Forge Europa, Ulverston - SME (manufacturing)

Forge Europa, an SME lighting manufacturer in Ulverston, Cumbria, has reduced its annual operational costs by over £18,500, after making strides in cutting its environmental impact.

The business started in its owner’s spare room in 1993 but has since grown into a multi-site company that has attracted national attention for its strong environmental credentials.
 
Having opened new research and development, office and meeting facilities last year, Forge Europa now employs 35 people in Ulverston and Dalton and specialises in designing and manufacturing low-energy LED lights.

 

The company has received free support from ENWORKS, through locally based advisers from the Cumbria Business Environment Network (CBEN).

 

As a result, it has been able to tackle its heating bills, electricity and water consumption, material costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Efficiency projects

Going forward, electricity bills will be reduced by hundreds of pounds a year after Forge Europa fitted LED lights with sensor controls into its new buildings, along with an energy-efficient gas boiler for heating and modern insulation.

 

In the offices, printing has been minimised and the double-sided setting is now a default.

 

Emissions have also been reduced by using shipping instead of air freight, to transport products and exhibition materials for trade shows around the world. This was achieved by improving the way orders and stock are managed and reducing lead times, which has already saved £18,500 in 2012.

 

In the bathrooms, flush saving devices have been fitted to the cisterns, cutting annual water bills by £70 and saving 30 cubic metres (m3) of mains water each year.

 

Another project by Forge Europa includes a continued focus on encouraging staff to use trains rather than cars for business journeys.

 

LED lighting

A large part of Forge Europa’s success also stems from its innovative use and development of LED lights and intelligent lighting systems.

 

The company sells energy efficient products to businesses in a wide range of industrial sectors, helping to reduce energy consumption and costs beyond its own premises, and it has collaborated closely with Cambridge University over the last decade to reach new milestones in affordable LED technology.

 

Peter Barton, the company’s managing director said: “LED technology is extremely reliable; for example our energy saving LED lamps offer a minimum of 10 years’ maintenance-free lighting, compared to an average of just six months for halogen incandescent lamps.

 

“LEDs are safer and reduce the heat emissions in a building – the average energy saving lamp emits up to 70 per cent less heat than incandescent lighting.”  

 

Last May, his company opened a new Lighting Solutions Centre, which uses about 25 per cent of the typical energy consumption for a building of its size.

 

Recognition

Last year, the company won the Excellence Award for its environmental achievements, at the annual CBEN Excellence Awards in Cumbria.

 

HR director, Julie Barton said: “We are delighted that our commitment to our environmental policy has been recognised with the CBEN Excellence Award. I would like to thank our team at Forge Europa for their hard work and innovative ideas, and the CBEN team for their advice and support.”

 

Forge Europa has also been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise, for its outstanding innovation and last May, the Duke of York officially opened its new Lighting Solutions Centre.

 

 

Case study published 9 January 2013.