This week’s guest blog comes from npower’s Real Estate Sustainability Manager Jonathan Hulbert, sharing news of npower’s historic industry first in achieving the Carbon Trust Triple Standard.
Why three’s the magic number
You may be familiar with my occasional blogs sharing our experiences of energy efficiency and carbon cutting at npower. Along the way, we’ve signed up to various initiatives to help us benchmark our performance, such as the international standard for energy management, ISO 50001.
But now I’m delighted to share our latest achievement – becoming the first energy company to achieve triple certification to the Carbon Trust Standard for achievements in managing carbon, waste and water in our office operations.
Our aim when using any resource is to minimise cost as well as wastage. For example, over the past two years we’ve cut our carbon footprint by 15.9%, saving almost 6,000 tonnes of CO2 plus a significant sum on our energy bill.
AMR technology helps identify savings
This drastic reduction has been possible thanks to analysing consumption site-by-site across our portfolio, using automated meter reading (AMR) technology linked to our Encompass monitoring software. It’s made it easy to pinpoint waste and also to track the benefits of introducing various different efficiency measures.
Now, across our sites we have installed solar PV and solar water heaters, more efficient lighting and some even make use of wind turbines. We’ve implemented Agile working environments at many office locations, where fixed desks are replaced with well-designed shared office space with mobile IT solutions.
We’ve also developed an Innovation Centre at our Solihull site to trial the latest demand-reduction technologies, such as intelligent LEDs and state-of-the-art temperature-regulating ceiling tiles, before rolling them out to other sites. (This was featured in one of Wayne’s recent blogs.)
Staff engagement boosts recycling rates
In the waste area, we’ve made significant savings too. For example, reviewing our waste contracts and introducing a staff education programme has helped us almost double the amount we recycle over recent years.
We also aim to follow the SKA Gold Standard for office refurbishments, so ensuring we adhere to strict guidelines to maximise recycling and minimise waste. In the refurbishment of an office in London, for example, we achieved a recycling rate of 96%.
Automating water monitoring
Water is another key area of resource management. Staff education is once again vital to help us achieve company-wide efficiencies, and we do this via posters, awareness campaigns and competitions.
The largest reduction in water over the past few years has been due to the introduction of BioDomes in urinals in male washrooms, which reduce the need for automated flushes. Across all our office sites, this has contributed to saving enough water to fill more than three Olympic-sized swimming pools.
We are currently automating water monitoring within our Encompass package. Having access to more detailed consumption data will enable us to monitor usage and set reduction targets more effectively.
Walking our talk
Our philosophy is very much to practice what we preach. That’s why every year, we are committed to working towards greater resource efficiency.
In our recent Twenty Per Cent Imperative report, we highlight the potential £4bn in savings that UK businesses can make if they implement achievable efficiencies to reduce energy consumption by 20%.
If you want to know more, you can download a copy of the Twenty Per Cent Imperative here. And if you’re keen to maximise the energy-saving potential of your business, our team of experts is on hand to help you.
You may also have read about our acquisition of RUMM earlier this year, which means npower Business Solutions customers will soon have access to real-time data analytics software that can not only monitor but also help to control consumption. So greater efficiency success is well within your grasp too…