Author – Dean Keeble, Design & Innovation Director
We have enjoyed a great working year at ACS. While much of that’s been about output and creating innovative products for our clients, it’s also been about our commitment to sustainability.
In 2022, we pioneered new ideas to help reduce our carbon footprint, and in August, we were certified as a Carbon Neutral Organisation by Carbon Neutral Britain – testament to our work in offsetting our organisation’s carbon emissions and establishing our position as the most sustainable business in our sector.
Reinvesting For a Sustainable Future
We’ve achieved this by driving profits back into ACS to reduce our carbon footprint. Big investments included in 2019 when we created the first phase of our purpose-built, sustainable factory, a facility rich in energy efficient features such as auto-dimming LED lighting. We have also installed the maximum level of insulation throughout our ACS factory, meaning we don’t need to heat the space, even in freezing temperatures.
Soon after completion, we added 249kW photovoltaic renewable energy solar panels to the factory roof – capable of generating almost 1,000 kWh of electricity per day. We also added 12 free-to-use electric car charging points powered by the solar panels.
Fast forward to 2022 and that work has been recognised with the Carbon Neutral accreditation. It was one of a number of sustainability highlights this year, with others including all of our stainless steel raw material being manufactured using over 90% recycled material; all our stainless steel products are 100% recyclable.
We mitigated our impact on the environment too this year, maintaining zero percent of our waste to landfill; we also underwent an independent ReBiz energy review which made recommendations for further improving the energy efficiency of our factory, with all findings immediately implemented.
Our social conscience has also been put to positive effect when it comes to our people and this year saw us invest six figure sums in training, helping transfer traditional skills and nurturing future talent with five new apprentices.
Our Position as the Sector’s Most Sustainable Business
But there is still much to be done if we are to meet targets and the onus is on all manufacturers, builders and construction supply chain providers to make big sustainability strides. As of today, the construction industry is responsible for around 40% of emissions; that can’t continue as we edge ever closer to the Net Zero commitments of 2030 and 2050.
And while the Net Zero targets are important, we believe we have a collective responsibility to set the bar even higher, exceeding targets and championing new ideas.
We will be doing this again by reinvesting profits, with a strategy underpinned by our sustainability policy and commitment to our carbon neutral status. Policies ahead include the publication of our embodied carbon, and signing up to the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) including the pledge to be Net Zero by 2050.
We will also be upgrading our existing fully electric mechanical handling fleet to be even more energy efficient – with the orders for new vehicles placed and due for delivery in the new year. This is in addition to other EVs already owned by the company, as well as a salary sacrifice scheme which encourages colleagues to invest in their own EVs with the company’s support.
Our thanks to every colleague, customer, contact and collaborator for being a part of our journey – you too have played your part in helping to keep ACS as the most sustainable business in our sector.
Here’s to protecting properties and the planet this new year.
Article originally published on 21st December 2022