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South West
Energy & Environmental Management Groups

The SW Energy & Environmental Management Groups (EEMGs) membership includes some of the most effective practitioners in the UK.

Some real examples are shown on this web page of how past and current members have reduced environmental impacts whilst improving business performance. These demonstrate the practical value of SW EEMGs for networking and professional development and give a flavour of the actions members are taking saving £millions on costs and many tonnes of CO2 emissions including:

- energy M&T programmes and energy surveys
- lighting controls and low energy lighting
- variable speed drives
- waste minimisation programmes
- air conditioning & ventilation control systems
- biofuels
- local sourcing of food
- water controls & leak detection

You can read examples of actions they have been taking below.

Energy Projects

Environmental Projects - including waste minimisation - are below.

Airbus UK Ltd, Filton, introduced formal operating standards for building temperatures and times, and reviewed system operation end of 2001. A steam boiler house for process steam was also closed in 2004 in response to the introduction of new technology. Despite a long history of improving control, these measures led to a 36% (= £2M) reduction in gas use over 5 years for minimal investment.

Avon & Somerset EEMG's President, working for the Government's regional office, advised a major textile company to modify its processing plant. The resulting action taken (in the 1990s) reduced energy consumption by 20%, worth £1M p.a.

BAE Systems in the SW spent £240K on heating controls, boiler economisers and variable speed drives. The £697K saving has reduced annual CO2 emissions by 3,616 tonnes.

Bournemouth Borough Council reduced its CO2 emissions by 60% (= 8,000 tonnes/year) through the purchase of renewable energy for buildings and street lighting.

Cheltenham & Gloucester plc, saved 15% on energy costs through making a corporate commitment to energy efficiency. C&G's M&T programme helped ensure those savings were maintained.

Cotswold EEMG's Chairman, whilst joint energy manager for a major UK electricity generating company in the mid 1990s, helped deliver an extensive energy efficiency campaign (energy surveys, housekeeping campaign, M&T, improved control of lighting, pumps etc) that saved £16M/year and reduced CO2 emissions by 480,000 tonnes p.a. over 2 years.

Devon & Cornwall EEMG's Chairman, working for the Government's regional office, advised a Plymouth company to change its order for new lighting to a more efficient choice of lamps during a site visit (in the 1990s). This resulted in a 28% reduction in lighting energy costs. The Chairman's energy audit of a vacuum cleaner manufacturer in Chard (on behalf of the Carbon Trust) led to the installation of soft starters for the six large motors on their plastic moulding machines leading to annual savings of up to £351 per motor.

Dorset County Council reduced energy use per square metre of building by over 40%. This saved £22.4M in the period 1978/9 - 2002/3 for an investment of £7.5M.

Dorset County Council replaced old discharge lighting in a Shaftesbury School Sports Hall with Chalmor Endurance fittings. 60,000 hour life and instant re-strike allowed PIR sensors to be used. Running costs were reduced by 75%, reducing CO2 emissions by over 8 tonnes p.a. Extending the scheme to other sports halls is giving about a two year payback.

EMG Water Tech Ltd, Ringwood, installed an ionisation water bacteria control system in a London hospital. This has allowed hot water temperatures to be reduced from 56 deg C to 43 deg C saving £425,000 in the first year.

Gloucestershire Constabulary's Warmafloor Tacker under floor heating and cooling system combined with nine 90kW Water Furnace geothermal ground source heat pumps provides a 30 - 40% reduction in energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Heating and cooling is drawn from 150 bore holes each drilled to a depth of 98m under the car park.

Government Office for the South West. An Action Energy survey in 2003 revealed that GOSW's new Bristol Office had an energy performance that was 55% better than a typical building of its type. The building was rated 'Very Good' under the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method at the time of construction.

Green Fuels Ltd, Stonehouse, provided the biodiesel to power the Royal Train, with HRH Prince Charles on board, that completed its first ever journey run on 100 per cent biodiesel fuel for a 900 mile visit to Scarborough in September 2007. The Royal Train is the first 100 per cent biodiesel train operated in Europe and the largest train engine operated on biodiesel in the world.

Halcrow Group Ltd, Bristol, saved a major university £180K p.a. on energy (= 2,816 tonnes of CO2) and £100K p.a. on water through automated monitoring & targeting, low energy lighting, control systems, water leak management etc.

Knauf Insulation, Torfaen, South Wales (Avon & Somerset EEMG member), installed Fluoresave's microprocessor-control system into their discharge lighting circuits for metal halide, sox and fluorescent lighting and achieved energy savings ranging from 22% to 41% on those circuits.

Nationwide Building Society. The installation of improved over-door air curtain controls in 50 branches has given a 30% reduction in energy consumption per unit. This saves 62,315 kWh of electricity p.a. whilst reducing CO2 emissions by 26.8 tonnes. Enhanced controls on air-conditioning units also save 15% on electricity (= 214 tonnes of CO2).

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), HQ in Swindon, are investing a dedicated £176K budget within the group for several energy and CO2 saving projects. These include new video conferencing systems across six sites to minimise unnecessary travel and CO2 emissions, two 1.5 kW wind turbines saving 38 tonnes of CO2 p.a., an all electric car to be charged with solar panels or green electricity, and secure on-site bicycle sheds to reduce commuting car mileage for staff.

North Somerset Council fitted variable speed drives to the water filtration pumps at Hutton Moor swimming pool at a cost of £2,000 resulting in energy savings of £5,500 and a 4 month payback on investment.

Precision Disc Castings, Poole, met their Climate Change Levy Agreement target by reducing CO2 emissions by 1,466 tonnes in 2001/2 whilst producing 1,500 tonnes of molten metal per week at their automated foundry.

The 5 Research Councils, Swindon, implemented a major energy efficiency programme. This included the replacement of water-cooled chiller systems with high efficiency air-cooled chillers. They also removed out-dated ventilation and boiler systems, and installed VSDs (for fans and pumps) and high efficiency boilers. Evacuated solar water panels were installed for DHW. The resulting energy and CO2 savings exceeded 10%.

Rolls-Royce, Filton. Raising staff awareness, lighting upgrades, controlling motors, water leak detection, improved boiler efficiency and BMS upgrade has enabled savings of 15% on electricity, 50% on water and 30% on heating fuel - worth over £1M.

Severn Wye Energy Agency. The Senior Business Energy Advisor at Severn Wye Energy Agency in Highnam, a member of Cotswold EEMG, was awarded regional and then national "Green Deal Advisor of the Year" in 2014.

Shaw E & I, Europe, helped a major international hotel chain save over £60K p.a (= over 800 tonnes of CO2) though implementation of M&T, low energy aesthetic lighting and more proactive use of BMS.

Somerset County Council won four National Green Apple Awards in November 2006. The awards recognise best environmental practice, and the council won two gold and two silver awards for various environmental projects including waste partnership, farming and agriculture, transport, freight and highways and commerce and industry. One of the projects selected was the Somerset Biofuel Project.

South West Water's CHP plant at Countess Wear is saving £275K p.a. and the micro gas turbines at Kilmington and Totnes are together saving £35K p.a. These systems are reducing CO2 emissions by over 2,000 tonnes a year.

South West Water is "totally committed to energy management and energy efficiency and the energy management team has been reinforced since the initial accreditation [in 2001] and deliver real savings" - quote from assessor's report under the Carbon Trust's Energy Efficiency Accreditation Scheme.

Spirax Sarco, Cheltenham. Research for DETR's EEBPP into improved efficiency of steam generation/distribution identified average energy savings of: Steam distribution 8% + Steam generation 7% = 15% + resultant savings of reduced water, effluent and water treatment chemicals.

Total Lighting & Controls Ltd, Gloucester, replaced sodium lighting in a local authority's court rooms with Inductance Luminaires. This saved over £1,000 and 15 tonnes of CO2 emissions p.a. whilst overcoming problems of poor colour rendering and slow strike-times that reduced control flexibility. The improved working conditions also reduced staff sickness levels. Work at Stroud Museum provided a wide range of lighting environments. By replacing 296 50W halogen spots (that produced a lot of unwanted heat) with 165 new LED spots CO2 emissions were drastically reduced, a more consistent level of lighting across the museum provided, and the need to constantly replace bulbs reduced. The LED spots also enabled new detail in objects and paintings to be visible that were previously 'hidden' through incorrect colour rendering of features in paintings. Feedback from the Museum Development Manager for Stroud District Council has been excellent. He said "Lighting any museum is always a challenge, in particular at this museum, being located in a 17th Century mansion with a modern extension, we needed a spotlight unit that would work across different rooms and needs - low ceilings, high ceilings, large rooms, small rooms, 2D and 3D objects and in some areas acting as comfort lighting for visitors. We are extremely pleased with the quality of the lamps."

Wessex EEMG's Chairman, working under the Government's Business Resource Efficiency & Waste (BREW) scheme, identified 80% energy and CO2 savings on lighting for a retail HQ in Dorset achievable though the simple re-design of lighting controls.

Workplace Sense, Poole, assisted Bowlplex (with 16 bowling centres in the UK) to improve their 7 days a week and 16 hours/day lighting. Diachroic halogens have been replaced by 7 watt compact fluorescent lamps of the same shape (from Powertech Solar of Ferndown), hence no change to the 'atmosphere' and generating an annual saving of over £40,000 and payback in under 4 months. There are also additional reductions in heat / aircon load. Note: Workplace Sense was one of three consultant/mentors, under the Envirowise funded Resource Efficiency Club (REC) scheme, managed by Dorset Business and supported by the South Wessex Waste Minimisation Club. The Dorset REC helped generate over £261,000 of savings for Dorset based companies in the implementation year ended November 2007.

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Environmental Projects (including waste minimisation)

Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust has moved away from a conventional supply of catering supplies to sourcing locally, resulting in benefits to health and the local and global environment. At no extra cost local sourcing has reduced food transportation by 116,000 miles per year - and local, fresh food supports both patient recovery and a stronger local economy.

Dart Valley Systems, Paignton, installed urinal controls on an RAF station and savings re-paid the £1,200 investment in only 6 weeks (this product won the 2003 Conservation award in Australia).

Environment Agency SW region HQ installed 12 waterless urinals for £180, saving £854 per year in water costs. Segregating wastes and recycling gave a 32% reduction in residual waste to landfill. HF lighting, sunpipes and solar/motion detectors saved £6,430pa in energy consumption and maintenance costs.

Envolve, Bath, helped a major construction company save 60% on its waste costs on a specific site through a thorough waste minimisation review and rolling programme. This is being replicated throughout the group.

Envolve, Bath, undertook a waste minimisation review at a major hospital with a specific focus on cardboard waste. This saved £50,000 per annum on costs and reduced waste volumes by 60%.

Gloucestershire Constabulary became the first UK police force to achieve the environmental management standard ISO14001 certification in March 2007. This was underpinned by environmental protection being an integral objective of 'Vision 2010' - the force's 3-year strategic plan, thus demonstrating a commitment to good environmental management practice.

Salisbury Health Care NHS Trust's environmental improvements include: installation of reverse osmosis plant; decentralised domestic hot water system; efficient exterior lighting with reduced light pollution; improved control of air conditioning & ventilation.

Toshiba Information Systems (UK) Ltd in Plymouth won "Category Winner" & "Best in Category" for their entry in "Best Overall Sustainable Waste Management Solutions 2008" at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in the Severnside Annual Recycling Awards 2008. With this award Severnside were seeking to identify those customers who had achieved, or were working towards achieving, sustainability in all aspects of their waste management.

Tyco Electronics (UK), Bideford, were overall winner and environmental performance category winner for the 2004 DEBI Environmental Awards. They moved from almost 100% of their manufacturing waste going to landfill at a cost of c.£120K p.a. to recycling 95% of their waste generating revenue of £1M p.a. This was achieved by a dedication to recycling that pervades the entire manufacturing process and ethos of the company.

The University of Plymouth has reduced its water bill by 50% with a comprehensive and ongoing water conservation regime. Measures taken include controls, leak detection, cistern dams and re-sized meters. Over £1.8M saved over a 10 year period.

VWR International, Poole, saved £1,000/year on electricity costs by improving out of hours lighting management and £1,800/year (= 33%) on water costs by installing waterless urinals. Value of savings: £30,000 of sales every year.

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Click on these links to find the case studies listed on the left hand side of this page:-

  Energy Projects

  Environmental Projects
  (including waste minimisation)

Note. These case studies have been largely provided by SW EEMG members themselves and do not represent any endorsement from the SW EEMGs' Committees and/or the editor of this website. No responsibility is taken for accuracy or content.


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