Doing more with less: Silentnight unlocks the key to reducing climate impact

As one of the UK’s largest manufacturers, Silentnight understands the importance of being rigorous in reducing its impact and moving in a positive direction towards a more sustainable future…

close up of hands working on production in Silentnight factory

With sustainability deadlines drawing ever closer, it is clear that it’s never been more important for businesses to have plans in place to reduce their environmental impacts. Along with pressure from external stakeholders it poses a double-edged dilemma for manufacturers to deal with.

For the team at Silentnight, sustainability is not seen as a once-and-done job, but instead as a continuous journey of improvement. That means through constant evaluation the brand is always seeking new ways to improve its practices and products to be more environmentally sound. It has worked tirelessly to ensure that all aspects of the manufacturing process run efficiently and sustainably, and its Digital Product Passports are ensuring that things continue to move in the right direction.

workstation and machinary in silentnight mattress production

Image credit: Silentnight

Digital Product Passports allow for the collection and sharing of a product’s data to aid post-consumer recycling, keep materials in circulation at the highest value for longer and, most importantly, allow Silentnight to monitor the overall environmental impact of its products. In addition this makes it possible to identify how much raw material is needed to be reduced in its products to bring down the environmental footprint. This process is called lightweighting. While not a new concept, in the last few years it has gained more attention from the global manufacturing sector because it saves energy and material – some of the biggest contributors to environmental footprint.

Lightweighting allows Silentnight to reduce its use of unnecessary materials without compromising on comfort, durability and safety – three things that are incredibly important when supplying mattresses to some of the most established hospitality brands across the country.

There is a common misconception that the more products used, the better the product will be, but that isn’t always the case – especially when it comes to mattresses. Silentnight has been able to establish that more springs don’t necessarily equate to more comfort. What’s even better is that it has also found it can maintain the quality of its mattresses while simultaneously reducing the environmental impact.

For example, one of the latest brand innovations weighs 8.8 kilograms less than an equivalent 1,000 pocket mattress and has an overall CO2e reduction of 21.48 kilograms – a welcome change for the hospitality industry that will make seasonal mattress rotations and bedmaking an easier process.

This has allowed the production to maximise efficiencies in our manufacturing processes without compromising on the quality of the products. Silentnight has been able to keep its material usage and carbon footprint down to a minimum without any trade offs on its fire safety or fitness for purpose standards, ensuring that the manufacturing process is transformed for the better. Added to its heightened focus on recycling, the total waste quantity has reduced year-on year by around 150 tonnes.

Not only does reducing its environmental impact support with the overall sustainability journey but Silentnight asserts that it also gives it a competitive edge. Through increased focus on lightweighting, the brand has been able to make room for increased innovation in its product offering; delivering products that are not only more sustainable but more ergonomic and durable.

In the last couple of years, through partnership with external stakeholders like Premier Inn, it has created a new mattress that saves 23 per cent of carbon emissions composed of two elements: the topper and the spring unit. Through close attention to the manufacturing process, it has been able to recognise that these two components have vastly different life cycles and has been able to optimise these lifecycles through this new mattress. By splitting them, the topper can be replaced with ease when needed and the spring unit reused – promoting a more circular economy and subsequently reducing the carbon footprint tenfold.

As Silentnight looks to the future, the hope is that many businesses will recognise the positives of lightweighting. By lowering the weight, improving the performance and reducing manufacturing costs for their products, businesses can lead with their best food forward; positioning themselves as leaders in sustainable manufacturing.

Silentnight is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Silentnight