CASE STUDY:

Fabweld Steel Products

  • £22,000 Business Energy Efficiency Programme grant to buy an electric forklift truck 
  • £40,000 grant from the Business Growth Programme 2 to help fund a nitrogen generation system powered by solar PV 
  • Energy use cut by 50 per cent in two years 

About

Telford-based Fabweld Steel Products (FSP) is a market leader in the design and manufacture of access covers and other fabricated steel products for the construction industry, including non-structural and structural applications.  

The company has established a global reputation for the quality of its products over the last three decades and is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and becoming a leader in sustainability. 

It is a Telford success story – growing its turnover by 20 per cent over the last two years, while cutting energy use by 50 per cent over the same period. 

It is spending £0.5million in a bid to become self-sufficient in its energy needs within the next 10 years as part of its forward-thinking plan to combat rising energy prices, reduce its carbon footprint and become a truly green supply partner to customers. 

Half of this investment has already been spent on the installation of a 180,000kWp solar PV to generate power via solar panels on the roof of its production facility as well as energy saving measures. 

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How the Marches Growth Hub helped

FSP received significant help to access funding for its sustainability work from the Marches Growth Hub Telford & Wrekin. 

The company worked with experts to secure £22,000 grant support from the Business Energy Efficiency Programme (BEEP) to buy an electric forklift truck and £40,000 from the Business Growth Programme 2 (BGP) to help fund a nitrogen generation system which will be powered by solar PV. 

FSP managing director Wayne Carter said the firm was already seeing real benefits from its commitment to a more sustainable way of working. 

He said:

“Our customers are under pressure to ‘green’ their supply chains, reducing the carbon footprint of their projects both up and downstream.

Our commitment to sustainability and self-reliance is not just ‘greenwashing’. We are taking action to reduce our energy use and our carbon emissions, and we can prove this through our ISO 40001 accreditation, and our Carbon Footprint Account Reporting (CFAR). 

FSP is a proud sponsor of local talents

Impact

The solar energy system is already supplying on average 65 per cent of the factory’s electricity needs every year, making a significant contribution to cutting energy bills and emissions. 

The company has also installed efficient LED lighting in place of the previous fluorescent strips and installed more efficient heating, air conditioning and compressed air systems. 

Indeed, over the past two years the company has been able to reduce its energy use by 50 per cent as a result of the sustainability drive. 

A major feature of the project is a new nitrogen generation system and compressor, which will be powered by a further 35kWp solar panel scheme to be introduced early in 2023, and which received £40,000 support from the Business Growth Programme 2.  

The £140,000 factory extension to house the nitrogen system will end the need to “buy-in” nitrogen up to three times a week to fuel the precision laser cutting of steel. Generating the nitrogen on site will also reduce the carbon footprint of transporting it to the factory by road. 

As well as on-site renewable energy generation, FSP is planning to introduce energy storage batteries and high-speed electric vehicle chargers, and the company is investing in electric fleet cars and forklift trucks as alternatives to petrol and diesel models. The first electric FLT arrived in October and will be recharged solely using power from the on-site photovoltaic system. 

Carbon Footprint Account Reporting (CFAR) is not compulsory for a business of FSP’s size but Wayne said they had voluntarily undertaken the work to ensure environmental accountability. 

He said: “We are working hard to make sure that everything we are doing is effective, which we can demonstrate through our ISO 40001 accreditation.  

“CFAR isn’t something we have to do but we have chosen to measure our Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions – those generated by us as well as those generated by the energy sources we buy – so that our customers can be confident that we really are a green supplier.” 

Future Help 

The Growth Hub’s business support team will continue to work with FSP as the company continues to evolve and develop its sustainability programme. 

Wayne said: “We are delighted with the support we have received to date and will certainly be drawing on the expertise of the Marches Growth Hub Telford & Wrekin again in the future.” 

Worm Soil

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