How to promote the sustainability of windscreen repair

How to promote the sustainability of windscreen repair

Esprit Windscreen Repair Equipment Director, Victoria Evans, reveals how ESG (environmental, social and governance) policies underpin the entire company, and, just as important, how you can promote the sustainability of windscreen repair to customers.

So, how did Esprit first turn its minds to ESG and sustainability? Victoria said: “At its heart, windscreen repair is all about sustainability; its entire existence means that windscreens, which would have to be replaced at high cost, can instead be repaired – significantly extending the life of the windscreen.

“We calculated that in 2023, Esprit sold enough resin to repair 1.3 million windscreens, which is a huge saving in carbon emissions from creating new screens, as well as a significant saving for the companies using our products.

“Underpinning sustainability is the need for deep confidence that the repair will be effective and safe for the end-user every time. This is why we believe in performance testing to ECE R43, which means that Esprit repairs have undergone the same tests that new windscreens go through. Repair isn’t second best; we believe there should be no trade off in repairing a screen over replacing one.

“We have always considered sustainability in every area of our business. Sustainability isn’t a new issue for us; throughout the 42 years of Esprit, reduce, repair, re-use and recycle have always been the lens through which we have run our business.”

Victoria revealed that Esprit was awarded Made in Britain accreditation in 2020 – she added: “Since the early days of Esprit, we have always championed a component sourcing strategy of buying as local as possible – and as much as possible from the UK.

“We moved away from that for a while in the early 2000s, when products from overseas were so much cheaper, but in the past 10 years we’ve moved back to our strategy of buying as much as possible from Britain. Ninety percent of our suppliers are now based in the UK, with a sizeable number being within 10km from our manufacturing site. This ensures we are minimising the carbon footprint of our goods, as well as supporting other local and family owned businesses, which has always been important to us.

“It also works well for the business and our customers, enabling us to build strong relationships with our suppliers, allowing us to be agile in response to our customer needs.”

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Esprit believes it isn’t just ‘talking the talk’ when it comes to these issues – and the company isn’t satisfied with its progress.

Victoria said: “There are a few components of the kit that we’re currently looking at – going for fully recycled and recyclable packaging for our resin is one that we’ve been investigating for a while, as well as carrying out some injector innovation, which looks like it will reduce the need for drilling and heating, and reduce the amount of resin needed, so we’re excited about that.

“We never stop innovating, but we keep costs as low as possible, ensuring that new or upgraded products can be integrated with people’s existing kits and not replacing items for the sake of it.”

Green benefits have benefits for you…

Victoria revealed how these initiatives and attitudes could benefit you – how can you use this information to assist customers? Victoria responded: “It’s great for distributors to know that they can recommend an Esprit kit for a number of reasons: firstly, it’s a performance tested kit that has been used by thousands of customers worldwide for over 40 years. Secondly, it’s built to last, and thirdly, we won’t be introducing unnecessary and expensive upgrades for no performance based reason.

“When companies are looking at their own ESG policies, being able to point to repair as being environmentally sound, and also that the Esprit kit has this vast history of sustainable practices behind it, it is something that motor factors’ customers can talk about with their customers.

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“Most people have a level of concern about how their products are affecting the environment and it’s great for customers to know that if they’re repairing with Esprit, they have this wealth of sustainability behind them. If they want to talk to us or get any more detailed information from us, they should contact me – we’re really proud of the environmental goals that we have at Esprit and we’re always happy to share them.”

Victoria explained why the concept of reduce, re-use, repair and recycle was so important to Esprit:

Reduce: “It’s clearly better for the environment and the customer if you’re not buying new products all the time, and so Esprit kits are built to last. It’s not uncommon to have customers with kits up to 15-years-old, or even older.

“We don’t believe in introducing new products for the sake of it, or ‘upgrades’ which are just a way of trying to make more money out of the customer without any real benefit for them. Saying that, we have upgraded our kit cases in the last two years to be more hardwearing and last longer, and the plus with that is that they are now made of 30% recycled material, and we’re looking to make these 100% recycled within the near future.

“Our kit linings are also 30% recycled, and we also moved to a stainless steel injector to give an alternative to our plastic product. This also has a lifetime guarantee.”

Re-use: “One of our core concepts is that when we do introduce new products or upgrade our technology, it should be compatible with the existing kit. Our stainless steel injectors fit in the original bridge, for example.

“We also offer a part exchange programme where customers can return old items and replace them with the newer model, and we then refurb the old items and sell them as preowned. This reduces e-waste, and saves the customer money.”

Repair: “Esprit manufactures its electrical components on-site, and we are able to repair and update virtually all Esprit equipment in-house. We offer long warranties and have low service charges to encourage repair of existing material. Focus on longevity of product life and repair of existing items reduces the amount of circuitry and critical minerals that are discarded.”

Recycling: “All Esprit products can be recycled through our part exchange offer, and we routinely take in 10 or 20- year-old kits and part exchange them for new kits.”

For more information about Esprit, click here.

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