RS Components (RS) has been recertified under the Carbon Trust Standard by achieving further cuts in carbon emissions over the last two years. RS is one of 80 businesses, including Royal Mail, BSkyB and O2, to achieve recertification in the UK to date.

RS has demonstrated that, despite growing the size of its UK business, the effectiveness of its energy efficient strategy has improved. This has resulted in a reduction in carbon intensity of 15.5%, and this is an improvement on the previous reduction in carbon intensity which was certified as 8.1% in 2009.

To achieve the Carbon Trust Standard, organisations must measure their direct carbon footprint, such as on-site fuel and electricity use, prove that good carbon management practices are in place, and demonstrate genuine reduction in emissions over a three year period.

The recertification process is equally robust, demanding an even greater focus on maintaining a commitment to carbon reduction by achieving further improvements in carbon efficiency. The ultimate goal is for RS to play its part in meeting the UK target of an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.

The savings have been made following a number of energy efficient initiatives.

RS invested in a new Building Management System (BMS) at its Nuneaton plant, upgrading software that had been in place for nearly 15 years. Controlling lighting, heating and ventilation around the whole site, the BMS upgrade allows tighter control over energy outputs and improves accuracy when identifying where further efficiencies can be made. It is expected that the installation will result in a massive saving of 582 tonnes of carbon across the site each year.

Following an energy efficiency review trialled at a number of RS Trade Counters, figures showed high levels of wastage at non-peak times. This has led to the roll-out of a Vickers system, which monitors and controls air temperature, helping to shut off heating or air conditioning when the 16 counters are closed. The installation will generate annual savings of 508 tonnes of carbon.

RS has also been building on its efficient lighting programme which commenced three years ago, with installations of LED bulbs and improved florescent tubes now in place across all UK sites. Of these, a number are fitted with dimmers and several work from a sensor if they are located in areas not always in use, such as some warehouse aisles and toilets. RS is also planning for further energy efficiencies, with the installation of video conferencing facilities across its global business locations. 

Paul Quested, RS UK general manager commented, “We have worked hard to have an integrated environmental approach across our UK sites and are delighted that our ongoing programme continues to be recognised. By retaining the Carbon Trust Standard we’ve proved that by measuring energy usage, engaging our staff and encouraging new ways of working we can make a major difference to climate change. Our awareness also helps us to further understand the needs of those customers seeking to make energy savings across their businesses.”     

 Henry Garthwaite, head of business development, Carbon Trust Certification, added, “We are delighted to recertify RS Components as a result of the company’s ongoing commitment to carbon reduction. The company’s ability to seek out new areas to improve energy efficiency proves that, with the right level of skills, tenacity, and support, it’s possible to improve carbon efficiency year on year – which has a hugely positive effect on the business.”