All of us must play our part in helping achieve the Government’s ambitious climate change targets, says Jay-Be’s director of commercial and corporate responsibility Liona Ripley, as she outlines the bedmaker’s many efforts in this area …

How long has sustainable manufacture been integral to Jay-Be?

As a business we have always been eco conscious, and are constantly striving to be more so. Back in 2008 we undertook a four-year research and development project to investigate the eco-impact of the mattress industry.?

The learnings from this in-depth, full-life-cycle analysis established our passion for environmental change within our industry and drove our Feel Good, Sleep Well philosophy, considering all aspects of our 5-Step Product Life-Cycle Analysis – ensuring all materials are from recycled sources wherever possible, and are constructed in a manner which makes them easily recyclable at the end of life.

What key steps has the business taken in the past five years in this regard??

Environmental management has always been an essential part of our operations strategy. Last year saw us achieve accredited certification to ISO 14001:2015, and by securing this certification our customers and other stakeholders can be confident that we meet international industry-specific environmental standards, and that our Environmental Management Systems are legally compliant with processes in place to maintain and continually improve on our environmental goals.

As part of the ISO certification process, we focused on our waste management systems, recycling wherever possible and sourcing outlets for waste raw materials. This effort was again rewarded in 2021, when we achieved Valpak’s Zero Waste to Landfill Certification. ?

It is extremely useful to have an Environmental Management System tool like ISO 14001, as it helps us to ensure that all of our environmental challenges are consistently monitored and reviewed, providing the necessary reports and tracking to attain further deserved certifications.

Taking it a step further, we are proud to be tackling the issue of biodiversity at our new head office in Ravensthorpe, West Yorkshire. The loss of biodiversity in the UK is as big an issue as the climate crisis, so we have designated our new head office grounds as a biodiversity support site, with the aim of increasing habitats for wildlife.

Investing in a revolutionary new chemical-free pest control system, Jay-Be can ensure no harm to wildlife by using targeted monitoring. Smart traps have a wireless sensor to detect trap activity, removing the need for poison and ensuring it does not enter the food chain, allowing pests to be dealt with as humanely as possible. We are proud to be one of the first companies in Yorkshire to adopt this approach, which is vital for ensuring healthy wildlife in our immediate vicinity.

In order to help increase wildlife diversity in the region, we have also planted native trees and shrubs, plus wildflower patches, and have established a mini wetland area. Bird boxes and bug houses are being installed, with staff looking forward to reap the benefits this spring, viewing and recording any new visitors to the site.?

What are the most important aspects of Jay-Be’s sustainable strategy now, and how might these change in the coming years?

We believe that the most important aspect of any sustainable strategy should be integrity and intent. Greenwashing is a growing issue, and consumers, industry watchdogs and Government bodies will be increasingly focusing on this.?

The UK Government has set the world’s most ambitious climate change target, to reduce carbon emissions by 2035. Our sustainability strategy takes this into consideration, as it will fall to businesses like ours to achieve it. Educating and encouraging consumers to purchase sustainably will be a large part of this, and visibility around reductions in our own carbon footprint will be an absolute requirement.?

We are confident that we are well placed to meet all the challenges and rewards a sustainable future may hold.