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Businesses come together for One Planet Cardiff Summit

Credit: Cardiff Council

With 23% of the 1.6 million tonnes of carbon emissions generated annually in Cardiff produced by the commercial and industrial sectors, local businesses and organisations came together yesterday (June 13th) to learn from some of the innovative local businesses that are already significantly reducing their carbon footprint, and explore how they too can help accelerate Cardiff towards a carbon neutral future.

Hosted by Cardiff Council at Techniquest science discovery centre in Cardiff Bay, more than 100 local businesses and organisations from the public, private and third sector attended the first One Planet Cardiff Summit.

Cardiff Council Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Cllr Caro Wild, said: “Responding to climate change is at the heart of our agenda and as a council we’re making good progress on reducing our own emissions, but we’ve always been clear that, if we’re to achieve our vision of carbon neutral Cardiff, we need the whole city to be on board and make changes.

“There are already lots of local businesses, organisations, and individuals doing brilliant work to reduce their emissions – but alongside that expertise and knowledge there’s also a lot of energy and enthusiasm, so getting all those people into one room today will help develop partnerships that can act as a catalyst for even more urgent action.”

One of the businesses already pushing forward with decarbonisation is Euroclad Group, a Cardiff based supplier of architectural metal building solutions to the construction industry. Through its sustainability programme, Planet Passionate, it aims to create a positive impact on three big global challenges: climate change, circularity and protection of our natural world.

Euroclad Group are fitting all three of theirproduction units with solar PV panels, have upgraded all their lighting to energy efficient LEDs, moved to fully recyclable packaging with a minimum of 30% recycled content, are working with a local freight company to ensure their products are delivered using 100% electric or biomethane trucks – something that saved more than 9 tonnes of CO2e between January and May alone, andby the end of 2023 all 33 of their fleet vehicles will be EV.

Commercial Director at Euroclad Group, Darren Stewart, said: “Taking action on climate change is crucial for our business because we are aware of significant impact that our industry has on the environment, and we recognise the urgent need for sustainability. This is especially important if we’re to meet the UK government’s target for net zero carbon emissions by 2050. That’s why we’re working hard to achieve ambitious targets set out in our Planet Passionate Programme. Taking the necessary steps to implement changes across our facilities, and throughout our operations and processes, will ensure we meet our critical carbon reduction, energy efficiency, circularity and water conservation goals, aligning with our vision of creating a more sustainable future.”

Another Cardiff based business making great strides in reducing their emissions is TB Davies Ltd, a fourth-generation family business founded in the 1940s and now a leading supplier of access equipment in the UK. The company manufactures and distributes a wide range of climbing products, including steps, ladders, towers, and podiums for the professional, trade and domestic user.

The business first began decarbonising back in 2019 through replacement of energy intensive warehouse halogen lighting with more efficient LED lighting. Other measures they took included implementation of an automated EDI customer order import system, helping reduce paper usage, printing requirements and wastage through human error. Since then, the company has installed a 30kW (ladder shaped) solar panel system, switched energy supplies to fully green electricity only (solar, hydro and wind sourced power), have been phasing in EV / hybrid powertrains for company vehicles and forklifts, and carried out a full audit to quantify, reduce and remove plastic packaging through their supply chain.

More recent work to reduce emissions generated indirectly via their supply chain has seen them recently win a Business Wales ‘Best Small Business Carbon Reduction Plan’ award.

TB Davies Ltd Director, Mat Gray, said: “We’ve transformed how we do business over recent years with the aim of ensuring we do our fair share to protect our environment. By proactively considering sustainability with any new company projects, we are finding better ways to work, and these are increasingly helping us to reduce our carbon footprint and also improve our commercial opportunities in industry.

“My advice to any organisation starting on their journey is to start looking at their data. It’s easier than you think to calculate your Carbon Footprint. Once done you’ll be able to see where your biggest carbon savings can be made, and this will help you plan your pathway to a better future for your company and the whole community.”