Richard Hagan, director of manufacturer Crystal Doors, has slashed his factory’s energy bill by three quarters in seven years through a range of green measures and banned himself from flying.
Crystal Doors is a leading manufacturer of vinyl-wrapped doors and is regularly highlighted as a best practice example of how a small business can lead the way on sustainability and cutting-edge technology.
The company aims to be carbon neutral by 2030 and has spent more than £1 million on energy saving measures, including a biomass-powered heating system fuelled by factory waste, rooftop solar panels, LED lighting, an electric car and a cutting-edge dust extractor.
‘Not looked back’
Director Richard Hagan’s ‘light bulb’ moment to take drastic action on sustainability came after a visit to Siemens’ facility in Congleton five years ago.
"Siemens are a multinational company but they were totally committed to making ambitious cost and efficiency savings over the next four years. I thought if a big company like Siemens can do that then so can I,” he explained.
“We don’t have a big pot of money so the key for me is how long it takes the investment to pay for itself. Working with [Greater] Manchester’s GC Business Growth Hub I got an energy audit done of our factory in Rochdale and it identified 16 energy saving measures I could take. I haven’t looked back since.”
‘Businesspeople have to lead’
Richard has now announced that he will no longer fly overseas to trade shows or meetings with suppliers.
“Businesspeople have to lead and can’t leave the job of protecting the environment to the next generation. Rather than fly to a trade show I’d rather be a virtual visitor by putting on a VR headset and seeing it that way. I’m not saying people shouldn’t fly but if you fly more than twice a year then I think you should pay a carbon tax.
‘North needs more forests’
“I want to be carbon neutral by 2030 and as part of that I want to plant 11,000 trees. I grew up on a farm and I think the north needs more forests.”
“I’m a Rochdale Business Ambassador and if we want to safeguard the environment for our children and our children’s children then we all need to do more.”
‘Whole company has bought into it’
Todd Holden, director for low carbon at GC Business Growth Hub’s parent company, The Growth Company, said: “Crystal Doors is an SME with 30 employees and the whole company has bought into it. There’s nothing to stop other companies following suit. Not only do we have a team of advisors ready to go into businesses to carry out a free energy and resource efficiency audits but we can support you in implementing the recommendations with our grants programme.”
Posted under General Interest, Carbon Reduction, Energy Efficiency and Other Manufacturing on 26 June 2019