Solar PV system installed at Armstrong Fluid Technology’s UK HQ in Manchester.
Armstrong Fluid Technology’s sustainability initiative kicked off in 2013, with leadership teams in Armstrong sites in Canada, USA, China, India and the UK signing up to its environmental charter. The charter has three strands: Our Solutions (energy efficient systems which help customers reduce energy consumption, save money and lower carbon emissions); Our Environment (improved environmental performance in company operations); and Our Community (educating and supporting Armstrong stakeholders and neighbours to make environmentally responsible choices at work and at home).
Our Solutions: Since the introduction of the Energy Savings Dashboard in 2007, Armstrong Design Envelope HVAC solutions have saved customers almost 1,025 million kWh of energy, representing a carbon saving of more than 337,500 tonnes of CO2, and a cost saving of over £75.2 million. This year has seen a particular commitment to drive down energy consumption in data centres and district energy schemes, and has included major installations such as the Blackburn Meadows biomass power station. Keys to the success of Armstrong solutions include demand-based control (matching energy usage automatically to varying requirements for heating and cooling throughout the day), off-site manufacture, and advanced system integration (to optimise the energy efficient operation of each system component). Armstrong’s Design Envelope solutions are also helping customers to reduce their carbon footprint by offering outstanding energy efficient performance across a wider range of operating conditions than ever before.
Our Environment: As part of its sustainability initiative, Armstrong sites in Canada, USA, China, India and the UK are committed to reducing their own monthly electricity, gas and water consumption. Comprehensive monitoring was introduced across Armstrong sites back in 2014. Data loggers on gas, electricity and water metres feed through to Armstrong’s Eco-Pulse platform to provide current and historical consumption data. To build on this, sites have introduced reduction targets for water and energy consumption, and teams are working towards these, led by local Sustainability Champions. Over the last year, this has resulted in a 13% reduction in electricity consumption and a 22% gas reduction worldwide. In addition, water usage (identified by the company as a key target area for 2016/2017) has been reduced by 47%.
A particular success story is the introduction of a 250 kilowatt peak (kWp) solar PV system at Armstrong’s Manchester factory. The solar photovoltaic panels, covering a roof area of 1,550m2, generated 193,230 kWh of energy during 2016. Approximately 90% of this energy was utilised in the Manchester production facility and the remainder was exported to the grid. In total the factory was able to generate 36% of its total energy requirement via solar power. Further progress has also been made, during the last twelve months, towards the company’s Waste Minimisation and Recycling Targets, with the introduction of improved waste segregation processes leading to a 10% waste reduction.
Our Community: A wide range of community projects have been organised throughout the year, encompassing fundraising for local good causes, employee health and wellbeing initiatives, links with education, and local training outreach programmes. A particularly popular project in the UK has involved the creation of a vegetable garden in Manchester. Produce from the garden is sold throughout the year to raise money for good causes and community projects.
Steve Cooper, Armstrong Fluid Technology’s Director – Sustainable Design commented, “When so much is changing in the world, it is easy to relegate sustainability to the back burner, in order to focus solely on commercial objectives. But the fact that our sustainability initiative was already well-established has meant that we have been able to maintain the momentum. Once again, the last twelve months have seen impressive year-on-year improvements across all of our key environmental performance metrics. Sustainability is now an integral part of our company culture, and we are so glad that we took the time, back in 2013, to place environmental performance at the centre of our business.”