Buoyant’s Green Machine

Mike Aramayo, Managing Director at Buoyant Upholstery, talks about how the business is striving towards a greener future and what sustainable practices are currently in place.

The environment and the impact on businesses has been a hot topic for some time now in the furniture industry and manufacturing as a whole. At Buoyant Upholstery, the business is constantly looking at ways to reduce its carbon footprint and decrease the amount of waste it produces.

“We have undertaken various initiatives to reduce our carbon emissions, waste product and our overall footprint whilst also focusing on sustainability and ways we can improve in the future,” says Mike Aramayo, Managing Director at Buoyant Upholstery.

Environmentally Friendly Leather

Kind Leather focuses on creating sustainable leather by cutting down on wasted product and the use of harmful chemicals that can be damaging to the environment. The tanning process uses much less water, energy, chemicals and produces less CO2 emissions. In addition to this, the product has up to 43% lower global warming potential and can generate up to 93% less waste.

“We launched a number of new Kind Leather models this year which have the potential to be fantastic sellers when they hit the stores,” Mike revealed. “The reception to Kind Leather products just goes to show that quality and style do not need to be compromised in anyway in the pursuit of lower waste and carbon emissions.”

Packaging, Fibre and Foam

Packaging is an area that Buoyant are constantly working to improve, as Mike continues: “Our bubble wrap is produced from recycled polythene and both our travel glides and cardboard are recycled and recyclable. From April 2022, our polythene packaging bags contain 30% recycled content and these products will also be recyclable.

“We continue to work closely with our foam and fibre suppliers to produce the most eco-friendly fillings and interiors whilst monitoring any cost implications. Eco-coatings are gradually being introduced across our lines. When cutting our fibre and foam scrims in house we use polyester wadding and the waste generated is recycled and reused.”

Renewable Energy

Buoyant are also close to completing a 5-year plan to replace all its lighting with energy efficient lighting, which is no small feat in an old Victorian building. “In the 12 months, from 1st October 2021 to 30th September 2022, the use of LED lighting has saved 25.44 tonnes CO2 equivalent with an estimated annual energy savings of 109,133 Kwh,” Mike said.

“Our 254Kw solar panel system became operative in March 2023 and as so far produced an average of 30Mw of Energy per month, and reduced the amount of C02 produced by an average of 30 tonnes per month.”

The estimated annual saving in CO2 is 360 tonnes and the life-time savings (25yrs) in Carbon is expected to be up to 9,000 tonnes.

Green House Gas Emissions, Recovery and Landfill

A Green House Gas is a gas in the atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect and global warming. The UK has a target to reduce global temperature increases to less than 2°C by 2050. During October 2021 to September 2022, Buoyant saved 108.1 tonnes of carbon emissions by diverting all waste from landfill.

Mike explained: “In the same 12 month period we diverted 191.2 tonnes of general waste from landfill to Refuse Derived Fuel. This has saved over 108,058.6 kg of carbon emissions. Each tonne of waste put in a landfill site takes up about three cubic meters of void space. 191.5 tonnes of waste were diverted from landfill equating to saving 574.4 cubic meters off land.”


Buoyant operates its own transport fleet and continues to explore new technology and innovation to reduce the impact of using fossil fuels. “We have invested in eight aerodynamic teardrop trailers which significantly reduce drag and turbulence that accounts for up to 50% of a vehicle’s fuel consumption and helps in turn reduce carbon emissions,” Mike revealed.

“Over a 12 month period, we reported 1,906.19tonnes of CO2 emissions, resulting from the direct combustion of 8,330,226 kWh of fuel. This represents a carbon reduction of 8.54% from the previous year. During 2022 our company car policy updated our fleet to 100% electric, with charging points having already been installed.”

The recent purchase of four new trucks has expanded Buoyant’s already large delivery fleet. The new Renault Trucks T440 4×2 Evolution tractor units add to its 20-truck fleet and follow the strong performance of other Renault trucks. Hans Jansen, Commercial Director, added: “We need delivery vehicles that perform well, are reliable and keep the drivers happy. The three T380s we’ve been running for the last four years have ticked all the right boxes.”

In the Factory

In January 2023 Buoyant replaced one of its existing Gerber S3200 Fabric cutters with a New Paragon HX Fabric Cutter, which is more energy efficient, quieter and faster. “We have now replaced seven of our old CNC routers with seven New Dynamics Start 2412 CNC routers, which are more energy efficient, safer and easier to operate,” says Mike. “We continue to invest in our business for a greener future.”


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