A Greener Broder
Here at Broder Metals Group we are always looking for ways in which we can reduce our carbon footprint and become a ‘greener’ business. For example, in 2010 we replaced all of our desktop computers and servers with energy efficient models from VeryPC, a local computer equipment supplier (have a look at what they do here: www.very-pc.co.uk). We also moved to a (semi-) paperless order system in 2013, reducing our paper usage by over 70% and saving hundreds of pounds per year on printing costs alone. We now have a target in place to recycle over 95% of all the paper we use, along with reducing the amount of general waste we throw away (although we have never yet had to throw away any cake!).
More recently we have been concentrating on our premises. The obvious things (double-glazing, draught excluders, etc) are already in place, so we’ve tried to be a bit more imaginative on other ways to improve energy efficiency.
Warm enough for penguins?
The first step was to expand our server room, which straight away improved the air-flow and reduced the need for cooling fans without risking damage to our IT equipment through over-heating. We also now have the ability to vent the warm air into the main office instead of losing it outside the building, which in cold weather will help maintain a warmer temperature without having the central heating on all day (great for the members of our staff who grew up in barmy Mediterranean climates!).
Next, we turned our attention to the warehouse. The existing lighting was removed and replaced by LED lighting, which will improve the working environment and uses about 60% less energy than the old lamps. Additionally, we have installed motion detectors in between our racks so that we are not powering lights when there is no-one working nearby. We have also attached sensors of a different kind to the warehouse yard floodlights, with these being sensitive to daylight levels rather than motion. This means that in the summer months the floodlights won’t be on unnecessarily all night. The final change to the warehouse was the installation of infra-red heating to replace the old, inefficient fan heating units. This not only uses less energy, but will provide a higher quality working environment for our staff.
Up to this point, all the work undertaken had been to reduce our energy usage, but through the company who provided the LED lighting, we were also able to install a 20kW solar power system on our roof. This will provide over 50% of our electricity over the course of a year, with an expecting operating life of at least 20 years. So, next time you visit us for a coffee, make sure it’s on a sunny day!
The Broder Blogger.