ELE hits first two sustainability goals

By Tim Aldred

04 Apr 2024

ELE ESG Board

ELE Advanced Technologies has announced that it has met its internal sustainability objectives and will now work on improving the performance of its supply chain.

The Nelson-based engineering firm's original goal of reducing scope one and two carbon emissions by 80 per cent by minimising energy usage and sourcing energy from renewable sources was achieved at the end of 2023.

An energy optimisation programme utilising digital diagnostic tools helped to reduce the energy needed to power its machining tools by 20 per cent.

Photovoltaic solar panels were installed to generate up to 37 per cent of its own clean energy, with the remaining energy used on site coming from alternative renewable sources.

Its new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility site features electric vehicle charging points free to use for all employees. A streamlined waste management system has also reduced the level of waste produced and increased repurposing and recycling rates so that 88 per cent of the waste it produces now avoids landfill.

The final step of this initial phase will involve ELE reducing carbon emissions resulting from its heating requirements by exploring potential heat recovery options within its manufacturing operations. Heat recovery is now in place, heating a new extension recently built for a highly specialised application.

David Stanley, CEO of ELE Advanced Technologies, said: “Our customers may be some of the biggest blue-chip companies in the world, but they still have a steep journey ahead of them in achieving net zero by 2050 – through what they make and how they make it.

“We may have gone early in terms of leading the way for the rest of the supply chain, however we believe this is the right thing to do and our customers value our responsible and collaborative approach.”

A key aspect of ELE’s drive to be an early adopter of the most sustainable approaches and techniques in advanced manufacturing is its formation of a Sustainability Committee. Led by David and tasked with driving forward environmental, social and governance aims, the committee engages with employees from all areas of the business and will now work towards the next phase of the business’ journey to net zero.

David said: “Scope three now involves us looking into how we can support reduction of carbon emissions generated by our supply chain as a result of our operations.

“This will undoubtedly be the most challenging aspect of our sustainability journey. However, ELE already has excellent working relationships with its supply chain, so we’re already one step ahead than most, and look forward to working with our suppliers to explore the difference we can make together.”

To start, ELE aims to reduce carbon emissions produced by its commuting and courier services by 25 per cent and then intends to achieve a further 25 per cent reduction from working with the remainder of its supply chain, by the end of 2024.

Sustainability improvements achieved by ELE Advanced Technologies to date have recently been recognised by an external party that independently assesses progress being made. Having been benchmarked in 2022 the assessment improved again in 2023 with an overall score of 68 per cent and is considered 'Advanced’ in the framework.

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

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