From our very first days trading many decades ago we have been determined to make our business and products as environmentally sustainable as we can.
The whole building, from conception to completion has been designed and built with long term sustainability in mind. The team of architects, engineers, advisers and specialist builders and tradesmen who are experts in their fields worked closely together to make our beautiful building as efficient and environmentally sustainable as possible.
We worked carefully throughout the project to achieve an BREEAM “excellent” rating. To achieve this, among many things, we had specified really thick levels of UK made hemp fibre and sheepswool insulation in the walls and roof space and triple glazed windows with “planitherm” glass. This ensures a very comfortable temperature within the building throughout the year with minimal heat input and no air conditioning required.
Wherever possible we minimise packaging, (particularly plastic), energy use and wastage. We re-use and recycle everything that we can, It is fundamental to our way of living to do this.
All biodegradable material that is generated in production is composted in our garden, and the matured compost is in turn used to nourish our lovely wildflower beds which are expertly planted with a vast range of native bee, butterfly and moth friendly plants, a beautiful sight in the summer months.
Before the main build started we built a fantastic specially designed bat house (more like a palace!) in the grounds. Very soon after its completion we were delighted to find, through an independent wildlife survey, that several species of bats had moved in.
We currently have 225 Photo Voltaic panels on the roof and the side elevations, which in the summer generate much more electricity than we use. Even in the winter we get a significant amount of generation. We have a large bank of batteries that can store excess electricity for use at night. In 2018 we added 45 more PV panels on the east and west elevation to give us more generation earlier in the morning and later in the afternoon. Over the year in 2018 we are firmly on track to be a net exporter to the grid of green electricity. Great for us, our customers and the planet! During the fantastic summer of 2018 we had well over a week around the summer solstice when our daily average generation from the PV array topped 300kW hours per day, quite an achievement!
We are well underway with our planned switch over from fluorescent tube lighting panels to new incredibly low energy LED lighting throughout the working areas. Office done, production room done, next the storage rooms! All of our lighting is triggered by motion detection sensors so if no-one is working in that area the lighting goes off to save electricity wastage.
In 2017 we upgraded our existing shrink wrap machine which over wraps all of our cases of products to a new more efficient and better quality model. We carefully select the lowest possible micron film, minimising use of unnecessary plastic. We have bespoke fitted our new shrink tunnel with lots of thick sheet insulation to avoid heat loss when in use thereby reducing our electricity demand further.
We have just added half a dozen micro vertical axis wind turbines onto the highest elevation of the roof. These help generate a little power for us to keep our cold storage and lighting running even on the dullest days and through the night.. We are quite excited about this project, and are happy to share details.
We have three large solar thermal panels to help make our hot water directly from sun light. On average over the year this gives us 9kWh of heat per day. We also have a large log and pellet powered biomass boiler which gives us the rest of our hot water – around 50kWh per day on average over the year. In the summer we generally make enough hot water directly from the sun in our solar thermal panels that we do not even need to light our biomass boiler.