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Carbon Trust helps printer reduce impact

Based in Reading, Lamport Gilbert's 40 staff design and print catalogues, brochures and leaflets for businesses and charities – as well as offering mailing, logistics and project management services to clients.

"Working with the Carbon Trust has enabled us to reduce our carbon footprint, further reducing our impact on the environment. Together with substantially cutting our energy costs, this enables us to give the best value to our customers."—Andy Robbons, commercial director, Lamport Gilbert.

The business case
With a dedicated environmental team constantly reviewing its processes and procedures, Lamport Gilbert has already achieved the ISO 14001 environmental standard, and is now working towards the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) accreditation. The company expects to achieve this in 2010.

As managing director Peter Smith explains: "Our customers not only want to see we are environmentally aware, but also want to identify a true mark of credibility and transparency in everything we offer – which the EMAS standard provides."

As part of its efforts to achieve EMAS – and to further cut energy costs – Lamport Gilbert approached the Carbon Trust in March 2008, seeking advice on where carbon dioxide emissions could be reduced even more across the business.

After following much of the advice set out in the Carbon Trust’s survey report, the company’s annual energy costs have shrunk by £8,000-£10,000 – a significant reduction on its yearly spend before the survey, which had been £58,373.

Actions taken
After a four-day survey, Carbon Trust consultants highlighted a number of areas in which the company could improve its environmental performance and cut costs. These covered processes, equipment and staff behaviour.

Making electricity work harder
By conducting an initial electricity audit, Lamport Gilbert identified ways to reduce energy demand during expensive peaks – these included reviewing lighting usage, and setting software controls in order to power down PCs when not in use. A more detailed review highlighted that electricity was being used unnecessarily overnight – and this wastage was eliminated as well.

Passive infrared sensors (PIR) now control the heating and lighting throughout the building. The sensors respond to body heat, when they detect it entering a particular area, and make sure that the space is lit and sufficiently heated when someone is using it.

Inefficient fluorescent bulbs have also been replaced with more efficient T5 models.

How does it work?
PIR sensors are the cheapest and most common type of sensor. They are ideal for areas with no or very few obstructions, such as small offices and conference rooms, as they can only detect or "see" radiation in a clear line of sight.

The sensors work by splitting their field of vision into segments, and responding to any infrared radiation (such as body heat) that they detect in a new area.

Raising awareness
Keen to involve its whole workforce, the company also launched an internal awareness campaign, encouraging staff to switch off lights and computers when not using them.

Staff awareness posters from the Carbon Trust have helped communicate the key messages, and remind staff how they can contribute to the energy efficiency drive.

Greener investments
On the back of our recommendation to introduce an environmentally friendly procurement strategy, the group has invested in a new, energy efficient printing press which uses just half the power of the previous machine.

All in all the company has cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 26 tonnes, reducing its carbon footprint by an impressive 14%–17%.

Find out more about our on-site Carbon Surveys by sending us an enquiry. The full case study is available to download.

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