Wykamol received free support from Groundwork Pennine Lancashire, with funding from the ENWORKS programme, to tackle its high energy bills and waste collection and disposal costs, and to reduce its environmental footprint.
The Groundwork adviser has visited the facility on several occasions and carried out a full review of its operations. Eighteen of her recommendations have already been implemented, starting with the ones that had the greatest potential savings.
Firstly, £40,000 per year was shaved off waste fees and purchasing costs, by optimising composite panel cutting processes on site.
Before the resource efficiency review, standard panels were cut to size to suit different orders, but by ordering panels to size instead, at no extra cost to the business, wastage from one production line fell by 97 per cent.
The company’s dedicated adviser also carried out a free survey of the factory’s compressed air system, which flagged up three different leaks.
These were simply fixed by maintenance workers on site, bringing annual energy savings of £1,000. Nearly eight tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) a year were also saved.
Other energy-related initiatives included a computer switch-off campaign, which has cut electricity bills by another £1,200 and saved over nine tonnes of CO2e per year.
Recycling rates have also been significantly improved. For example, cardboard that used to be sent to landfill is also now routinely recycled, saving £1,000 a year.
Similar systems have been set up for recycling plastic containers and other waste plastics like UPVC, as well as metal cages, pallets and office paper, and altogether the annual savings are £2,630. 28 tonnes of waste have also been diverted from landfill, each year, as a result.
The rest of the savings have come from fitting low-energy lightbulbs, lighting sensors and timers on photocopiers, reducing the amount of paper used for invoicing, and switching off wall heaters outside of working hours.
There are also new projects in the pipeline, including further optimisation to cutting processes to reduce the amount of materials that go to waste, and tackling rising water bills. These could save another £3,400 a year.
Commenting on the savings to date, Wykamol’s operations manager, Stuart Parker, said: “The support provided has helped us to achieve real environmental improvements in our business, which have had a positive impact on the bottom line.”
Case study published on 29 May 2013.