Wigan-based corrugated cardboard packaging company, Belmont Packaging, has implemented a host of energy-saving measures, ranging from small no-cost changes to long-term investments, with support from the Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub.
Founded in 1978, Belmont Packaging specialises in manufacturing high-quality printed and corrugated cardboard packaging solutions.
Since the founder’s daughter, Kate Hulley, bought the company in 2013, Belmont has worked towards being a greener, more energy efficient company.
“We’re a young, female-led, forward-thinking company and part of our approach is about making sure we do all we can to reduce our impact on the environment and be as efficient as possible”, said Kate Hulley, managing director of Belmont Packaging.
Working alongside Claire Scott, an environmental business advisor at the Business Growth Hub, Belmont began to investigate changes that could be made to processes, machines and building energy use to cut costs and reduce environmental impact.
The changes range from small, no-cost measures such as fixing compressed air leaks and isolating redundant pipework – saving more than £400 a year – to bigger, longer-term investments such as installing a more efficient compressor, which is saving over £7,700 a year.
The new compressor, which replaces rented machinery that was too big for Belmont’s operation, is more efficient than its predecessor and will pay for itself in less than one-and-a-half years.
Another important addition to the factory is a new waste extraction system, which removes waste offcuts from the manufacturing process. Like the compressor, the new system is smaller than its predecessor, consumes less energy and has been fitted with noise-reducing materials. It also recycles heat from the extracted air to help maintain space heating in Belmont’s premises.
In total, it is estimated that the system is saving nearly £9,000 per year in energy costs by cutting electricity consumption and reducing the need for gas-fired heating.
A solar panel array has also been fitted on the factory roof, while energy efficient LED lighting has been installed throughout the factory and office. The lighting investments, together with rationalising factory floor space, are expected to save Belmont £7,000 each year on historic lighting costs.
As well as achieving a significant amount of cost savings, Belmont’s raft of changes has also cut its annual carbon footprint by more than 68 tonnes of CO2e, enough to fill 37 hot air balloons.
“We’re proud to be doing all we can to reduce our impact on the environment – green just like our company colour!” Kate Hulley said.
“We invest regularly in leading technology and equipment so that our products can be the best they can be, and the expertise we’ve received from the Business Growth Hub is vital in making sure we’re investing in green technologies in the right places”.
Claire Scott added: “Belmont Packaging is a great example of a manufacturer that is wholly committed to achieving maximum efficiency with minimal environmental impact.
“I look forward to continuing to work with Kate to develop new innovative approaches for further savings.”
To find out more about the Business Growth Hub’s Green Growth service for SMEs, or to read other success stories, visit the website.