1st Aug 2018
There has never been a more urgent need for businesses across Greater Manchester to turn themselves into the leanest, greenest operations possible. And there’s never been a better time to do this. Last month, it was announced that political leaders across Greater Manchester intend to bring this city region’s date for achieving carbon neutrality forward by more than a decade to 2038. By contrast, other cities – like Paris, New York, Milan and Stockholm – still have their sights set for carbon neutrality to 2050. The new commitment is one of Europe’s most ambitious carbon neutrality targets and the consensus of opinion is that these targets will not be met if this city region’s businesses aren’t fully committed.
According to GC Business Growth Hub, if Manchester is to meet its carbon neutrality commitments by 2038 the following actions need to be taken by businesses;
Companies actively need to consider their direct impact through the energy they consume on site and within their fleet of vehicles.
Companies must look at the resources and materials they use.
Lastly they must look to streamline the production process, minimise the use of carbon intensive materials and reduce the amount of waste they generate.
In short, if Greater Manchester is to deliver a progressive carbon neutral target, businesses need to rethink their existing business model, embrace new technology, ideas, existing business practices and challenge assumed wisdom.
Duo UK, a plastics manufacturer is proving that little changes can make a huge difference when it comes to energy efficiency. Polythene packaging manufacturer Duo UK, which employs more than 100 people, is helping businesses reduce their carbon footprint, reduce dependency on finite resources and decrease the amount of packaging waste going to landfill.
Amongst its successes have been the launch of a new ‘greener’ plastic mailing bag, which has already been adopted by fashion retailer Pink Boutique and online retailer SportPursuit.
The ‘GreenPE’ bag is chemically identical to regular plastic and can be recycled – but is a more sustainable alternative as it’s made from a renewable source, sugarcane.
In 2018, 412 million mailing bags are expected to be shipped in the UK. If these were made from GreenPE rather than virgin polythene, 46,276tonnes of CO2 would be saved, the equivalent of a car driving over 244 million miles or a plane flying around the world 10,000 times. “We’re more aware than ever that we’re dealing with a finite resource,” said Anthony Brimelow, Commercial Director at the company which is headquartered in Vickers Street. “Polyethylene derived from fossil fuel isn’t going to last forever, and so it’s up to manufacturers like us to find alternatives that perform in exactly the same way but are sustainable for generations to come.”
To cement its sustainability credentials further, Duo has been working with GC Business Growth Hub since May 2016 to make its own resource efficiency savings on-site. Investment in new energy efficient machinery is expected to result in bottom line cost savings of more than £45,000 per year from reduced gas and electricity consumption, and a further anticipated £80,000 per year thanks to raw material and transport fuel efficiencies. The company is also implementing a new environmental policy and carbon reduction statement. Brimelow explained: “The key with sustainability is understanding the ‘little changes make a huge difference’ mentality. We’ve spent a lot of time and effort into educating every employee and also our clients of the little things they can do.”