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Low carbon credentials the spur for growth

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An electrical instrumentation manufacturer is ahead of schedule to cut its carbon footprint – and benefit from the growing introduction of green purchasing policies in the process.

Less than two years into the programme, North East-based electronic instrumentation company Seaward has reduced its carbon emissions by over 40% and has used offsetting measures to produce what it says is the electrical industry's first range of carbon neutral electrical test instruments.

Rod Taylor, managing director of Seaward, said: "Despite the economic climate, growing awareness of green credentials is slowly beginning to impact on preferred supplier agreements and supply chain contracts and we expect this trend to grow.

"Although it is still relatively early days, Government departments, local authorities, the NHS and many large commercial organisations are increasingly implementing sustainable procurement codes. As a result, and despite the economic climate, growing importance of green credentials is slowly beginning to impact on some preferred supplier agreements and supply chain contracts. There is every indication that environmental compliance could become as strong a buying factor as ISO9001 quality approval has been in the past. As this happens we are working hard to ensure that our products are manufactured in line with international environmental best practices"

In two years the company calculates it has reduced the carbon footprint of its County Durham plant from around 450 tonnes of CO2 in 2007/08 to around 260 tonnes currently. Over this period, in productivity terms, the CO2 content of individual test instruments has been reduced from 7Kg per unit to 4.6Kg.

Among some of the more practical changes made, the company has switched its energy supply to a totally zero carbon supplier. New arrangements have also been set-up for waste management and recycling, putting timers on factory switches and appliances, making lighting system changes throughout its buildings and changing all stationery to recycled grades.

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