There is one thing that all us serviced apartment operators have in common, whether we be at the very top end of the luxury market or propping up the budget sector. We all require one common factor. Beds.
We are a beds business. We may offer so much more than just a place to rest a head at the end of the day but ultimately people come through our doors because they need a place to stay for a night, a week, a month or even longer.
Therefore, it stands to reason that a bed along with the mattress and pillows is one of the most important purchases we can make. A great night sleep is our goal and achieving that can be make or break for the happiness of our guests. Bed purchasing is expensive too, with most mattresses retailing for three figure sums to kit out an entire building whether it be 20 units or 200 units the outlay is well into thousands of pounds.
So how do you decide to which one to purchase? Are you going to go for the cheapest? The one with the best review scores, try a few out and go with the comfiest? Or, perhaps the most sustainable one? In this instance we are not measuring sustainability by durability but instead how it has been manufactured, the types of fillings and fibers used and the thought that has been put into the end of its life right at the very beginning of its life.
Amongst the ASAP Supplier Members we are lucky to have suppliers who can provide us with high quality, sustainable mattresses. David Wright of Mansley Serviced Apartments and Green Team lead caught up with two of them.
First up was Steve Truswell, Contract Sales Director at Sleepeezee and here follows the conversation.
Q. Are the mattresses you sell constructed with sustainability in mind?
A. Yes, this is a key part of our product development process.Both our existing models and new ranges are now developed using natural & sustainable materials. In addition to this we are moving away from using glue as a way of holding filling layers together.The overall objective is, at the end of its life each component part can be disassembled and recycled in its separate waste stream. All natural fillings are sourced from responsible suppliers and the man-made fibres such as polyester contains the equivalent of millions of recycled plastic bottles. Even the offcuts from the factory end up back with the supplier to be recycled.
Q. When mattresses are deemed to be at the end of their life what are the best options for disposing of them?
A. This has always been a challenge, hence why thousands of mattresses end up in landfill each year. This has been, both in the hospitality sector & domestic sector the easiest solution. However, Sleepeezee offer a full recycling service.
What this means is, when Sleepeezee deliver your new mattresses, we will take away the old mattresses, and return these to our factory in Rochester. We then work with our recycling partners to ensure that each mattress, is broken down to component level and is recycled with zero waste entering landfill.
Q. Do you have any tips for extending the life of a mattress?
A. All Sleepeezee products have a 5-year hospitality guarantee, this is standard for the entire industry. Sleepeezee mattresses are constructed to the highest quality, but customers can assist in ensuring the life span is managed and extended to their benefit using the following guidelines:
• Following the turning / rotating schedule, shown on each mattress will ensure even wear.
• On Single sided mattresses it is important that the housekeeping team follow the “rotation schedule” (rotating head to foot)
• On Double-Sided mattresses it is important that the rotation and turning schedule is followed. This means rotating the mattress head to foot, and turning the mattress over, including head to foot.
• All Sleepeezee mattresses have a turn or turn and rotate schedule attached to the mattress.
• Hoteliers should also utilise a quality mattress protector, which will protect the product from “accidents” that can happen.
• Keeping a housekeeping record of when a mattress has been turned or rotated is a great housekeeping procedure and placing an “alert” on your housekeeping system, to remind you is also good practice.
• Typically, mattresses should be turned or rotated every three months.
Q. Is there is anything that you would like to add when it comes to your organisations focus on sustainability?
A. All Sleepeezee products are produced in a carbon neutral factory. All the emissions from our site in Rochester have been offset since 2017. Sleepeezee are not just committed to offsetting carbon, in fact we have reduced our total carbon emissions by over 50% since 2017. Sleepeezee have also improved our carbon footprint through the installationof new energy efficient machinery. LED lighting and the installation of 591 solar panels on the roof of our
main factory building provide 25% of our manufacturing energy and the remaining 75% is sourced through renewable sources. Energy not used through the production process is put back into the grid.
Sleepeezee was the first bed manufacturer in the UK to be awarded the Planet Mark. The Planet Mark is a community of companies committed to a minimum for 5% emission reductions each year. We are very proud to say we have held the planet mark for 5 years. In addition to that we have electric car chargers which has reduced approximately 14 TCO2e. And finally, Sleepeezee are proud to state that as a business we have sent zero waste to landfill since 2012.
If you would like to find out more about Sleepeezee then please contact Steve using email@example.com
Mattison Contract Beds
We then caught up with Chris Prior, Sales Manager at Mattison Contract Beds to find out their approach to creating sustainable products and operating a sustainable business.
Chris told us that as customers’ requirements have had sustainability coming to the fore in recent years, it’s only natural that Mattison Contract Beds’ products have evolved to meet this demand. Stephen Eccles, Managing Director states “We’re aware that our actions can have a detrimental impact on the environment and have actively taken steps to ensure that our impacts are mitigated.”
Stephen continues “Our raw materials from which our mattresses and bed bases are constructed have sustainability and the circular economy in mind –be it topaz, produced from recycled clothes and rags -to polycotton, and microbond, containing recycled polyester from plastic bottles –a wide range of the raw materials within our products ensure circular economy benefits and avoid landfill.”
It doesn’t stop there –consider other filling materials, such as wool, or polyester, pure new wool and silk –and not only do these offer circular economy benefits and avoid landfill, in the case of wool the material is 100% natural, renewable, biodegradable and recyclable.
Notably, Mattison Contract Beds is an ISO 14001 approved company by independent auditors. ISO 14001 sets the standard for environmental management systems, demonstrating commitment to protecting the environment –meaning that not only do their products have sustainability in mind, their actions ensure that the environmental aspects are considered through the manufacturing processes also.
Stephen adds “As we look to the future, and we design new models we bring to market, sustainability will be at the heart of the design process, from conception to reality. Having become a signatory this year tothe National Bed Federation’s ‘Pledge for our Planet’, Mattison Contract Beds will demonstrate our commitment to becoming a more sustainable business, reduce our global warming impact, reduce our waste, reduce our products’ impact on the environment and continue to take responsibility for our actions.”
On the topic of end-of-life disposal Mattison went on to say; Mattison Contract Beds advise, when it comes to disposing of mattresses –first and foremost – NEVER dispose in landfill. We offer a disposal service which endeavors to ensure no waste goes to landfill. Mattison Contract Beds have specifically chosen recycling partners who deconstruct products by hand – as this produces a higher rate and quality of recyclable materials obtained. Notably, all raw materials in their products are recyclable at end of their life. As an active member of the National Bed Federation (NBF), Mattison Contract Beds highlight the Register of Approved Mattress Recyclers, a UK-wide register of approved mattress recyclers, which meet or exceed expected, desirable standards of operation -the aim of the which is to help local authorities, public bodies and businesses wishing to dispose of used mattresses to identify responsible, reputable operators.
On the point of sustainability, Stephen adds “We strive to go beyond basic social and environmental regulations, to meet the highest standards in our supply chain expected by our customers and the companies we work with. We are certified and regularly audited by the National Bed Federation (NBF), meet ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards. The NBF expects and requires social responsibility, flammability testing, cleanliness of fillings, trade Descriptions, Chemicals -REACH, BIOCIDES, POP’s, UKTR and textile fibrecontent regulations compliance, and we are audited accordingly.”
Mattison Contract Beds have a due diligence system in place and only work with suppliers that practice responsible sourcing, comply with UKTR and are also FSC / PEFC registered. Although they are not FSC or PEFC certified themselves, all sheet material and raw timber comes from FSC and PEFC certified suppliers, thus directly sourced from sustainable sources. Stephen continues “There are many aspects we can improve upon when considering environmental impacts and working toward 100% sustainable products and business practices –with one such example being the machinery that makes our products! From ensuring that we’re using cutting-edge CNC machines to ensure minimal waste of materials, to auto-bagging machines to ensure we’re using packaging materials efficiently (and using recyclable material), these changes have made a tangible difference in recent years.”
One of the most fundamental and prevalent impacts on the environment any manufacturer of goods will produce is product packaging. It isn’t – in and of itself – a bad thing – designed to protect the product during transport but does certainly have an environmental impact.
Stephen highlights that “Mattison Contract Beds have made efforts – and investments – to ensure that the product packaging we use is fully recyclable. In addition to ensuring it’s recyclable, we’ve also invested in skills and equipment to use minimal amounts of packaging materials.”
If you would like to find out more about Mattison Contract Beds then please contact Chris using firstname.lastname@example.org