Sustainable Converting Going greenin the manufacturing industry

Solar Panels used at Belmont Packaging’s site

processes. Manufacturing firms are vital to green energy, and energy is now increasingly becoming a key focus area for businesses within this sector. Making it easier and more attractive for firms to invest in energy efficiency and on-site energy generation is therefore crucial.


SOME BENEFITS OF GOING INTO GREEN MANUFACTURING Embracing energy conscious principles means there are a number of short- and long-term benefits that can be taken from greener practices:

REDUCING ENERGY RELATED COSTS As any manufacturer will agree, energy and water costs are a huge concern. Focusing on even small improvements can reduce these expenses and adopting further practices, such as solar and wind energy, will reduce them further and help improve the bottom line.

ATTRACTING NEW CUSTOMERS To ensure a business remains competitive in its marketplace it is important to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to adopting best practices and installing the latest technologies. Kate Hulley, owner of Belmont Packaging, says: “We’ve actually obtained new customers off the back of this, people appreciate a business that is conscious of their environmental impact and willing to make changes to lessen that impact.”

BOOST WORKFORCE MORALE Green manufacturing and improvements are a

ith environmental awareness at an all time high, companies are looking for greener options within production

collaborative effort and, furthermore, employees want to work for companies that match their own values. As employees are one of the biggest stakeholders it is paramount to provide the best working environment to help boost productivity.

ADOPTING ENERGY EFFICIENCY There’s no way around it, manufacturing and packaging is always going to require a great deal of energy. One of the most straightforward ways a company can go green is to manage its energy usage and to look into the ways that environmentally friendly practices can be best adopted into its facilities. Belmont Packaging in Wigan, Greater

Manchester is an example of this and has started to tackle the development of environmentally- friendly manufacturing head-on to become one of the North West’s greenest manufacturers. In an effort to reduce the negative impact work

might have on the environment, Belmont Packaging has adopted several changes within its factory and offices in a bid to create a more environmentally friendly company. As a result it has reduced bills and has gained customers who share the same values.

STARTING SMALL Many manufacturers and business owners are daunted by the thought of lowering a carbon footprint and trying to find a good place to start can often be the first hurdle where businesses fall. As manufacturing continues to become greener, the team at Belmont Packaging are going further to shrink its footprint by sharing sustainability practices with both suppliers and customers. Owner, Kate Hulley, started making small, no-

Kate Hulley, owner of Belmont Packaging

cost changes including fixing compressed air leaks and isolated redundant pipework and saves over £400 a year as a result, Hulley says: “It’s not all about solar panels and expensive equipment, you can start off by taking small no- cost measures on jobs like looking at your pipework. It makes such a difference and has really helped us to pave the way to becoming more environmentally aware and reducing our carbon footprint.“ Since then, Belmont has also made bigger,

long-term investments including installing a more efficient compressor and a new waste extraction system, saving the company over £10,000 a year. Solar panels have been fitted to the

warehouse roof and all lighting, where possible, operates on sensors with energy efficient LED bulbs. These changes expect to save the company another £7,000 a year. Hulley explains how she is already seeing the

difference these changes are making: “The impact on both the environment and expenses to the business is already extremely prevalent. We’re wholly committed to achieving maximum efficiency with minimal environmental impact going forward.” Belmont Packaging, the corrugated specialist,

has 80,000sq ft of manufacturing and office facilities and a team of 20 plus staff, producing over 50 million units a year for national and international clients. Finding ways to make a manufacturing

business more energy efficient does not only help preserve the world’s resources, it also makes a great deal of financial sense. It is important to understand that going green is a large investment, which often produces results on a long-term basis. Belmont Packaging is proof that the benefits of making the move can far outweigh any initial cost. 26 October 2017

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