20 Apr

Earth Day – Accoya the eco-friendly way of working with wood

Earth Day is on 22 April, an initiative dedicated to promoting sustainability and the environment. Find out more about Westbury's sustainable woods and processes.

Every year, the planet loses another 15 million trees, which is nothing short of tragic given that they provide food, energy, and income in addition to the very air that we breathe. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that reforestation and conservation is a primary area of concern for the Earth Day Network.

Westbury – a pioneer in sustainable, carbon negative wood sourcing

Sustainability in wood sourcing is an issue that is also of key importance here at Westbury. Without wood, we wouldn’t have a product and we recognise that we have a responsibility to ensure that our production methods are in balance with the world in which we are living. It is for this reason, that we use Accoya®.

What is Accoya®?

Accoya® is a revolutionary wood created from only fast-growing and abundantly available FSC® or PEFC™ certified tree species such as the Radiata pine.

The pine used at Accsys Technologies to make Accoya® goes through a (non-toxic, environmentally friendly) chemical process, called acetylation, which makes it a super-strength version of its original form – more durable and more stable. The acetylation process even improves its paint retention and in-ground conditions. Rated as a Class 1 timber, Accoya® is just about as durable as wood can be.

Waste reduction starts with quality

Reducing the use of materials is at the heart of environmentalism, and so, using a product that is guaranteed to last 50 years above ground and 25 years in soil, and that is indigestible to insects and virtually rot-proof, is a strong starting point in eliminating the unnecessary waste associated with fast-fashion shopping and disposable consumerism.

At Westbury, we build classic products that are built to last so you won’t need to keep replacing them. Unlike uPVC plastic windows that are not built to last and cannot be maintained, and which are fuelling the issue of plastic waste in our environment, windows and doors made from Accoya® will give you a lifetime of beauty, durability, stability and security and they stack up in terms of their environmental credentials.

Indeed a ‘Westbury’ is like a Landrover – well respected in design and very good for the environment. With our use of Accoya®, our paint system and our glazing system combined a Westbury is a product that will go on and on.

Outscoring the competition

Accoya® scores significantly better than metals (aluminium), plastics (PVC), and unsustainably sourced hardwood and is on par with sustainably sourced (certified) hardwood when measured in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions (kg C02 per m3 of material)

accoya stats

Source: Accsys Technologies/Westbury

Greenhouse Gas Emissions (cradle to grave) (per window frame per material in kg C02)

accoya stats - greenhouse gas

Source: Accsys Technologies/Westbury

Understanding is power

Accoya® needs to be fully understood by those working with it, and at Westbury, we are ahead of the game on this. In fact, we’d consider ourselves experts. Knowing how we can strengthen it even further or what materials can be detrimental to its longevity means that we are able to provide sustainable buildings and joinery that will last a lifetime. And should you get bored of them before then, Accoya® is completely recyclable with no adverse effects on the environment. It even has better thermal insulation than regular hardwood, meaning less energy is required to heat your home.

With no swelling or warping, customers using Accoya® will find that their doors and windows will continue to open perfectly for many years, with no swelling or catching, even if you live by the coast or at a higher altitude (where they’re more vulnerable to the elements). Accoya® will even reduce the amount of paint required – another environmental saving with less need for preparation and sanding when you do have to re-paint (which is about once every ten years).

Invest in our ethics

Of course, the quickest way to heal the planet would be for consumers to stop consuming stuff, but for most of us – that simply isn’t a reality. Instead, we need to gain a better understanding of the materials we do use and how they impact upon the planet, and ensure that we are prepared to invest in our ethics and indeed our future.