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When you think of sustainability, your first thought is likely to be the environment. As such, this, alongside people and communities, is the main focus of GWP’s sustainability journey.
GWP already has a proven record of helping the environment. Primarily, this is through the intelligent design and manufacture of sustainable, environmentally friendly packaging products for your business. But beyond this, GWP is taking additional steps to support your sustainability goals.
There are several ways in which GWP is reducing the impact of energy use across the business. Having recorded and published carbon emissions figures, GWP have a benchmark to begin improving energy consumption and efficiency to minimise environmental harm.
GWP Group aims to install Solar Panels at its Cricklade production facility within 12 months.
For the main facility at Chelworth (Unit 20), this would generate 190,432 kWh in year 1, with carbon savings of 52,573 Kg. The total current electricity consumption (2017) of 440,646 kWh could provide around 40% of GWP Group’s energy consumption.
By year 25, the panels would still contribute as much as 160,888 kWh, with a cumulative saving of 1,209,633 Kg of carbon emissions.
GWP invested £30K alongside a £5K green grant to upgrade the factory, warehouse and office lighting to LED.
Making these changes reduced energy usage by 114,000Kwh per year. It also lowers C02 emissions by 47 tons per year. All lights and LED panels comply with the new 2017 EC Directive on replacing inefficient lighting.
Future plans include switching all applicable lighting to PIR motion sensors by the end of 2024.
GWP, as part of Macfarlane, partners with Smartest Energy. As such, a significant percentage of GWP’s energy comes from green tariffs and renewable sources.
GWP, as part of Macfarlane, qualify for undertaking ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) audits. Assessments of this type highlight cost-effective energy savings by identifying efficiency opportunities within buildings, transport and industrial processes. GWP plan to be ESOS audited before the end of 2023.
GWP is implementing several IT projects to reduce energy use and resources. Schemes include switching to paperless systems and automated powering down of IT equipment when not in use. GWP also view staff education to help employees use equipment in the most energy-efficient manner as crucial.
Besides electricity use, GWP’s largest source of emissions results from the fleet of vehicles. Several initiatives are being implemented to drive positive change in this area.
GWP is adding a 3.5-tonne EV Luton van to its delivery fleet in May 2023. The new vehicle, running on electricity, produces zero emissions and no noise pollution. Supporting this is the installation of new charging points at Cricklade.
Besides electrification of the vehicles delivering your packaging, GWP aims to minimise fuel consumption and emissions in several other ways.
Firstly, GWP plans to introduce a driver performance scheme in 2023. This scheme encourages optimal driving behaviour to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. It makes use of telematics to track speed, braking and acceleration.
The introduction of advanced routing software and vehicle tracking aims to improve the efficiency of transport and deliveries further.
Across the Macfarlane group, these schemes seek to reduce tCO2e by 250 and 15 tonnes per year, respectively.
GWP aims for at least half of company cars to be electric by 2026, in line with Macfarlane’s targets. All Macfarlane sites are to have charging points installed by 2030 to support this.
Across the group, this could provide tCO2e savings of 180 tonnes per year.
Besides energy, one of the key resources GWP use is water. Responsible and safe water use is an important area for improvement in 2023.
Due to a lack of mains sewer connection and the nature of the waste GWP produces from printer washdown, more than 350,000 litres of wastewater is stored and transported by tanker off-site every year.
20,000-litre batches of wastewater travel as far as the midlands for safe disposal.
GWP is investing over £100,000 in a new treatment system to eliminate this unnecessary on-site storage, transport and associated environmental impacts. The proposed system discharges clean water to a brook adjacent to GWP’s manufacturing site in Cricklade. Regular testing of treated water ensures it passes the relevant Environment Agency’s set limits for cleanliness.
All Macfarlane sites, including GWP at both Cricklade (Swindon) and Salisbury, will be assessed for water stress in 2023. An action plan could help lower water usage if a site is at high risk. GWP will also put reminders about conserving water at all locations.
Waste and recycling
A vital part of any manufacturing business is to minimise waste. Doing so not only aids the environment but also improves cost efficiencies that GWP can pass to your business.
With a particular focus on the presence of packaging in waste streams, GWP has implemented several initiatives to minimise business and environmental impact.
GWP has installed extensive systems and equipment for automatic waste collection throughout all manufacturing processes. All offcuts feed into an efficient semi-automatic baler for recycling.
The systems actively encourage a virtually waste-free process company-wide. The collected corrugated cardboard and Correx® plastic material is compacted and baled into 420 kg bundles. Several carefully chosen partners recycle these bundles.
Licenced waste carriers transport all of GWP’s waste. Auditing these processes is part of ISO 9001.
Typically the recycled waste from GWP’s manufacturing process is reused in cardboard or plastic material.
Other waste is sorted by GWP’s waste partner and recycled where possible.
Office and general waste
Although smaller in scale, GWP is taking steps to minimise waste generated outside of manufacturing processes.
Projects include additional bins for recycling in canteen areas, improved signage, and collection points for recycling flexible packaging (such as crisp packets). Removing individual office staff bins to improve recycling rates is also being introduced.
The pallet exchange service GWP operates with customers also helps reduce wood wastage.
Besides specific initiatives, GWP places great importance on partnerships beyond the business.
GWP takes considerable care to select appropriate suppliers that can help improve sustainability across the value chain. Sourcing sustainably is critical to ongoing efforts.
A partnership approach with suppliers, customers, staff, and local communities is also vital.