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Siemens Congleton on track to hit carbon neutral target in 2022 – eight years ahead of goal

Partnership between Siemens Digital Industries and Smart Infrastructure businesses accelerates factory towards net zero Sustainability milestone paves way for UK manufacturing sector Siemens’ Congleton factory is on track to achieve carbon neutrality this year – eight years ahead of its original target. The operation, which manufactures more than 1.2m controls

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How Net Zero Carbon Differs from Carbon Neutral

As understanding of the climate crisis increases and the harm to ourselves, the environment, business, industry and the economy that will follow, so a desire to not only reduce carbon but to be seen reducing carbon increases. Two seemingly interchangeable terms often seen are ‘Carbon Neutral’ and ‘Net Zero Carbon’.

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Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024

carbon neutral

DELIVERING BETTER TOGETHER: PICK EVERARD PLEDGES FOCUS ON COLLABORATION, CARBON NEUTRALITY AND INNOVATION

Pick Everard announces ambitious business strategy to become the first-choice consultancy in the industry Collaboration forms a key part of all five of the firm’s strategic pillars Key commitments include achieving net carbon zero by the end of the year and a pledge to invest five per cent of turnover into innovation and new technology PICK Everard has today announced its new business strategy, which outlines a commitment to creating a collaborative, prosperous and sustainable future for all to benefit from, along with ambitions to be the most highly regarded consultant in the property and construction industry. The announcement comes after the firm’s most successful year to date, having achieved a turnover of £58.8m and a 17 per cent growth in its staff body. The multi-disciplinary consultancy now has more than 600 employees across its national network of 14 offices, with further growth set over the coming years.  Managing Partner Duncan Green said: “Despite the worldwide challenges faced over the past year, together we have made it one of the most significant and successful in our 156-year history. It is the agility and determination of our people that has allowed us to navigate the national challenges of the last two years and come through stronger than ever – and with new ways of working that benefit our people, our clients and the wider industry too. “We have been enjoying a period of sustained growth, and with a strong pipeline of work and continued success in projects and frameworks appointments, we have examined our business strategy to outline the vision that underpins our journey. Collaboration forms a key part of all five of our strategic pillars, focusing on ‘delivering better together’ for our teams, our clients, communities and for the planet.” Pick Everard places huge value on fostering excellent company culture, with regular staff engagement shaping its approach as a business. The firm strives to be an industry leader in diverse recruitment – driven by its attitude to individuality and openness. Focused on building a talent density that perpetuates success and a commitment to train the industry leaders of tomorrow, the strategy includes the implementation of practice-wide award-winning career support mechanisms, including the Pick Everard Professional Map. This provides the pathway of the technical skills, behavioural competencies, role expectations and core values needed for personal progression, which together with the firm’s RISE mentoring programme will give staff the tools needed to achieve their career aspirations. To reflect its collaborative and client-oriented attitude, Pick Everard has evolved its internal structure to increase efficiencies and better meet the requirements of its clients. This evolution includes the creation of strategic account director roles to ensure even closer collaboration between the firm’s multi-disciplinary services to collectively. focus on the consistent delivery of excellent results for its clients. Pick Everard aims to achieve third party certification to support its strategy – namely ISO44001, which centres on collaborative business relationships. This accreditation seeks to build and support long-term partnership approaches that will increase project delivery success, manage risk, and promote best practice. The firm will also continue to build on its strong track record of outperforming competition in providing the best consultancy, choice, and services for its clients, aided by appointments on key national frameworks including Crown Commercial Services, ESPO, NHS Shared Business Services, Pagabo, and SCAPE. Duncan said: “Continuous improvement is embedded deeply in our culture, making sure that not only are we a leader in promoting new industry best practice, but also an early adopter of technology and innovations that enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of our actions. Our pledge to invest at least five per cent of annual turnover in innovation and technology will ensure we push forwards with the best solutions to meet clients’ needs on every scheme. “Our open attitude to sharing expertise allows us to upskill and inform our clients and key stakeholders, leaving a legacy of best practice and understanding wherever we work. This, along with our ambitions to be a leader in supply chain management and SME engagement, ensures that the projects we deliver provide communities with the high-quality assets that will have a positive impact on the way they, and future generations, will live, work, learn, and play.” Building on an excellent reputation for its approach to sustainability within project work, Pick Everard has been on a journey to drive down its own carbon footprint. It now pledges to become carbon neutral by the end of 2022. Duncan said: “We place sustainability and tackling the climate crisis with carbon neutral solutions central to any project, so there is no question that we must lead by example when it comes to the environment. On our own journey to net zero, we have been making great strides but will go even further, becoming a carbon neutral business by within 2022. “Delivering better together’ is not just a phrase, it’s a definition of our culture and the way of life at Pick Everard. It defines our approach to our people, our teams, our clients, and the communities and environment in which we live. We pride ourselves in our aim to create a better future and leave a positive and lasting legacy wherever we work.” For more information, please visit www.pickeverard.co.uk.

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Siemens Congleton on track to hit carbon neutral target in 2022 – eight years ahead of goal

Partnership between Siemens Digital Industries and Smart Infrastructure businesses accelerates factory towards net zero Sustainability milestone paves way for UK manufacturing sector Siemens’ Congleton factory is on track to achieve carbon neutrality this year – eight years ahead of its original target. The operation, which manufactures more than 1.2m controls and drives each year, is inching its way to the major milestone after deploying a range of sustainable solutions for energy generation and demand with support from Siemens’ energy and performance services business, Smart Infrastructure. These include generating 75kw of renewable energy through a hydro-electric plant at Havannah Weir on the river Dane and using carbon neutral, certified biogas to power its on-site gas engine. These measures alone saved over £250,000 pounds a year and took the 80% power-independent factory off the grid. Beyond these innovations, Siemens Congleton adopted a building management system which automatically adjusts to drive energy efficiency improvements, while modern windows and LED lighting have reduced the total energy bill by 13% and 30% respectively. Combined with reducing waste to landfill to zero and EV charging for staff and visitors, the Cheshire site is eight years ahead of Siemens’ original 2015 commitment to ensure carbon neutral operations by 2030. Commenting on the achievement, Andrew Peters, Managing Director of Siemens Digital Industries Congleton, said: “Siemens believes that sustainability is a force for good and can deliver value for all its stakeholders. We want to help customers achieve sustainable growth and to transform their industries through decarbonisation. The first step of that is for us to achieve these ambitions in our own operations. “I am delighted that by leveraging a culture of continuous improvement and sustainability – the vital components to Siemens’ Congleton’s long-term success – we have achieved carbon neutrality, a major milestone in our ambitions to reach net zero emissions by 2030.” The 50-year-old Siemens Congleton factory began its sustainability journey in 1990 when it began manufacturing drives to meet the demands of industry. In 2018 the factory became fully digital by embracing lean manufacturing methods to achieve continuous improvement and by adopting leading-edge Industry 4.0 processes. Using advanced manufacturing methods include Virtual Reality, Digital Twin, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Advanced Robotics, Cloud Technology and Additive Manufacturing, it has mastered producing up to 50,000 variations of its products to fulfil the shifting demands of its customers and markets, increased productivity by driving down costs, and improved efficiency. In 1990, 400 workers made 50,000 variable speed drives and controls a year. Today, a similar number of workers produce 1.2 million electrical devices – including 600,000 variable speed drives (VSDs). What is more is that it has been achieved within the same physical footprint. The factory is bounded by industrial units and housing estates, with no room to expand, meaning Congleton has one of the highest productivity rates per m2 of any Siemens’ sites. Faye Bowser, Head of Siemens’ Energy & Performance Services GB&I, said: “The climate emergency puts the demand on businesses of all sizes and sectors to really accelerate their efforts for decarbonisation. But a challenge is that often decarbonisation isn’t their core business. So, at Energy and Performance Services we make it our business to use our skills, our knowledge and our tools to help our customers transition to net zero in a way that contributes to their business priorities. “Despite us being from the Siemens family, we have approached working with Congleton the same we do with any organisation. It has been fantastic. In Andrew Peters you have a leader in a business which has put continuous improvement and sustainability at the heart of their long-term success. Our job was to apply those components to their energy system and their energy strategy. What we ended up with is an engineered roadmaps to net zero that considers timelines, finance, digital services, all there to safeguard business continuity, and to have a method to continuously identify more opportunities to reduce carbon on site.” The Congleton factory is leading the way for Siemens which has committed, as a global organisation, to ensure all its operations are carbon neutral by 2030 and for all production facilities and buildings to achieve net zero-carbon footprint by 2030. In the UK Siemens’ progress has been recognised by The Carbon Trust, an expert partner for supporting organisations to achieve science-based targets. In June it awarded Siemens its Route to Net Zero Standard tier one certification for ‘Taking Action’. Commenting on this milestone achievement, Olivia Whitlam, Head of Sustainability, Siemens Plc said: “Siemens is taking a holistic approach to achieving net zero and we are pleased to be guided by the Carbon Trust who helps us monitor our progress each year. “We have 8,600 people spread across offices and 11 manufacturing sites across the UK and we are creating innovation up and down the country with sustainability at the core of our operations and services. Our Congleton factory is paving the way for sustainability whilst setting a great example on how manufacturers can join this amazing journey to net zero.” Congleton’s trailblazing story will be shared at Siemens’ two-day conference and exhibition, Transform 2022  at Manchester Central on July 12 and 13. The event will bring together hundreds of industry leaders, influencers and regulators from across the UK and Ireland to collaborate and solve some of the most pressing organisational challenges. To register for Transform 2022 visit: https://new.siemens.com/uk/en/company/fairs-events/events/transform-2022.html

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How Net Zero Carbon Differs from Carbon Neutral

As understanding of the climate crisis increases and the harm to ourselves, the environment, business, industry and the economy that will follow, so a desire to not only reduce carbon but to be seen reducing carbon increases. Two seemingly interchangeable terms often seen are ‘Carbon Neutral’ and ‘Net Zero Carbon’. The two, however, are not the same thing. Carbon neutral refers to a policy of not increasing carbon emissions and of achieving carbon reduction through offsets. While Net zero Carbon means making changes to reduce carbon emissions to the lowest amount – and offsetting as a last resort. The offsetting is used to counteract the essential emissions that remain after all available reduction initiatives have been implemented. In both cases Carbon Offsetting removes CO2 from the environment. For it to count, that removal must be permanent and accredited or licensed. Projects can offer a range of benefits. As well as reducing carbon from the atmosphere, offset projects can be selected to also offer social and community benefits. Projects can range from local planting of trees to the funding of projects that empower families in developing countries to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. Examples include afforestation, reforestation and conservation. Alternative investments can also be made in initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as in cattle feed that reduces the methane output of cows. Other offsetting projects enhance biodiversity, improve soil quality, food production or rainwater absorption. Projects that benefit soil quality are particularly pertinent to global warming and climate change, as soil is a significant store of carbo, holding three times as much carbon as the atmosphere – and the importance of soil quality has often been overlooked. Food production benefits are relevant too given that crop failure is a significant negative impact of climate change, devastating communities and forcing migration. There are carbon offset schemes offered that are sold on an arbitrary average carbon footprint basis, as opposed to a quantified footprint. The risk with these is that they offer the temptation of an easy-to-buy option, which not only does not include any emission reductions they also may fail to meet sufficient offset to address the problem of climate change. These are sold on the basis that a true quantification of your carbon footprint can be expensive, time-consuming and complicated but this need not be the case. Net Zero Carbon Commitments always involve emission reductions. This requires an initial carbon footprint measurement. This is followed by strategic greenhouse gas emission reduction initiatives, the implementation of renewable energy solutions and then carbon offsetting. The right carbon reduction service can offer you all of these. Furthermore, they can support you in your net zero commitment with ongoing monitoring both of the success of the initiatives but also of emerging technologies for further emission reduction opportunities. These could be in the form of technology, or availability of alternative energy – or internal opportunities from changes in processes, or collaborative opportunities with your supply chain. Potential opportunities could arise with local business partners such as neighbouring manufacturing facilities with whom you may be able to trade reused processed heat or reuse or repurpose materials. For example, could your carbon cardboard waste be shredded to become their packaging material or could waste heat from your processes be used for their hot water or offices? This sort of methodical, structured and quantified approach leads to more optimised use of resources, lowers energy bills, reduces waste, reduces reliance on the national grid, delivers true reductions in emissions and so true reduced harm to the environment.

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