Ensuring we limit any negative impact on the environment and protect the natural resources we rely on creates long-term sustainability for the business.
We aim to adopt technologies, materials and processes that minimise our impact on the environment and maximise our use of sustainable resources.
Our efforts and environmental awareness continue to evolve to comply with regulations and make our business better and more sustainable. We have a wide range of initiatives aimed at sustaining and protecting the environment. These cover energy use, carbon emissions, water, biodiversity sustainable materials, packaging and waste.
We also encourage environmentally sustainable behaviour at work and ensure that our employees understand how they can contribute.
Our efforts and environmental awareness continue to evolve, not only to comply with regulations but also to make our business better and more sustainable.
We have initiatives aimed at sustaining and protecting the environment. These cover energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, water use and waste; and sustainable use of materials, packaging and waste disposal.
2022 Environment Highlights
Energy resource managementplus
The Group is committed to year-on-year improvements in our operational energy efficiency and initiatives to help achieve these goals have been rolled out across the Divisions. We conduct regular energy surveys at key sites, and fully implement the recommendations to improve energy efficiency. In the last two years, detailed surveys were conducted in Feltre, Italy, and Ashby and Bury St Edmunds, UK.
Many buildings have been fitted with timers and motion sensors for lighting, and programmable thermostats to optimise heating and cooling. The Feltre, Italy facility has installed 11 high efficiency air compressors with an energy saving inverter system, resulting in a 20% energy reduction and a cost saving of €15,000 per annum. An energy management plan is being developed across all sites. Site managers are encouraged to identify energy and reduction opportunities. Throughout the year, we implemented energy metering and circuit level monitoring in Feltre, Italy which is estimated to save 40 tCO₂e, upon its completion in 2023. Site rationalisation continues to be a key priority moving forward and we have closed our Chatsworth, US site, saving ￡0.3 million and reducing an estimated 49.5 tCO₂e per annum.
Energy efficiency technology has been implemented or considered across our Productions Solutions sites to facilitate a reduction in our operational emissions. Production Solutions is certified with ISO50001, which drives our business towards improvements in energy efficiency. We are also working to introduce behavioural changes amongst our employees, encouraging them to switch off equipment after use. Our IT teams have introduced a Windows power saving policy, automatically activating sleep mode for computers to save energy.
Packaging and product sustainabilityplus
Our products and services have a comparatively low impact on the environment. We use low hazard materials and minimise the use of resources during the manufacturing process. In 2022, PLCA methodology was embedded into Media Solutions’ internal design processes and used to support R&D decisions around sustainability. Production Solutions is currently developing a PLCA programme which will commence in 2023.
Sustainable alternative packaging, including FSC-graded paper and cardboard, and recycled plastic, and non-plastic bags continues to be investigated and implemented. We continue to share our learnings across the Group, testing and trialling different packaging materials to find the best-suited material.
Various initiatives around the Group have built on our work to reduce the amount of waste created in our operations. We recycle waste products, materials, paper and other recyclable items at all our sites. In 2022, we improved our waste data collection for more accurate analysis and understanding of processes. We recycle electronic waste and industrial scraps, and encourage the reselling or reuse of returned products.
Across the Group we continue to work with waste management companies to see how the collection and sorting can be improved.
While our water usage is relatively low, used mostly for human consumption, we are reducing our usage where possible. All Divisions have, or are, implementing water-saving initiatives, such as waterless urinals, limiting flushing options on toilets and installing motion-controlled taps in lavatories. Production Solutions has explored rainwater collection at their Cartago, Costa Rica site to be stored for industrial use, irrigation of green areas, sanitary services, and more, which is a promising initiative for the future.
Although the Group has little direct contact with biodiversity, we recognise its importance for the planet. Across our Divisions we ensure our sites emit little pollution and are not disruptive to any nearby wildlife. Production Solutions donated £8,000 to “The Rainforest Trust” in 2022. This donation is enough to ensure the protection of 1,146 acres in the Peruvian Amazon Watershed, which is equivalent to 230,000 tCO2e. This project also helps protect the endangered Andean Night Monkey local to the area.
Actions we will take in 2022/23plus
- Continue to track our environmental performance
- Work with our suppliers to reduce their environmental impact
- Continue to improve the methodology for indirect emissions reporting
Carbon fibre cell upgrade plus
Our focus on continuous improvement and our environmental footprint led us to upgrade our unique flowtech carbon fibre manufacturing facility in Bury St Edmunds, UK. No competitor in the industry makes tripods like we make our award-winning flowtech. Its unique features are made possible by complex-shaped woven carbon fibre, and it has become a huge market-leading success. The 18-month upgrade project invested £1.5 million in new, state-of-the-art equipment which reduced our waste by 90%, whilst also increasing production capacity by 40% to keep up with demand for the finished product.
Recycled textiles in Media Solutions - Lowepro plus
Lowepro works to ensure products are built to last by using the right materials for longevity and upholding our sustainable design principles. In 2022, Lowepro launched a PhotoSport bag made with 75% recycled fabric and we introduced the Trekker Lite Collection with up to 81% recycled and solution-dyed fabrics. Committed to better protecting the natural world that adventure photographers celebrate, the Trekker Lite Collection proves Lowepro’s sustainability mission is moving ahead at pace while staying true to our brand’s two great passions – the love of travel and the love of photography. These successes are paving the way for further PLCA initiatives at Videndum and Lowepro has plans to produce a full bag product range made of 100% recycled fabric by 2024.