We’re not burning the grid, we’re giving back to it.
Becoming Carbon Negative has been a progressive journey for our business. A journey that began in 2015 when we received an exorbitant electricity bill. We were haemorrhaging power and forced change was needed. This force meant it was time to reflect on the values of our business. If we were serious about being a better business and positively impacting the environment, we needed to address energy-efficient policies and use our company to force better outcomes.
We looked to broader initiatives and government incentives to assist with the planning and implementation of changes.
And so, the start of this journey began. In September 2016, fluorescent tube lighting was changed to LED, halving our power usage for that lighting. In November 2016, high bay warehouse lighting was changed from mercury to LED, reducing the power usage for that lighting by 75%. At this same time, we recognised that one major contributor to our energy usage was the compressor which had a very high power consumption. Upgrading this to a high-efficiency variable-speed compressor delivered an extremely energy-efficient solution.
Digging deeper, we were saving money by reducing our power bills and energy consumption. These positive changes were building a better and cleaner future for our business.
Our manufacturing premises are built across four factory settings. In June 2017, we installed a 30kW solar system in our first building. Throughout 2018, we progressively added another two 30kW solar systems to our 2nd and 3rd buildings, bringing this to a new total of 90kW system, followed by another 60kW bringing us to a new capacity of 150kW across our entire location.
In June 2021, we removed all high-power consumption production machinery. We replaced two petrol cars with electric ones, charging our vehicles using our solar system. With further measures, we logistically reduced the footprint of our production operations from four factories to one, and in November 2021, we changed all gas forklifts to electric.
By late 2021, we were proud to announce that we were Carbon Negative.
Today we are giving back to the Electricity Grid more than we are taking. We are a manufacturing company, but we are also creating power and providing energy to our wider community.
In January 2022, we again upgraded all high bay warehouse lighting to lower-wattage LED with proximity sensors. YTD in September 2022, our result was -35,873.04 negative kWh. It indicates that we are exporting more back to the Electricity Grid and providing enough power to run a few households.
The cost to our business to implement these changes over the past 6 years was similar to that of our electricity bill back in 2015. Of course, a few initiatives and government incentives assisted along the way. Our electricity bills will now forever look different. From our experience, we encourage others to look into their value strategy, look at the bigger picture and align similarly to a larger purpose.
Supporting data shows the positive changes we have made to our manufacturing plant and environment, and with our solid commitment, we will continue to implement positive changes in the future.