Insights / Saving 44,000 kg of CO2 in our Northampton HQ

We saved over 44,000 kg of CO2 at our Northampton office

12th October 2020

We believe that organisations can be successful through sustainability.

We set about proving that with our Northampton office, where we reduced our energy consumption by over 25% in one year.

But sustainability isn’t a flash-in-the-pan-trend, or a tick-box corporate exercise. So, we decided to replicate the success with our other - even larger - office in Northampton.

Read on to learn our approach.

Our objective

In 2019, we wanted to improve energy efficiency at our largest office in Northampton by at least 10%.

Cutting consumption at the source is a good way to become more sustainable. But we also wanted to make sure that the energy we did use was cleaner – meaning fewer CO2 emissions (CO2e).

Another objective was bringing our employees on the journey with us, so sustainability was truly a way of work at Drax.

Finally, it had to make business sense. Any investment needed to show good return on investment, to prove to businesses of all sizes that they, too, can implement sustainability measures and thrive.

The plan

The in-house teams at Drax have deep market knowledge and extensive industry experience.

Combined with a passion for sustainability, they were our go-to people for putting together a plan that would save, cut and clean-up energy usage.

Our Renewables and Energy Services teams put their heads together to create a plan for our Northampton office that would put us on the path to lower carbon.

The generation game

At the beginning of 2019, the team began looking into on-site generation so we could produce our own power from zero carbon sources.

PV (solar) technology was installed on the office roof to reduce reliance on imported electricity. Almost 700 panels were put in, covering 1,141m2 of roof space, and by May 2019 they were generating carbon-free power.

This cuts consumption, cuts costs, and reduces reliance on the Grid. Plus, any excess power could be exported back to the Grid – something that many businesses leverage to create an extra revenue stream.

Northampton solar panels

All charged up

Next up, one of the easiest ways businesses can save carbon in their scope 1 emissions is by electrifying their transport.

Golf EV

Our Energy Services team enabled electric vehicles at the Northampton office by installing three Electric Vehicle (EV) charge-points in the car park, with space to charge six EVs at any one time.

Employees and office visits were given completely free use of these charge points to encourage uptake. And, of course, by connecting these charge points to the building’s solar supply, we could guarantee a truly carbon neutral charging infrastructure.

EV Charging Point Northampton

The results

The coupling of technology like on-site generation and behavioural changes has delivered clear and measurable benefits to the Northampton office.

In 2019, we reduced our electricity import by 17% compared to 2018.

In total, we saved 44,608 kg CO2 emissions – that’s equivalent to planting 669 trees that live for at least a decade.

Solar PV installation

  • A total of 700 solar panels were installed on our Northampton office roof, which started generating electricity in May 2019
  • May-December 2019 saw a 22% reduction in imported energy, compared to the same period in 2018
  • These gains are increasing, with Jan-July 2020 seeing a 37% import reduction compared to the same period in 2018

EV charging

  • In 2019, our EV chargers were used over 400 times since their installation in April
  • Over 5MWh of electricity was dispensed, saving over 4 tonnes of CO2e

Reduce, re-use, recycle

  • Efficient printers and printing reduction initiatives were put in place, saving over 80,000 sheets of paper in 2019 alone
  • We teamed up with Terracycle, who turn unrecyclable crisp packets into composite construction boards (with some of the profits donated to local charities and schools). In 2019, we prevented over 40,000 crisp packets going to the landfill
  • Working with our existing partners, we came up with a new plan for food waste. Through a new initiative in 2019, we redirected seven tonnes of food waste from general disposal to anaerobic digestion. This means our food waste is getting turned into biogas: a cleaner, greener version of normal gas

How can your business benefit?

We saw incredible success at our Northampton and Ipswich offices, but we want to replicate this success with businesses all over the UK.

If you want to cut consumption, costs and carbon emissions, we’ve got a team who’d love to help.

Get in touch today and your business could be on the fast track to net zero in no time.

Contact us