Crane Garden Buildings has been dedicated to supporting the environment and the local community since its inception in 1974 by David and Linda Crane. Our buildings have always been built to the highest quality with longevity in mind. Handcrafted to order, we keep big machinery to a minimum. A walk-through of our workshop will show a vast amount of work benches and hand tools our skilled craftsmen use to make our buildings from the framing to the individually made doors.
The Crane family’s dedication to the environment and the community doesn’t end with our buildings, it’s engrained in the way we do business. We pride ourselves on being transparent as we continually work towards a greener and more sustainable future.
We have been carefully selecting high quality, FSC certified timber for almost 50 years. We have developed a strong partnership with a timber mill in the North of Sweden where Scandinavian Redwood is slowly grown for more than 130 years. To gain FSC certification we submit to Soil Association audits for Chain of Custody to ensure the timber is traceable, and grown in forests that are managed sustainably. Our timber mill will also be subject to the same audit to qualify for the certification.
We also only use water-based paints with Trace, Minimal, or Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds). VOC is what causes the strong smell emitted from oil and solvent based paints as they dry. This pollutant enters the atmosphere which is bad for the environment and the health of our painters. Our own Crane Exterior paint system as well as our supplier, Farrow & Ball, comply with our VOC requirements and do not test the paints on animals.
90% of all our waste is clean, untreated off-cuts of the timber we use to make our buildings. Most of this waste material is chipped up and fed into our state-of-the-art boiler which heats our workshop and offices for our employees through the winter months. However, some of this waste timber we use inventively to create new things like for instance, keyrings or we allow our local Men’s Shed charity from Swaffham to periodically take waste timber for their projects. We are continually looking at ways to repurpose the high-quality timber off-cuts from our buildings.
The remainder of our waste is general & recycling which is all put into a skip and sorted by a waste management company. 70% of this is recycled, which means that only 3% of our waste is landfilled.
We had 80 solar panels installed on our factory roof in 2019, the energy we collect powers our entire workshop and office throughout the year.
Logistics & Packaging
We deliver all of the garden buildings we sell using our fleet of new fuel-efficient vans. We load our garden buildings onto trailers which are covered in a vinyl tarp that can be washed with gentle detergent in between uses. This protects the garden buildings from damage from the weather on route to the customer as well as being a better alternative to plastic tarp which would have a shorter lifespan and add to our plastic waste.
We promise to commit to a better future for our environment, our employees, and the wider community. We have two employee-led groups committed to helping us keep that promise, our Sustainability Team, and the Citizenship Committee.
Our Sustainability Team has the task of developing new initiatives that will help us keep our promise to the environment. Their first major project is to create a new wilderness haven on our Narford headquarters site. Working with the local RSPCA this will incorporate key habitats for wildlife as well as a bird of prey release box that they will be able to use for releasing rehabilitated birds back into the wild. Working alongside the Citizenship Committee the garden will include a walkway that aims to improve our employee’s wellbeing in the workplace by giving them somewhere to exercise and take a break from their desks.
Our Citizenship Team focuses more on how we can give back to our employees and the wider community. James and Nick Crane have pledged 1% of turnover to charities or charitable causes each year. Our Citizenship Committee determine the allocation of this 1%. Since the formation of the Committee in 2022, the company has donated to Care for the Carers, The East Anglian Air Ambulance, The RSPCA in East Winch, Yorkshire Aid Convoy and the Swaffham Town Youth FC. We also use this money to fund in-house quality of life improvements, such as a nature walk at our HQ, bird feeders at our show sites, staff activity days and paid volunteering days.