From a sustainable beginning - Building NZ
From a sustainable beginning

From a sustainable beginning

From fringe concept a few short decades ago to being the central tenet behind many commonplace products, sustainability has ridden the wave of ‘latest fad’ to become the driving force shaping many of the consumer choices we make.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

In 1983 the General Assembly of the United Nations called upon the World Commission on Environment and Development to formulate a ‘global agenda for change’—with the responsibility to propose long-term environmental strategies for achieving sustainable development by the year 2000 and beyond.

This was the first time that any one entity had been tasked with such responsibility and the first time, on a global scale, that sustainability was pushed to the forefront of policy making. Forty years later and sustainability, in all its permutations, is the responsibility of government, industry and consumers.

“Sustainability across all facets of our business is what drives us and our customers,” says Dan Shelley of Stone and Tile Wholesale. “Consumers are more knowledgeable than ever regarding issues such as transparency of supply chains, product life cycles and circular economy—and expect us to be just as knowledgeable.

“This focus has meant many businesses have had to rethink not only their own impact on the environment but also the environmental impact of the products they sell—right across the manufacturing process. That’s why we have always chosen to represent reputable suppliers, such as Porcelanosa, when it comes to our product lines.

“Porcelanosa tiles are manufactured in a state-of-the-art facility in Spain from sustainably sourced materials from throughout Europe. Every stage of the manufacturing process is strictly monitored to ensure it adheres to the company’s philosophy of environmental awareness.”

The Forest collection is made with ceramic waste, generated during the manufacturing process in Porcelanosa.

Porcelanosa: dedicated to the environment

“Respect for the environment, sustainability and the reuse of resources are the key elements of the company’s philosophy and have led to the implementation of a range of innovative and environmentally-friendly processes and products, which Stone and Tile Wholesale is proud to bring to the New Zealand market,” says Dan.

“Porcelanosa’s main objective is to reduce emissions, minimise waste and promote a good use of water resources. To help achieve this, the company initiated the ecoTech concept, with an aim to turn basic raw materials into more environmentally friendly products.

“The initiative has four core principles to ensure that any company activity does not negatively impact the environmental values.

  • Energy as a valuable resource to be respected and taken care of

One third of the electricity consumed by the company is generated onsite from a mix of solar technology, geothermal energy and gas emissions recovery. Similarly, a heat exchange system transfers waste heat from the kilns to heat the buildings.

  • Water shortage and the need for efficient consumption

More than a dozen plants dedicated to the treatment of water ensure only 100 per cent recycled water is used for the moulding processes. Water pollution is another concern for the company, which has set an objective of zero industrial dumping

  • Recycling and sustainable development

One hundred per cent of the waste from floor tiles is reincorporated back into the process after being reprocessed, including the dried remnants from the slurry produced by rectifying tiles. Additionally, ongoing investment in the field of dry laying allows floor and wall tiles to be reused

  • Ecologically efficient products

Every year, around 13 million hectares of forests are cleared. For this reason, Porcelanosa has employed ecologically efficient building systems—such as ventilated facades—as a key objective to reduce its use of natural resources such as wood.

Porcelanosa's ventilated façades allow energy savings of up to 25% in buildings.

Stone and Tile Wholesale: supplying residential, architectural and commercial projects

“Established in 2009, our vision for the company was to source the best in international design and quality from the leaders in ceramics, porcelain and bathroomware and to bring those to the New Zealand market—that led us to Porcelanosa Group,” says Dan.

“We were also attracted to their environmental stance. The byproduct from the tile making process is quite nasty, particularly the slurry that forms as a byproduct of the rectification process. The fact that Porcelanosa dries this slurry—recycling the water content in the process—and reuses the solids in the manufacturing process, was a big plus in our books and the reason why we choose to partner only with reputable European brands. All of our suppliers have ISO accreditation.

“Likewise, the quality of the Porcelanosa product is exceptional. Thanks to their advanced manufacturing process, their tiles are incredibly durable and have a significantly longer lifespan. The tiles just don’t fail, Porcelanosa guarantees it, however, New Zealand law states that a product must have a warranty, so our tiles carry a 10-year warranty. They are also 100 per cent recyclable.”

Stone and Tile Wholesale stocks over 100 product lines from the Porcelanosa Group’s range of products in its Christchurch warehouse and offers full import options from the entire catalogue. Dan says that COVID-19 has had an effect on the turnaround time on orders, which is now around 20 weeks but that plenty of stock is still available through their network.

“We have authorised retailers of Porcelanosa ceramic and porcelain tiles throughout New Zealand. All retailers are knowledgeable in commercial and residential applications and have access to our live stock levels to help you select a tile for immediate delivery or choose something more unique from our indent range.

Learn more about the full range of tiles available for a vast array of internal and external applications.

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