How a Gloucestershire dental manufacturer continues to pave the way in sustainability

From dropping landfill disposal from 70 per cent to zero in 2023, incorporating healthy energy management systems, as well as reducing energy consumption and environmental impact, Gloucester-based firm Prima Dental is passionate about continuing its efforts to become as sustainable as possible.

By Zoe Gater  |  Published

Primal Dental’s story dates back 150 years, with the Gloucester firm’s continual innovation and investment making it both a significant county employer and the leading manufacturer of carbide burs for dentists worldwide — but this success doesn't stop the business from striving for the 'constant pursuit of better', from expanding overseas to its level of sustainability.

Not only does it rank highly in the manufacturing industry, but Prima Dental takes its impact on the world's natural environment seriously, working to identify and improve in all areas of its operations.

This is evidenced through its ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems and its ISO 50001 Energy Management accreditation which ensure that the company has a healthy energy management system, reducing energy consumption and environmental impact.

Prima’s environmental policy shapes its practices and incorporates detailed recycling and waste management initiatives — including the recycling of by-products from its manufacturing process. To maintain an environmentally friendly production as conceivable, product packaging, brochures and company publications use recycled paper. 

Further to this, contracts with waste management services and suppliers are continually reviewed, to ensure optimising of recycling levels, alongside the review of the organisation’s own practices. This has led to a huge reduction in the business's landfill disposal, going from 70 per cent to zero in 2023.

Prima has introduced waterless urinals, saving an astonishing 1,576,800 litres a year, which is 1,658.79kg/CO2e; as well as removing plastic cups, saving 330,000 cups per year, equal to 9.9 tonnes of CO2e. This is the equivalent of 25,000 miles driven by an average petrol car.

Another way the company is putting the environment at the forefront of its strategies is by incorporating intelligent lighting at its production facilities, along with maximum insulation and air source heat pumps.

In relation to the air source heat pumps, noise pollution surveys ensure minimum impact to local neighbours, while adaptations to its compressed air system have reduced energy and saved £68k a year.  

With overseas expansion ongoing, Prima Dental has put plans in place to help reduce its carbon footprint, by significantly reducing its global travel thanks to the introduction of localised sales teams in each area, alongside an increased use of technology for virtual meetings.

Currently on the agenda for Prima Dental's sustainability pledge is the installation of solar panels at production facilities, ready to be switched on over the Christmas break and to use from January 2024. This will reduce carbon dioxide by 90 tonnes of CO2 per year and 2,270 tonnes over the lifespan of the panels — this figure is equivalent to 900 flights to the US every year.

In partnership with Prima Dental  |

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