Award-winning packaging company powers ahead to a sustainable future
By Bev Hawes | 2nd November 2018
An award-winning Gloucestershire packaging company is making a major investment in its drive to use recyclable materials and reduce its carbon footprint through the use of renewable resources.
Leeways Packaging Services at Churcham, near Gloucester is already leading the way by using 90 per cent recyclable materials in the manufacturing of thermoformed packaging solutions for its customers.
Now it is going one step further with plans to power its business using renewal resources from a proposed solar photovoltaic (pv) installation on land next to its Lobstock House headquarters.
If approved next month (December) by Forest of Dean District Council planners, the solar panel installation will save 172 tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum that would otherwise be generated by traditional fossil fuels.
Some 86 per cent of the electricity generated by the installation will be used by Leeways with the other 14 per cent going back into the National Grid to help power local properties.
The new installation will include 1,742 solar panels on the two and a half acre site producing enough electricity to power the equivalent of more than 110 homes for a year.
With the cost of traditionally generated energy continuing to soar, switching to solar power makes good financial sense. Over the 25-year life span of the Leeways installation it is estimated it will save the company more than £3 million in power costs.
Since being founded in 1971, family-owned Leeways has become a leading supplier of thermoformed packaging to a variety of industries from major supermarket chains to the medical sector. The company now employs 150 people at three sites in West Gloucestershire and has an annual turnover of £21 million.
Leeways managing director, Lee Walding said the company's goal was to develop 100 per cent recyclable plastic packaging and the £375,000 it was investing in the solar panel installation would reinforce the company's drive towards sustainability in the future.
Mr Walding said: "Not only does it fit perfectly with Leeways' determination to lower its carbon footprint and help protect the environment but it also makes good business sense as it will help lower energy bills in the longer term."
The bespoke installation is being developed for Leeways by Mypower , the Gloucestershire based solar panel specialists who scooped a national award for their ground-breaking work at Gloucester Cathedral. The 1,000-year-old landmark became the oldest cathedral in the world to have a solar panel system on its roof after Mypower installed the hi-tech equipment last year.
Following on from this, Mypower was commissioned to provide a 500+ solar PV system at Shire Hall, Gloucestershire County Council's head office.
Ben Harrison, who heads up Mypower, said: "Mypower are delighted to have secured the contract with Leeways Packaging for their 500 kWp solar installation.
"We are really starting to see an increase in these forward thinking businesses, like Leeway's, investing in this green technology. Solar PV will not only provide electricity 70% cheaper than their grid supplied electricity, secure a significant proportion of their energy procurement for the future it also demonstrates to the wider world their Corporate Social Responsibility.
"This really is a win win win scenario for all concerned."
Leeways Packaging Services won the Sustainable Manufacturing Award at the Cotswold Life Engineering Manufacturing and Innovation Awards 2018.
For more information visit:
www.leeways.co.uk or telephone 01452 750 487
www.mypoweruk.com or telephone 01242 620894
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