Historic bedmaker launches new venture on road to sustainability

179-year old business, Harrison Spinks has made a seismic pledge to become fully net carbon zero by the end of 2021, offsetting its entire carbon footprint, as the manufacturing company announces the launch of a new function, Harrison Spinks Renewables.

The fifth-generation bed and mattress manufacturer, which employs over 500 people at its Leeds-based headquarters, recently appointed commercial director and board member Ruairi Giles as head of sustainability across the business.

Part of Giles remit will be to lead on Harrison Spinks Renewables – a major solar and wind power generation venture, as well as the creation of a new sustainability report which will launch in January.

The ambitious announcement comes after the manufacturer revealed the opening of a dedicated recycling plant in the first half of next year, which would see it offer its own mattress recycling for free at a time when over 100,000 mattresses a week are burned or end up in landfill in the UK.

Simon Spinks, chairman at Harrison Spinks, commented: “Our industry needs to raise the bar to help tackle the enormous climate crisis we’re facing and we’re laying down our future plans as well as launching an entirely new function, Harrison Spinks Renewables.

“We’re already leading the way and have set a number of industry firsts – growing our own hemp as a sustainable mattress filling, being recognised with two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in Sustainable Development, the development of our Cortec™ glue-free spring system, our pledge to go glue, foam and FR-chemical treatment free, and the in-house weaving of our own FR-chemical free natural and sustainable GRS fibre ticks. But we need to do more and take a bolder approach to reach net carbon zero.

“The launch of Harrison Spinks Renewables is seismic and shows the extent of our commitment to reach net zero carbon, not in future decades, but next year.

“Initially we’ll work with interim partners to enable us to meet our carbon neutrality target by the end of 2021 but the medium-term goal is akin to many of our other innovations – we’ll invest and put plans in place to entirely offset our carbon footprint through our own initiatives and key to this will be our solar and wind power venture.”

The manufacturer is also working with its suppliers to understand their carbon footprint and establish a comprehensive set of standards.

The latest sustainability announcements come at the end of a successful year for the company. It started 2020 with a Carbon Neutral+ accreditation and by announcing that all products would be glue, FR-chemical treatment and foam-free by the end of the year. It has since launched its glue-free spring system, which can be rolled meaning that more mattresses can be loaded onto its trucks at any one time, reducing the bedmaker’s transport footprint.