VIBES Award: Waste & Resources


  • On-site recycling facility enables diversion of 96% of waste from new window installations from landfill, at no extra cost to the customer.
  • CMS Enviro-Systems’ newly-fitted windows are fully recyclable at the end of their 35-year lifespan.
  • Their triple-glazed windows are currently the most energy efficient in the UK, according to the British Fenestration Ratings Council.
  • In partnership with Fife Council, CMS have saved 273 tonnes of wood, glass and extracted metal from landfill.
  • Backhaul waste material for recycling on return journey using delivery vehicles. Similarly, window fitters bring the old windows back to the Fife facility before collecting new units for installation.
  • Investing £30,000 in a new recycling facility in Cumbernauld that will increase the throughput of recycling and increase revenue from cleaned PVC

CMS Enviro Systems is a manufacturer and installer of PVCu windows, doors and curtain-walling. They have been at the forefront of environmental innovation within the window industry since 2006. In addition to the development of a zero-carbon triple-glazed window, they opened a dedicated recycling facility in 2009, which allows them to recycle 100% of all old windows and doors for clients, which helps them, in turn, to fulfil their environmental and carbon reduction targets. Since the start of 2010, the facility has recycled over 1000 tonnes of waste.

No strangers to the VIBES Awards, CMS Enviro Systems won the Management Award in the Medium Business Size category in 2009. This time round, the judges were impressed that they have not rested on their laurels and have demonstrated a drive for continuous improvement. This includes taking previous feedback on board and acting upon it, through the creation of dedicated recycling facilities and changing their waste management company to improve the recycling of general waste from 50% to 85%.

Their product and processes are designed to minimise impacts and emissions and the judges found excellent environmental benefits in both window design and the recycling process. While also having good thermal properties, the new windows are completely recyclable at the end of their estimated 35-year life and save on fuel costs for the customer. The recycling facility means the company now diverts around 96% of its waste from landfill.

By working in partnership with Fife Council, CMS Enviro Systems has directly contributed to Fife Council Building Services’ increase in recycling of building waste materials from less than 5% in 2007/08 to over 90% in 2009/10. Fife Council have also made tangible savings, with 273 tonnes of wood, glass and extracted metal (from 4233 old doors and windows from council-owned properties) diverted from landfill since the recycling facility opened, saving on landfill tax and transportation costs.

Of the 850 tonnes of waste handled by CMS in 2010, 814 tonnes were recycled (96%). Their turnover in 2010 was £7.3 million, which equates to only 4.9 tonnes of waste being sent for landfill per £1m of turnover. The figures demonstrate a commitment to carbon reduction and how they have helped their customers achieve their environmental goals.

The recycling facility is a profitable part of the business and is set to expand with £30,000 being invested in a new recycling facility at the head office and manufacturing site in Cumbernauld.

The VIBES panel found that CMS demonstrate environmental awareness at every stage of their operations. After fitting new windows, vehicles take waste materials back for recycling which prevents the running of empty vehicles. Similarly, the fitters drop off old windows for recycling and then fill the vehicle with new units. Tom-Tom engine management systems are also used in the vehicles. These monitor driving style and have resulted in a 3% drop in fuel use and a 20% increase in turnover. These processes maximise fuel efficiency and show environmental awareness throughout the company’s operations.

Further, the use of a computerised order tracking system has reduced material wastage from 20% to 5%, which is estimated to save around 3.6 tonnes of carbon per engineer per year.

As the only provider of such recycling services in the industry, their approach is highly innovative. CMS have critically evaluated resource efficiency, not only internally in their business, but throughout the product lifecycle of the windows they install. By expanding their recycling facility they are aiming for a 100% recycling figure in addition to accepting waste from other producers. The judges found this to be an excellent example of a business adapting and expanding on environmental initiatives.