As part of its aim to keep costs down and reduce its environmental impact, Safevent Systems, the manufacturing arm of the Warrington-based SME Britplas Group, has received ongoing support from a specialist adviser at Groundwork Cheshire, and funding from the north west’s ENWORKS programme.

It has already implemented a number of actions from its initial site review, which have together generated annually recurring savings of £23,400 and 74 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).

Work is now underway to tackle the rest of the identified improvements, which could save a further £42,100 and 162 tonnes of CO2e a year.

Britplas runs a fleet of 20 vans that each covers about 30,000 miles a year on average. Their high fuel costs have been addressed by organising fuel efficient driving training for all drivers, improving vehicle maintenance practices and monitoring diesel consumption through dashboard sat-navs.

As a result, the company has made annually recurring savings of £15,000 and 28 tonnes of CO2e, from an outlay of just £500.

A further £2,900 and 14 tonnes of CO2e per year have been saved by implementing routine monitoring procedures for utilities on-site and identifying key areas where consumption can be reduced.

Plastic curtains and partitions have also been fitted over four large, roller shutter doors, to prevent heat loss from the factory floor. These have generated annual savings of £2,300 on heating bills, with a payback period of just two years, and saved 13 tonnes of CO2e per year.

Meanwhile, a 24 hour timer on the office boiler has been replaced with a more flexible, seven day timer that allows the heating to be turned off at weekends and overnight. For just £250 this has saved over £2,000 on annual gas bills.

The next phase of the efficiency drive is to look at installing motion and light level sensors, to make sure that artificial lighting is only used when necessary. This could save £3,800 and over 19 tonnes of CO2e a year, at minimal cost.

A new radiant heating system in the warehouse could also save £8,700 and 50 tonnes of CO2e annually, and replacing a 15 year old boiler with a more energy efficient model would save £1,500 and eight tonnes of CO2e per year, after an initial five year payback. SMEs of less than 250 employees and a turn over not exceeding £45m may be entitled to the same free support to discover potential efficiency savings.