ‘this is what you do, this is the low hanging fruit, these are the hot spots within a company and this is how to address it and how to become a sustainable resilient business in the future.”

Hagan continued: “I think we will have a unity coming out of COP26 and I think that it has to be noted that all countries need to move together. There is no point in one country that is way ahead and yet you have a massive polluter in another country.

“What we want to do in COP26 is put everything on a level playing field. This means that third-world countries are going to be financed with renewable energy and advanced countries are going to adopt to the EV cars and switch over to renewable energy.”

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