Our Sustainability Statement
Since our conception in 1994, we have had an unwavering commitment to the values of circularity, quality and longevity. This commitment is reflected in our connection with nature, the materials we use and the artisanal crafts we preserve. We want to be as transparent as possible as we build on this legacy and work towards a greener future.
It’s always been our mission to design and build furniture that lasts for 100 years and beyond, and we are approaching this with a renewed sense of urgency as our impact on the environment becomes increasingly apparent. Our priority is reducing our footprint and striving towards a circular production model, rather than the linear take-make-waste structures which have plagued the industry for far too long.
We are making a commitment to adapt, improve and remain accountable for the products we create. This journey is a continuous effort, so we will be reviewing our goals year on year as we refine our processes and supply chain. Sustainability will continue to be a pillar of the Neptune brand and one of the foundations we base our decisions upon.
We know that increased transparency and open dialogue with our community will give us the opportunity to move towards that positive future. By focusing on quality materials, expert craft and personal service, we will enhance our unique offering even further. This is just the beginning.
Design and materials
Our designs are made with future generations in mind, from their timeless aesthetics through to their quality and durability. We stand firm against throwaway culture and fleeting trends, and our designs reflect this. In creating future heirlooms, we pay close attention to the materials we use, the craftsmanship we employ and the suppliers and manufacturers we work with.
Our kitchens are modular, so they can be adapted even if you move home or extend your property. All our kitchens are crafted from solid timber, and never composite alternatives like MDF. Our timber is sourced from certified suppliers based in the Appalachian Mountains, where trees have been planted at a faster rate than they are felled for over 50 years – currently at a replacement rate of 2.5 times. We understand the logistical impact of global sourcing, and continue to evaluate opportunities which allow us to source and manufacture items closer to home, such as our low VOC paints which are manufactured in Lancashire.
Our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility is based in Qingdao, Northern China. Most of our designs are created here, while customised and bespoke pieces are produced at our UK Headquarters in Wiltshire. We pay close attention to detail across both of our locations, ensuring our values of circularity and quality are upheld and maintained.
Our Chinese facility exercises a deep respect for local customs and traditions and is powered by energy-efficient heat pumps, while reusing and recycling by-products and offcuts to minimise waste where possible. Our UK HQ harnesses solar energy for a portion of its power.
Thanks to the capabilities of our UK workshops, 98% of returned timber furniture designs are repaired and put back into stock. Unrepairable items are made available for purchase in the Neptune outlet. We are also working towards offering a repair service directly to our customers.
Logistics and packaging
We are aware of the impact of transporting goods between our two locations in Northern China and the UK. We currently opt to use sea freight partners to manage this transportation. Carbon offsetting programmes go some way in helping us to monitor this, but we understand that it isn’t a permanent solution. We are working hard to increase our manufacturing capacity closer to home, and exploring other ways to reduce our impact.
We have developed our packaging to reduce the use of polystyrene and increase its recyclability. This is another area we will continue to evaluate over the coming years to minimise waste wherever possible.
Our people are the essence of Neptune. With 300 people working at our Qingdao facility, and a further 560 across our UK workshops, support offices and distribution and store networks, we ensure fair pay and working conditions across all our locations that allow individuals to flourish and prosper.
We offer mental health and wellbeing support for all our teams. Everyone has the opportunity to learn and develop, as well as to have their say on life at Neptune and the direction of the company. We take our responsibility to our staff very seriously and believe in putting them at the heart of the decisions we make.
Considered partnerships allow us to strengthen our positive impact as a company. We have recently partnered with Stump Up For Trees (SUFT), a UK-based charity which focuses on woodland creation. Their work facilitates the replanting of species with respect to local ecosystems and increases tree cover in upland regions in a sustainable manner.
The charity is currently working to enhance biodiversity in the Brecon Beacons region, as well as putting in place natural flood management and agricultural productivity projects. We have decided to work with SUFT to support the growth and expansion of their valuable work across other parts of the UK. For each tree used by Neptune, we will plant another tree through SUFT. Customers can also choose to donate at the point of purchase, and Neptune will match any extra donations. In addition, every UK Neptune employee is required to partake in two volunteering days each year – one with SUFT and another with a charity of the employee’s choice.
We are also exploring an educational partnership with Swindon College to encourage apprenticeship schemes through our workshops, allowing us to sustain the beauty of our craft for generations to come.
Looking ahead, we will assess our footprint as a company annually and share our progress with you clearly and transparently. Over the next 12 months, we will continue to champion our British design heritage and minimise our logistical impact where possible. Our focus will be on bringing upholstery production back to the UK and pursuing other local partnerships.
In an effort to reduce waste and celebrate the unique beauty of natural materials, we will be relaxing our tolerances on imperfections in our designs. We are also working to diversify our materials where possible, introducing red oak for some of our designs which is in lower demand than the white oak and tulipwood we currently use.
We pledge another year of learning and understanding what we can change within our current capacity, while prioritising best practices across every single department of the business.