In Woking, there are a number of businesses who have started their journey to becoming a sustainable business. Read below the changes they have made.
Overview Ltd based in Sheerwater. The company designs develops and manufactures advanced intelligent drive solutions and specialist sensor pointing systems. Rather than just meet the requirements of ISO 14001 to demonstrate continual improvement on environmental policies and procedures, they decided to go one step further and commit the company to becoming Carbon Neutral by 2030.
Involving a huge amount of work, the process began in 2020 with identifying and assessing where the business created its carbon footprint, and then calculating its carbon equivalency numbers.
Some of the measures it has implemented since include; choosing to import goods by sea rather than air wherever possible, bringing in flexible working to encourage less travel into the office and starting a cycle-to-work scheme for employees when they do. In addition, it has replaced old, inefficient gas burners in the factory with modern, more efficient heating systems, implemented LED lighting across its facilities, improved packaging materials and worked with its largest volume supplier to switch to pallets that can be reused and exchanged rather than thrown away.
Overview Ltd. says, “We are determined to make a difference. Our plans currently focus on the cradle-to-gate processes – from initial supply to despatching to customers – and once we are happy with progress here, we will begin to extend our reach across the whole lifecycle of our products.”
Dreaming Fish Productions
Dreaming Fish is a creative video agency producing video and animated content for a range of clients around the world. One of its company values is ‘we care’, so it decided to do something to reduce its emissions.
For starters, to offset any emissions produced as a result of its work, Dreaming Fish makes a monthly donation as well as a one-off payment every time it signs a new client to Tree Aid, which plants trees in Africa and also looks to create sustainable communities.
Dreaming Fish also made the climate commitment on the SME Climate Hub website and calculated their emissions through the Normative carbon calculator portal, which meant it had a means to track its progress to net zero. It discovered that 95% of its emissions were scope 3 – emissions produced by its supply chain. Although businesses can feel they have little control over how freelancers and other suppliers choose to act, Dreaming Fish has committed to influence this by amending its contracts and choosing companies and individuals that have greener credentials.
Dreaming Fish says, “We are still early in our journey but feel that achieving net zero as a business (scope 1 and 2) is possible by 2025, and we will aim to reduce our scope 3 emissions to zero by 2030. It is difficult, but it's certainly not as complicated as it may first seem, and by acting together we can all stop this crisis before it's too late.”
Ashtead Engineering is an engineering company based in West Byfleet, offering metal machining services, toolmaking, and injection moulding to a wide range of industries, including aerospace, defence, oil & gas, marine and automotive.
Determined to reduce their carbon footprint and having had a carbon footprint analysis done, Ashtead Engineering applied to LoCASE to replace 87 inefficient fluorescent lights with LED lighting. They received a £3,180.66 LoCASE grant towards the project.
This project saved 6.54tCO2e and, pre-energy prices increases, it was estimated they would save £2,749 per year on electricity.
Ashtead Engineering Director, Matt Parry, says “Updating the lighting to LED has had a huge positive impact on the business. The quality of light has made work easier and lifted morale, and spurred us on to take an even bigger investment in a solar array. As owners of an SME with a relatively large energy usage, we now recognise the importance of ‘greening’ our operations in a commercially viable manner.”