If everybody does a little bit: one sugar not two, buy the electric car, not the V8, we can make a difference.
A large-scale laminating machine doesn’t sound like it fits into that philosophy, but at Asona, it makes sense. It’s about making what we do smarter and more efficient – not just for the sake of our profit margins, but for NZ’s economy and the environment.
We’re living in a world with scarce resources and a growing, increasingly demanding population. That means we need to do more with less and find new ways to use materials. It’s not sustainable to keep producing things on a massive scale, which ultimately get thrown into landfill.
We need to walk lightly and reduce our impact on the environment. At Asona that means making ceiling and wall finishes that take less energy to produce, use less material, and can be recycled.
We’re lucky in New Zealand because 80% of our electrical energy is renewable, so the impact of production is reduced. But there’s only a finite amount of stuff that can be dug out of the ground, so we still need to make more out of less.
That new machine we were talking about? It’s an automated, large-scale laminating line, which will let us manufacture new lightweight composite materials, improve the quality and durability of our other products, and increase our capacity to serve NZ and the world.
It means we’ll be able to make a better product at a lower cost. We’ll also be able to offer products that previously haven’t been available in NZ, which will give our industry more options. Rather than just importing materials from a huge factory overseas, we want to create smaller scale production with the same quality and similar costs.
It’s good for the local economy too. With 20 people on staff and extra contractors when we need them, we’re giving people jobs and their taxes are going into the country. If we were just importing similar materials, we would only need a couple of employees and a warehouse somewhere.
We’ll also be producing materials for export, because overseas demand is much higher, things are done on a bigger scale. What we’d think of as a big building or a huge project here is one level of a building elsewhere. It’s just a bigger market.
But wherever we are, we need to look at changing the way we think about building. Why can’t buildings be lighter, smaller, better? New textiles that use fewer resources to cover more are one part of the puzzle, which is where our flash new machine comes in handy. But it’s also a challenge to designers, architects and the building industry.
At Asona, we really believe little things can make a big difference. Or, in the case of our new machine, one big thing can make lots of little differences. It’s not just about profits – it’s about making things better for NZ and the world, one ceiling & wall at a time.