Our efforts to reduce energy use across the business are recognised by our accreditation under the Carbon Trust Standard. For over 10 years prior to the introduction of the Carbon Trust accreditation, the Group's manufacturing facilities had enjoyed accreditation under the standard's predecessor, the Energy Efficiency Accreditation Scheme.
As well as assessing the Group's overall reduction in energy usage over a three-year period, the Standard also looks at general energy management systems across the business and the ways in which energy reduction is encouraged across all sites. The Carbon Trust's assessors also noted our commitment to supply energy efficient products to our customers where possible.
- One of our key metrics for energy usage in the factories is the electricity we consume per cabinet produced. Our baseline measurement in 2008 was 3.62kWh per cabinet, and we are pleased that this figure has significantly decreased over the last four years. In 2012, we made significant improvements in our energy management through the efforts of our employees and the application of new technology. Our achievements in 2012 resulted in the figure dropping to 2.84kWh per cabinet (2011: 3.36kWh). We managed to achieve this 15% reduction in our consumption per cabinet by installing energy efficient variable speed drive compressors in our Howden site thereby reducing the energy used in loading. We also introduced a programme of lighting system upgrades in all factories and the Northampton Distribution Centre warehouse, making a significant improvement in energy consumption whilst also improving the working environment. Given the progress made in 2012, our target for 2013 is to maintain the consumption per cabinet level achieved in 2012.
- All our Supply division sites - manufacturing, distribution or warehouse related - have maintained compliance with their ISO 14001 standard for Environmental Management as well as helping the Group retain its certification under the Carbon Trust Standard.
The Company operates a fleet of 104 trucks. We continue to work with our haulier partners through traffic sharing arrangements and maximise the use of backhaul capacity. All of our trucks remain Euro 5 compliant.
We implemented a new tracking system across the truck fleet during the year. By monitoring and directing improvements in driving style, this system has resulted in a 2.4% reduction in CO2 emissions across the fleet since its introduction.
We have now completed our plan to replace our manager and sales representatives' vehicles with more eco-friendly models. Where practical, we also continue to introduce the latest fuel efficient models as they become available from our vehicle supplier.
Our KPI in this area, which we set for a three year period (2010-2012), was aimed at improving the efficiency of our best selling own-brand products both in terms of energy consumption and water usage. The targets were:
" To improve the efficiencies of our best selling own brand electric ovens by reducing the kilowatt consumption per hour by 5% or more over the 3 year period."
" To reduce the water consumed per cycle by 5% or more for own brand laundry and dishwashers over the 3 year period."
Excellent progress has been made over the last three years in respect of our ovens, with energy consumption in our own brand "Lamona" appliances reduced by 12% overall and by 5% for our best selling ranges.
In the last year we have also reduced water consumption by 10% with our new dishwashers and laundry appliances.
Our aim is to extend this type of KPI over the next two year period to see if we can also reduce the electricity consumption of our dishwashers by 5% (measured on a kilowatt consumption per hour basis).
In addition to measuring our performance against our chosen KPIs, we are committed to gaining Energy Savings Trust (EST) certification for some of our appliances. We now have fifteen appliances certified and recommended by EST (2011: 6) and we continue to seek certification for a number of other appliances. Where appropriate, we will design new appliances in line with EST recommendations.