30 Jan GWP Invest in LED lighting to reduce carbon footprint
£35K investment in upgrading lighting reflects the ongoing environmental focus at GWP Group
GWP has invested £30K alongside a £5K green grant in order to upgrade their factory, warehouse and office lighting to LED.
Working with an established installer of LED lighting systems, the project will not only reduce the environmental impact of the Cricklade manufacturing site but will also improve lighting standards, health and safety and will see a return on investment in approximately 3 years.
With the installation taking approximately 3 weeks during January, the project represents another step forward in terms of GWP’s focus on environmental responsibility.
The LED Upgrade / Installation
The installation, being carried out by LED Lights 4 You, will see the full replacement of the existing Metal Halide & Fluorescent fittings with LED High Bay and LED Battens.
With extensive experience in delivering projects of this nature, the investment provided by GWP and the expertise of LED Lights 4 You will provide considerable energy savings.
In fact, making the changes will see a reduction in energy usage by 114,000Kwh per year, and will also lower C02 emissions by 47 tons per year.
The expected return on investment – the point where the energy savings have actually paid for the installation – is estimated at 3 years.
This hasn’t been an easy task due to space and the access that is required to infrastructure. But whilst this represents a significant outlay, it promises not only to lessen our environmental impact but also to return a saving on our energy usage and increase the lighting standards within the facility.
Barry Cuss, Plant & Services Manager | GWP Packaging
Even though corrugated packaging has a recycling rate of around 84% in the UK – being the highest recycling rate of any type of packaging – we are still acutely aware of the perception of packaging and the negative effect that it can have if not managed correctly. That is why we take our environmental responsibility so seriously, and this latest investment, whilst just another small step, will have a significant long term impact.
Ruth Cook, Managing Director | GWP Group
About LED Lights 4 You
GWP worked alongside the well-known and established supplier of LED lighting solutions – LED Lights 4 You – on the project.
The company are accredited with the Carbon Trust and enabled GWP the opportunity to apply for the grant of £5,000 from the Green Business Grants programme.
All lights and LED panels fitted are compliant to the new 2017 EC Directive on replacement of inefficient Lighting
Other benefits include the LEDs being maintenance free as well as being twice as efficient as GWP’s old lighting.
LED Lights 4 You also surveyed the existing lighting, made recommendations on light quality, gave energy comparisons and provided a full installation service. This included TUV certification, 5 years warranty and an estimate 50,000 hours plus operational life.
Please click here for further information on LED Lights 4 You.
Other Environmental Initiatives at GWP
This investment, however, is simply the latest in a number of environmentally focused projects that the company has worked on.
For example, within the last 5 years, GWP has installed extensive systems and equipment to allow for automatic waste collection throughout the manufacturing processes undertaken.
Besides actively encouraging a virtually waste-free process company-wide, the collected corrugated material is compacted and baled into 420Kg bundles which are fully recycled by a number of carefully chosen partners.
This effectively means that approximately 450 tonnes of waste corrugated material are efficiently recycled each year.
Of course, the focus on recycling doesn’t end there.
Where possible, all material used in the manufacture of your packaging is recycled (and recyclable), with the corrugated board types used boasting the highest rate of recycling (at around 84%) of any form of packaging in the UK.
Due to this, GWP has also placed a significant focus on using recycled materials to replace those which are less kind to the environment.
For example, corrugated cradles and even cushioning have been designed to protect items in transit without the need for polystyrene, foams and other void fills which are difficult to recycle.
Besides this, GWP also manufactures and supplies corrugated cardboard reels / spools, which are lighter and more material-efficient than traditional woods or plastics.
Finally, GWP also supplies a range of corrugated “eco-bins” designed to encourage recycling at schools, offices and other workplaces.
Ultimately, GWP takes great pride in being amongst the greenest packaging companies in the UK.
ISO 14000 Packaging Manufacturers
As well as the in-house drive to be as environmentally friendly as possible, GWP Group is also officially accredited to ISO 14000 – a standard relating to the commitment to the environment.
This overall “family” of standards specifically relates to environmental management of the whole of GWP Group’s business. This enables not only minimisation of operational impact on the environment but also ensures GWP are compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.
ISO 14000 is in fact very similar to ISO 9001 quality management accreditation, being structured in order to relate to internal process management as opposed specifically to the end product.
Perhaps as important of any of this, is that it has also allowed GWP to foster a culture of continual improvement over many years.
Ultimately, the standard provides a structure for GWP’s drive towards continuous improvement in the management of the company’s environmental responsibilities.
For further information on GWP Groups specific accreditation and environmental policies, please click here.
Further benefits through the Corrboard Partnership
Another major step towards minimising the environmental impact of GWPs operations is membership of Corrboard.
Being part owners of the newest corrugator in Europe allows for GWP to rely on a continuous supply of high-quality material and also helps to mitigate price rises seen elsewhere throughout the corrugated industry.
As well as these cost and quality benefits – which are passed directly to GWP customers – Corrboard also provided a unique opportunity when it came to the environment as well.
For starters, being the newest corrugator in Europe means that board is produced using 40% less energy than other plants.
Deliveries are also made without pallets, which in turn means larger loads on lorries and minimised journeys (also reducing the C02 emissions associated with this). It also eliminates scrap pallets which may be discarded.
The most impressive project, however, is the £3.5 million investment in an anaerobic digester at Corrboard’s Scunthorpe headquarters.
This will consume 25,000 tonnes of organic waste each year, which will be supplied by local food processors, waste management and agricultural industries local to the site. This material would otherwise end up in landfill.
The by-product of the Anaerobic Digester plant is “digestate”, a highly nutritious organic fertiliser that is sold to agricultural industries.
Besides this, a large proportion of the gas produced by the plant will be used to power the corrugator’s boiler and the residual heat from this will be used to provide warmth in the winter months as well as pre-heating water fed to the boiler. This further reduces the gas consumption of the corrugating process.
In fact, the plant generates enough electricity to supply 1000 homes and enough heat for 500.
Is cardboard really bad for the environment?
Despite all of these initiatives and projects, there is one question that keeps being asked – how bad is cardboard for the environment?
The answer is perhaps surprising in that, despite its prevalence (and growing use in e-commerce packaging applications in particular), there are a wide number of misconceptions that paint the material in a bad light.
The truth is that corrugated packaging is widely regarded as the most environmentally friendly form of packaging currently available.
One oft-cited argument is that forests around the world are being decimated to make paper (for use in corrugated and other products). In reality, however, the virgin fibres for corrugated board come from sustainably managed forests that exist solely for the materials they provide.
As a result, it is actually estimated that there are approximately 25 percent more trees in the developed World today than there were in 1901.
The recyclability of corrugated is also underplayed too.
Corrugated cardboard has a recycling rate of 84% in the UK, making it the form of packaging with the highest rate of recycling.
Every four months an area the size of Greater London is saved from landfill by recycling corrugated cardboard, whilst waste corrugated itself can be recycled seven times before its fibre becomes too weak for further use.
Plus, the 16% of corrugated material that is not recycled is fully biodegradable – unlike plastics.
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