would change both the culture and processes of our day-to-day opera- tions. We started with our most prized asset: our staff. From efficiency improvements to waste- reduction ideas, to pro- cess improvements and energy reduction we educated our workforce to identify, suggest, and implement carbon foot- print initiatives of their own. The aim of the training was to facilitate a change in mindset throughout the entire company, providing the foundation for a more sustainable future. In terms of initiatives with more immediate benefits, we improved
the production machinery. For example, we invested in advanced multi-functional equipment that completes more tasks with fewer machines, rationalising equipment, improving flow, and minimising downtime. Additionally, we improved production efficiency and mini- mised energy output, by implementing a greater degree of automation in our equipment – particularly in our cutting and welding operations. Chris Droogan, Managing Director at Cleveland Bridge, believes that these manufacturing improvements result in benefits all along the sup- ply chain, “Due to the scale of our plant and equipment, we can pro- duce larger and more complex steel girders – up to 56 metres in length. When compared to shipping multiple smaller components, these large girders help reduce transport costs and thereby carbon emissions. And, with our improved production machinery, we can even carry out trial assemblies to ensure fittings and product dimensions and buildability is industry leading.” Our energy efficient offices In addition to our ambitious improvements to manufacturing and the supply chain, we also implemented several smaller – yet, equally im- portant – initiatives in our offices and production facilities, supporting Cleveland Bridge being more energy efficient. We started with the simple solutions – the easy, energy efficient chang- es that would quickly reduce our carbon footprint. For example, our maintenance team started to recycle all grey water, significantly im-
proving our water utilisation. Another example was our plan to prevent lights being left on unnecessarily, we installed zonal, passive infra-red and sound sensitive switching as well as LED lighting throughout our offices. Within operations we installed LED lighting, providing sig- nificant carbon reduction when multiplied over our operational area of 30,000m2. Similarly, we also invested in a fleet of energy-saving photocopiers and printers and upgraded our heating system to enable greater zonal control and improved efficiency. As Chris Droogan, Managing Director at Cleveland Bridge, explains, “The real challenge was deciding which initiative to prioritise to im- prove our existing office equipment and processes.” One of the answers to this problem, for instance, was to update our IT servers with the latest processing technologies. This innovative im- provement not only granted our servers a far greater energy-efficient ratio but also allowed us to scale down the number of IT servers by over 60 percent, further reducing our offices’ carbon emissions. In all areas of the business, Cleveland Bridge has instilled a cultural change, which has been integral in the success of our carbon footprint initiatives. An example of this is the decision to install electric vehicle charging points prior to any employees utilising electric cars, this pro- vided a catalyst for change. We hope the rest of the industry will join us in our efforts to create a more sustainable future.
csengineermag.com april 2020
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