HMG manufacturing site in north Manchester has been supported by an environmental business adviser from Groundwork in Manchester, with funding from ENWORKS.
HMG Paints was originally helped by ENWORKS back in 2007 to reduce its waste disposal costs by £7,100 a year, by arranging for used paint cans to be recycled.
Previously the company had been paying for up to 130 tonnes to be disposed of each year, but since the initiative was established, at least 640 tonnes of waste has been saved from going to landfill.
Earlier this summer, an ENWORKS adviser returned to carry out a fresh review of how key resources were being used and to identify further opportunities for reducing operational costs.
A survey of the factory’s compressed air system identified 60 different leaks of varying sizes. These have since been fixed, bringing annual savings of £28,000 on electricity and 147 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).
Alongside electricity, solvents are another key expense, so the review also looked for ways to reduce the amount that goes to waste.
72 tonnes has been saved per year by introducing a new system for treating and recycling used chemicals, so that they can be returned to the production line, rather than being disposed of.
An initial investment of £30,000 was required to buy the recycling equipment, but the project will pay back in just over a year and the savings on new solvent purchases will be £27,100 a year.
The system has also saved 25 tonnes of waste a year, resulting in annual collection and disposal savings of over £25,000.
As a result of the interventions in the last couple of months alone, HMG Paints has saved £87,300 a year, and there is still scope to make further savings in the months ahead.
For example, replacing inefficient old compressors with more energy-efficient alternatives would require an investment of £25,000 but would pay back within two and a half years and generate annual savings of over £10,400.
Work is now ongoing to identify further improvements, with ENWORKS support.
Case study published on 25 July 2012