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 Facelift recognised in national sustainability awards

Facelift recognised in national sustainability awards

1 June 2013 Email this article

Facelift was celebrated in the Guardian newspaper’s Sustainable Business Awards this month, as one of three companies shortlisted in the Energy category. 

We were recognised because of the huge strides we have made towards becoming carbon neutral, and energy self-sufficient. Just by making simple changes, we’ve shaved 403 tonnes of carbon from our energy output. So what have we done?

Our approach has been wholly holistic. We haven’t just made changes in the most carbon-intensive parts of the business, such as our fleet, we’ve also altered everything from the way our urinals work to how we communicate with our customers in order to generate significant energy savings.

The project – which we christened Facelift Business Innovation – saw us first replacing our 26-tonne trucks with fuel efficient vehicles, generating diesel fuel savings of 4,550 litres of per month. We also invested in lighter transit vans, saving us 960 litres of diesel per month. And the changes didn’t stop there. Our managing director, Gordon Leicester, is now driving a more energy efficient bi-fuel electric model, the Vauxhall Ampera.

Keen to help our customers find ways to lower their carbon footprint too, we’ve also introduced energy-efficient equipment into our fleet, such as the new self-propelled boom, which can save customers 900 litres of diesel oil per week (with the added bonus of much lower fuel bills).

Fleet changes aren’t the only way we’re reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. The way we heat our business has been radicalised by the introduction of an innovative wood burner, doubly efficient because we source the wood we use from the tree surgeons that form a significant part of our customer base. This alone has reduced the diesel oil we use by 22,000 litres per year and means that felled wood is no longer going to waste.

Elsewhere in the business, we’ve added movement sensors and LED lighting at our depots, bringing down our annual lighting bill to the tune of £5,000, while the installation of waterless urinals will save 200,000 litres of water per annum. We’re also recycling our electronic equipment, printer cartridges and old tyres, and simply changing to e-communications both internally and externally is saving us 1,600 kilos of paper per year.

On the night itself, the National Trust of Wales’ Eco Castles scheme, which harnesses hydroelectricity to power everything from fortresses and mansions, walked away with top prize; we were delighted to just be able to celebrate the simple changes that are having a big impact in our business, and on our customers.