Baerlocher UK has been supported free of charge by a local ENWORKS adviser at Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale to review the way it uses resources on site, in a bid to boost profits and reduce its environmental impact.
One of the main improvement projects has involved a phased switching from lead to calcium in Baerlocher’s main product lines, to reduce the weight of its finished products and to minimise the amount of hazardous waste produced in the manufacturing process.
As a result, Baerlocher has been able to comply with the voluntary Vinyl Commitment 2010 and it will also save more than £150,000 per year, with a payback of less than three years.
The main cost savings come from reductions in the amount of personal protective equipment (PPE), employee blood tests and air quality monitoring required.
Transportation costs and emissions, for both importing calcium and transporting the finished products, have also fallen by £130,000 and 298 tonnes of CO2e, respectively.
ENWORKS support has also helped Baerlocher to save 107 tonnes of waste from going to landfill per year, saving £8,000 on annual waste collection and disposal costs in the process.
Waste generated on site is now segregated into hazardous, general and recyclable waste, rather than all going into one combined skip. This means much more can be recycled, and non-hazardous, non-recyclable waste can also be disposed of more cost-effectively.
Some of the lead waste can also be returned to the production process for re-use, rather than going directly to waste, which also saves money on the cost of buying fresh materials.
The ENWORKS review of activities on site also identified opportunities for saving another £42,200 a year, by using energy, materials and residual waste more effectively.
For example, there is scope to find new ways of re-using hazardous waste on site and to recycle large quantities of polythene shrink-wrap.
Energy-saving opportunities also include reviewing thermostat settings on the site’s heating systems, introducing routine ‘switch-off’ policies for lights when not in use, and implementing a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule for motors, to keep them operating at maximum efficiency.
Case study published 12 December 2012.