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Go Green - Case Study - Westoz Construction

host of environmental actions saves construction firm money

BACKGROUND:
Westoz Construction is a building services company that offers everything from roofing to bedroom furniture and kitchens. The company was helped by a Go Green Plus Adviser, from MCC Business Solutions who audited the office and workshop areas and suggested ideas for improving energy consumption and provided alternative options for waste disposal.

ACHIEVEMENTS:
Tackling energy efficiency, recycling and using more fuel efficient vehicles are just some of the ways Westoz Construction has reduced its carbon footprint and generated significant savings over the past 18 months.

Power washing and cleaning the sky lights, and installing a new window have greatly reduced lighting usage in the office. With more natural light streaming into rooms the lights are switched off for at least one third of the day. Staff are encouraged to switch off equipment, such as extractor fans, saws and other machinery when not in use while tools and equipment are regularly serviced to ensure they work more efficiently. Despite the company’s turnover doubling between 2009 and 2010 and more staff being employed, its electricity consumption has remained at the same level due to implementing these energy efficiency plans.

In addition turning off the computers and monitors at the end of the day, has produced savings of £70 over a year.

Much of the timber off-cuts generated from the work they carry out had previously been thrown out for disposal. These are now donated to the London Probation Trust, where probationers make products from the recycled timber. Timber is picked up from sites and the workshop approximately twice a month and saving four to five skip loads, which equates to £1,200. The company also uses as much MDF as possible and has built new racks to store smaller pieces to re-use rather than throw away.

Staff use two scooters when quoting for new work or when there is no need to carry tools and materials. This is saving both time and money, with less diesel consumption. One scooter costs £6 to fill up and this usually lasts a week, compared with a diesel van which costs £100 to fill up the tank each time.

Awareness was raised amongst the staff to ensure they knew to turn off machinery, lighting and computers when not in use, to think about what they were throwing away and not to waste materials that could be re-used.

Mike Lees, Westoz Construction proprietor and building manager, said he would certainly recommend other businesses follow suit. “There’s not a huge amount of work involved, it’s more about being aware of what you can do,” he said.

The work is not stopping there and the company is looking at environmentally sustainable materials and products and other ways to reduce its environmental impact.

 

FURTHER INFORMATION:
Go Green Plus is run by MCC Business Solutions and a partnership of six South London local authorities – Kingston, Lambeth, Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth. The wide-ranging support programme is open to small and medium sized businesses (1-250 employees) and offers 12 hours of free advice and support to encourage businesses to take action on waste and energy, water and/or CO2 reduction by reducing, reusing and recycling. Go Green Plus is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.