Spirent Communications Plc is a listed communications test and measurement company with operations in 15 counties across Europe, the US and Asia. The company develops innovative hardware and software solutions for the communications industry.
Brite Green worked with Spirent to develop their sustainability strategy and provides ongoing support and expert resource to manage the company’s sustainability programme. As part of this programme, Spirent’s Paignton site was designated the Group’s pioneering Low Carbon Centre of Excellence, reducing purchased electricity by 27% in 3 years using low carbon technologies and sustainable business practices.
Spirent Communications Plc - Paignton: Low carbon centre of excellence
Sustainability and environmental performance are key strategic issues for Spirent and the company has worked with Brite Green to implement a comprehensive sustainability programme.
An important part of the sustainability strategy has been the development of a Low Carbon Centre of Excellence at Paignton in Devon. The site has been used to test low carbon technologies and develop new processes to reduce energy consumption that are applicable both at Paignton and across the Group. The site already had good environmental management through a certified ISO 14001 environmental management system and an active employee “Green Team” but the programme has proved to be an excellent catalyst for further improvement.
Achieving energy reductions through technology and behaviour change
Following a detailed energy audit, a series of low carbon technologies were installed. The lighting was upgraded to LEDs with motion controls, and insulation and window films were fitted in the office areas. A 50 kWp solar array was mounted on the large south facing roof and a voltage optimisation unit has also been installed.
The Green Team have supported this programme of technology investment with awareness raising campaigns and reporting.
The resulting energy reductions have been significant. Between 2011 and 2014, purchased electricity has reduced by 27% at Paignton and the percentage of electricity generated from on-site renewables has increased to 13%. During the same period, the size of the labs increased significantly, as has headcount.
Installing energy metering to target further reductions
To target further reductions and improve environmental reporting, an energy metering system was installed in early 2015 to provide granular energy use data, including sub-metering in the labs. This system will act as a pilot before metering is rolled out across key sites in the Group.
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