Ensuring the best possible environmental performance and waste management are high priorities for Bex Design.
At Bex Design we’ve always taken our environmental responsibilities very seriously. However, recently our efforts to reduce waste, recycle and become more energy efficient have gathered considerable pace, helping to make us greener as well as saving money.
Improving energy efficiency
In April 2014 we installed a 30KW solar panel array on our roof. This PV array is now supplying, on average through the year, 20% of all our energy requirements.
In May 2015 we commissioned a local energy management company – SMARTech Energy – to conduct a full audit of our 22,500 sqft facility. The results were fascinating and as a consequence we have taken some simple, but very meaningful actions:
> replacement of all our office shop floor and lighting with auto dimming low-energy LED units (in progress)
> shutdown of all our machines overnight (which has also had the impact of reducing servicing requirements by 1/3)
> ducting heat from our Zund cutting machines to heat our 7,500 sqft factory extension, negating the requirement for any other heating.
The impact of these changes has meant that whilst we have expanded significantly, our energy usage has actually reduced. Good news for the environment and good news for our business.
The waste we produce is largely screen ink, cleaning fluids and polycarbonate and acrylic sheeting. For well over 10 years our ink waste, which is classed as hazardous waste, has been collected and disposed of safely by a specialist company, and since 2011 our polycarbonate and acrylic waste materials have been collected and recycled, rather than going to landfill.
Early in 2016 we installed chemical reclaim on site, allowing us to extract ink residue from our screens during cleaning. This is then collected and recycled alongside our other ink waste.
We are actively reducing the number of waste collections needed thanks to the installation of a compactor in July 2016. This has reduced our waste collections from once a week, to just once a month! We have also significantly reduced the amount of waste previously sent to landfill. Since November 2016, thanks to our collaboration with recycling and resource management partner SUEZ UK, 99.8% of our waste is now taken to Avonmouth where it is recycled and converted into renewable energy.
Production Manager, Ian Wicks explains; “The impact of these changes has meant that whilst we have significantly expanded both our plant and factory space, our energy usage has actually reduced. This is good news for the environment and good news for our business. We are constantly looking at further ways to improve our environmental performance and waste management and build on the measures we have already put in place.”
More news will follow soon!