As a reliable company we recognise our responsibility to take care of the environment. To demonstrate we take our responsibility seriously we have gained Environmental Management Approval to ISO 14001:2015.
We have a fully integrated facility taking a mixture of recycled copper and copper cathode to cast copper billets for the production of tube. All copper tube is 100% recyclable. In addition, we have put in place processes and procedures to reduce emissions, minimise waste, reduce energy consumption and promote recycling.
We operate our processes as prescribed by the UK Pollution Prevention Control Act, and we observe the requirements laid down by the UK Environment Agency.
We operate a fully integrated filter system on our casting plant, which removes all particulates and dust post the melting process and prior emission to atmosphere.
Waste stations have been introduced across the business to allow for waste segregation and the recycling of material such as metals, wood, paper, plastic and cardboard. The use of energy-management lighting-systems includes a switch off policy for all non-essential equipment during non-working periods.
Yorkshire Copper Tube is committed to continual environmental performance by setting annual environmental improvement objectives and targets. These are regularly monitored and reviewed: internally by the company Board of Directors, and externally by the UK Environment Agency when they inspect us to issue our IPPC (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control) permit, and by the British Standards Institute when they inspect us to approve our ISO 14001:2015 certificate.
All Yorkshire Copper tubes are 100% recyclable with no loss in properties, which is of major benefit to the environment. At the end of the lifetime of a building, copper tubes can be removed, re-melted and re-made into copper tubes or other copper products. Indeed, recycling uses just 15% of the energy that would be used to mine and produce the same copper, thereby helping to conserve fuel and reduce CO2 emissions. It is estimated that around 80% of all copper ever mined is still in use today, some having been recycled time and time again.
At our Yorkshire Copper Tube plant, we endeavour to use as much recycled copper as our process will allow.
A poor choice of plumbing materials can lead to health-hazards caused by micro-organisms in the water, such as Legionella pneumophilia. These materials freely allow the growth of bacteria and such infestations of the plumbing system are extremely difficult to eradicate.
Copper is an antimicrobial material. Scientific studies have proved that copper has the ability to kill dangerous bacteria, viruses and fungi. Copper suppresses such bacterial growth – this makes copper the perfect choice for a potable water system. For health and safety in drinking water supply, no other material compares with copper.
Copper is increasingly used as a material for ‘touch-surfaces’ in places where hygiene is of utmost importance, such as in healthcare and food-processing. Copper’s inherent ability to kill dangerous bacteria, viruses and fungi makes it the perfect material of choice for fixtures and fittings in hospitals where there is a risk of healthcare-associated transmitted infection. Recently published clinical trial data shows that key touch surfaces, made from antimicrobial copper, can reduce a patient’s risk of acquiring a hospital infection (e.g. MRSA, Clostridium difficile) by 58%. In food-processing, it can reduce contamination and therefore the risk of food-poisoning (E.coli, Listeria, Salmonella).
Copper in the Diet
Copper is a vital component in our daily diet to maintain good health. Almost every cell in the human body utilises copper and it is vital for well-being right through to old age. It is especially important for women during pregnancy, for the development of the foetus and new-born babies. Without copper our brains, nervous systems and cardiovascular systems would not function properly.
Human beings obtain copper from food each day as part of a balanced diet. We have developed biological mechanisms to manage intake levels: our digestive systems absorb the amount of copper necessary to maintain a healthy body, and any excess is excreted.
We absorb copper from a range of foodstuffs. Nuts and seeds are especially rich in copper, and other foods such as cereals, meat and fish provide up to 50% of the human-body’s required daily intake. Cocoa is another rich source – a good reason to eat chocolate!