Just one year into its ambitious five-year plan, Alpha Manufacturing is on track to exceed all environmental targets due to innovative green projects
Based in Staffordshire, Alpha Manufacturing is determined to be a catalyst for change in the manufacturing industry through its ambitious 5-year strategy. The award-winning sheet metal fabrication company is on track to exceed this year’s stringent targets; already achieving a ‘zero to landfill’ status, as well as implementing innovative methods to dramatically reduce energy consumption and increase output of recyclable waste.
Having achieved the ISO 14001 Certificate for Environmental Management Systems through implementing robust systems, Alpha’s strategy consists of three key areas: Reduction of electricity and energy consumption, reduction of general waste produced and therefore waste to landfill, and increase recycling waste rate.
The strategy was set in motion by Bri-Stor Group Health, Safety and Environment Manager Darren Bates, who said: “The ISO 14001 epitomises how important having a stringent environmental policy in place is to businesses. We knew our targets were ambitious, but achievable, and we’re already making a mark in the manufacturing industry for our sustainability goals.”
This year Alpha has worked on reducing its consumption of electricity by nearly half a million kWh’s, through a project to convert all lighting on premises to CEMA LED Lighting. The energy saved through this project is equivalent to 36,344,455 smartphones charged and has resulted in the company already beating its yearly kWh electricity target by over 13%. This percentage equates to an annual CO2 saving of 107.76 tonnes - equivalent to 270,822 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle.
Having switched to three bailers and one mini-compactor to decrease the amount of waste that goes to landfill, Alpha has now reduced its carbon footprint by 75%, the equivalent of 150 tonnes a year. Alpha Manufacturing is now proud to be classed as a ‘zero to landfill’ company, working with leading waste management company Veolia, who themselves stopped using landfill around 18months ago, as its waste is now processed into Reuse Derived Fuel (RDF). Alpha was keen to use the RDF process as it replaces fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil, using filtration to produce as much lower CO2 than regular methods, meaning it is cleaner and less harmful to the environment.
The bailers are used to mass recycle Alpha’s waste materials such as all cardboard and plastic. The implementation of this equipment, along with building a workplace culture around reusing and recycling, has meant that Alpha is on track to beat its target of 55 tonnes of recycling by the end of 2021.
With a project under-way to switch to solar power in the next four years, this significant investment will result in the Alpha facility installing 1960 roof-mounted solar panels. This will produce a kWh energy saving of around 733,043 per year, with the goal of being entirely self-sufficient in its energy usage within six years.
Speaking about the success of the strategy, Alpha Managing Director Paul Clews said: “As a 24/7 capacity company, we knew we needed to modernise our systems and future-proof the business as well as contributing towards a more sustainable environment.
“These initiatives across three strategic areas, have meant that in 2021, we are already well ahead of schedule in the delivery of our environmental goals - in some areas, we’re already well ahead. We fully expect to have exceeded targets by the end of this year. This will also have a big impact on the 5-year plan, making us one of the most ‘green manufacturers’ in the industry.”