Gillies goes Green

 

Gillies Goes Green

- Mr Ian Philp (Managing Director)

"At Gillies we care about our local area and we understand how seriously our input can affect the environment. This is why Gillies have gone green and have begun to make serious changes to the way we conduct our business."

Managing Waste

Carpet Bailer

Did you know? - In 2014 our warehouses created an estimated 145 tonnes of waste.

This is why in September 2015, coinciding with the opening of our new Carpet Warehouse we had a cubic tonne compacting bailer installed. Whereas we were using 5 skips a month to deal with offcuts and customers used carpets, our newly installed bailer compacts the unwanted carpet into a moveable cubic metre which is uplifted by The Vanheede Alternative Fuels Company. The waste is then transported to Holland or Belgium where the carpets are ground down into small chunks to create blankets or bedding for livestock, or even heat concrete kilns.

Furniture Packaging

Did you know? – By the year 2020 the amount of waste the UK adds to landfill sites is estimated to be just 10%. 

In our furniture distribution centre, we have 3 further compacting bailers for recycling all our cardboard, polythene, and polystyrene packaging that comes with our stock. By separating and compacting all these recyclable materials into bails we are then able to partner with a Scottish recycling company (William Tracey Group) and have the recyclable materials disposed of in the greenest way possible.

What happens next? - 91% of all the materials taken away are recycled and reused, reducing the amount of waste added into landfill sites.

 
 
 

Reducing our Energy Consumption

Solar Panels - A Bright Idea

Since May 2012 our Broughty Ferry shop and huge warehousing space have had a significant investment in the installation of solar panels on the roofs of our premises.

With the ever challenging question on the most environmentally friendly way to create clean energy, we at Gillies have significantly reduced our energy consumption by installing solar panels where permissible. With the amount of space we have available, utilising this to help reduce our carbon foot print was an easy decision; on average our contribution saves 50 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide going into the atmosphere every year.

Low Voltage Lighting

All of our Gillies showrooms and warehouses have been fitted with low voltage lighting. Each showroom light fitting houses a 35watt bulb, and replaced three 50watt lights when we carried out the upgrade. The costs of changing to these energy efficient lights was large (each light fitting plus bulb is £95!), however by making the change we have been able to considerably reduce the amount of electricity used each day by around 75%.

Commercial Wood Stove

As we continue to make changes to our business to become a greener company we made the decision to equip our furniture warehouse with two large multi-fuel eco-stoves. These huge machines with four fans were installed into the warehouse to reduce the cost of heating.

During the course of the year we accumulate a lot of excess wood from furniture packaging, broken pallets, etc and our warehouse staff store these until the colder winter months where it is used to help fuel the heaters. The addition of these two heaters alone to our warehouse has caused a massive reduction in the amount of gas and electricity we have needed for heating, plus it has the added benefit of turning the unusable wood into energy, whilst removing the harmful elements at the same time.

 

The Fleet

Gillies has 45 vehicles on the road delivering all over Scotland from Monday to Friday. We take pride in all of our drivers and the excellent service they provide to make sure our customers receive their deliveries as efficiently as possible.

With the ever changing fuel economy and general wear and tear of the company vehicles, we review the fleet annually and are always updating our vehicles to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

All our vehicles are diesel engines fitted with the AdBlue system where possible. This converts the harmful NOx emissions from an engine to harmless nitrogen and steam.

We have also looked very seriously into the way we perform our deliveries. Instead of having our vans and lorries travelling hundreds of unnecessary miles through poorly planned delivery points, we have developed a sophisticated routing system. By means of this, combined where possible with delivery to specific areas on set days we now cover far less miles, therefore reducing our emissions substantially. We’ve also investigated the feasibility of hybrid vehicles, however the technology is not quite available yet to provide enough power and stamina for a day’s deliveries of heavy goods, but watch this space.

With the whole of the UK joining together to become greener and technology constantly improving the future looks very bright. There are so many different ways that we can reduce our carbon foot print and still deliver the high class level of service we have for over 100 years. At Gillies we will remain committed to reducing our carbon foot print and the whole company is excited to see where future developments can take us.