Businesses gathered in Aztec West for another successful Go Green event last week as part of the key business activity that is taking place during Bristol’s year as European Green Capital.
Hosted by ABB, a global leader in engineering and automation solutions, the event – entitled ‘Quick Wins and Money Savers”, brought local business leaders together to discover energy saving secrets and quick wins to help both the environment and their profitability.
The presentations were given by a wide variety of Bristol businesses and all related to the Go Green Energy & Efficiency pillar. Delegates heard real-life stories of energy saving initiatives that were reducing energy bills and operating costs by tens of thousands of pounds each year.
Sharing Ideas and Pooling Resources
ABB’s site in Aztec West is home to a large Research and Development department as well as a Training Centre used by visitors from across the UK. The company has managed to reduce its running costs significantly over the past 12 months by working in collaboration with DST Output, the printing business operating from the unit next door. The Facilities Managers at the two businesses, which operate in completely different sectors with no formal connection at all, explained that by starting a dialogue with each other they soon realised they had common resources and ideas that could be shared. The result of the pooling of ideas and the collaborative working in areas such as sharing a recycling collection, has resulted in energy savings and operating cost reductions totaling over £20,000. We were really impressed to hear the stories of how these two businesses are working together and sharing best practice – and have asked them for a case study!
Making the most of technology
APDS, an engineering company based in Avonmouth, was another one of the businesses presenting. Alan Jones from APDS explained that they specialise in the installation of inverter drives which will control the flow of power to any piece of equipment relying on a fan or a motor. Your office heating and ventilation system for example – does it really need to be running at full power 24/7? Or how about your production processes – do the machines really need to keep operating over the lunch break? Alan believes that inverter drives are the unsung heroes of energy saving. They’re not pretty to look at and get on with the job quietly behind the scenes, but the thousands of pounds they will save you each year should see them promoted to the forefront of energy saving solutions. Alan wants people to know that there is more to energy saving than changing your light bulbs!
Turning obligations into opportunities
Other topics covered at the event included an introduction to the latest Government energy regulation, the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), which means that by December 2015 any business with over 250 employees will have to have completed an comprehensive energy audit. We will be running more events on ESOS throughout the year so keep an eye on our events calendar.
We also heard presentation from Suez Environement (formerly SITA UK) on how it will be turning more and more of Bristol’s waste into valuable resources at its new plant on Severnside.
It’s great to work with businesses in our network who have specialist knowledge in specific areas, as we can tap in to their expertise and share it with our members. Go Green is very much about recognising and celebrating good business practice, so we know that it’s beneficial to get together at these events and share ideas and success stories. The level of interest in sustainable business has definitely increased in 2015; Bristol’s year as European Green Capital, and Go Green is working to connect businesses that are serious about reducing their energy use with people who can provide workable and affordable solutions that will ultimately help them be more competitive, and more profitable.
Delegates even got to look at a range of electric vehicles outside the venue – including the incredible BMW i8 – hard to believe it’s a hybrid!