Sandtoft feeling benefits of link-up with fellow roof tile producer

A YORKSHIRE company is reaping the benefits of joining forces with brick and roof tile manufacturer Wienerbeger.

Family-owned firm Sandtoft Roof Tiles, based near Doncaster, has been exposed to a larger customer market, a greater product range and increased buying power since it joined forces with the Cheshire-based roof tile giant, according to its commercial director Keith Barker.

Wienerberger acquired a majority stake in Sandtoft with the original owners, the Oldridge family, retaining a 26 per cent share in the company, in 2007.

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With a turnover of 2bn euros worldwide, Wienerberger employs around 950 people in the UK, with 358 of these at Sandtoft’s manufacturing plants in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Apart from the Doncaster operation, these sites include a slate plant in Heckmondwike, and factories in Brough and Goxhill, as well as a distribution centre in Surrey.

With a commitment to sustainability, Yorkshire-based Sandtoft Roof Tiles places great emphasis on innovation.

Mr Barker said: “With rising costs and intense competition, innovation is without doubt the key to success.

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“In addition to battling with cost pressure, roofing contractors have to get to grips with new technologies in 2012.”

Sandtoft has launched PV48 solar roofing system for contractors, architects and developers – which is believed to be the first UK roofing system of its kind to integrate all types of tiles or slates regardless of the manufacturer.

Green sources of electricity are used across all four roof production sites in the UK. Sandtoft’s site in Heckmondwike is completely carbon neutral.

Recycled slates are manufactured using around 80 per cent slate waste recovered from UK quarries.

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Recycled production waste is also being used as a replacement for sand in the manufacture of concrete roof tiles.

With very little waste sent to landfill – typically one tonne for every million tiles produced – plans are in place to reduce this to zero by 2015.

In line with parent company Wienerberger’s Eco Efficiency programme, Sandtoft is also working hard to reduce the weight of a roof to lessen the amount of CO2 released through manufacturing and transportation to site. Less tonnage also means more roofs can be delivered on one lorry, said Mr Barker.

“Since the recession of 2008 Sandtoft has benefited greatly from our investment in research and development.

“As the economic conditions have deteriorated, the demand for the more innovative products we have developed in recent years has increased. We foresee this continuing into 2013 and beyond,” he added.