As manufacturers of medical devices, we are acutely aware of the impact that the manufacturing industry has on the environment. That’s why, at Europlaz, we are committed to reducing our environmental impact and looking at renewable energy.
To achieve this, we have adopted a number of green initiatives and as a company, we are constantly striving to use energy and resources more efficiently. An example can be found in our recent energy consumption figures. The highest energy-consuming production units at our facility have seen a decrease of 6.6% in energy consumption from 2018 to 2019. We are aiming for this to decrease further in 2020.
We also generate renewable energy through our rooftop solar photovoltaic system, with a total of 129 panels installed. Electricity produced over the lifetime is equal to 90.6mWh – enough to power 6 stadiums and offset 62.5tonnes of C02. Solar energy has been consistently generated since installation in October 2016, supplying 40% of energy demand for several of our manufacturing units.
Furthermore, Europlaz is signed up to a Climate Change Agreement (CCA) through the British Plastics Federation. This requires us to set targets across 2-year cycles for energy use compared with production output, with the result being that we improve our overall efficiency. A calculation for output of material has been created using weights and production figures from 2019, and we have found that there has been a reduction in electricity used in 2019 compared to previous years.
Managing our environmental impact
Alongside the above, we are also working on further initiatives to help us manage our environmental impact in the future, based on the recommendations of a recent inspection by Green Element in January. These include:
Implementing a company-wide energy policy with clear targets – we are developing a strategy that identifies individuals who are responsible for various aspects of energy usage throughout the facility including procurement, monitoring, reporting, conservation and efficiency. We will also be encouraging staff to switch-off unused equipment, PCs, monitors, lights and/or setback/put to standby equipment and systems as appropriate.
Switching to LEDS – There are a wide variety of different luminaire and lamp types throughout our manufacturing facility. We are aiming to replace all inefficient forms of lighting with LEDs and controls. These will include motion and daylight controls, dimming to benefit from good levels of natural light from either windows or roof lights, and when no one is present in the room.
Reducing air leaks from the compressed air system – It is widely known that all compressed air systems have leaks. Reducing these leaks is the single most important step you can take to save energy on a compressed air system. We have plans to purchase an ultrasonic leak detector to help us identify and address leaks in the pipework that cannot be detected over background noise.
We are also hoping to switch to a 100% renewable electricity tariff. By doing this, we hope to reduce our scope 2 emissions (electricity) to zero, according to GHG Protocol Carbon Footprint Standards.
They key to implementing these initiatives is staff engagement and we are working with our teams to raise awareness of our responsibility as a business and as individuals, to improve our energy efficiency and play our role in protecting the environment. Now more than ever, we believe it is vital that every business, especially those in the manufacturing industry, commits to becoming greener. At Europlaz, we will be striving to continue our efforts to reduce our environmental impact in 2020 and beyond.