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Designplan have a commitment to sustainability and as part of the Fagerhult Group, we are committed to achieving net zero emissions no later than 2045, a target validated and approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Our approach encompasses near and long-term strategies designed within the framework of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG protocol), focusing on Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 emissions reduction initiatives. Below, our Quality Assurance Manager, David Richards, explains what Designplan are doing to ensure that we will reach our goal.

Scope 1: Direct Emissions From Our Manufacturing Process

David states that by 2030 we will reduce these emissions by 70%*. We are focusing on the base materials we use, reducing our manufacturing waste, maximising recycling and saving energy in production.

To lower scope 1 emissions, we operate from a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ facility. We implement rainwater harvesting, solar panels, and integrated lighting controls.

We have identified and implemented several waste segregation strategies. This enables us to consistently divert 99.8% of our waste from landfill every month. This achievement stems from the commitment of our team members who adhere to recycling guidelines across all identified waste streams. One notable success is our efficient segregation process, which has allowed us to convert 24% of our waste into energy.

Moreover, David explains that our investment in an on-site cardboard baling machine has significantly reduced the volume of waste material generated on our premises. This not only contributes to a more sustainable waste management system, but also results in fewer collections required to dispose of our 80% recycled cardboard material. Additionally, by tailoring our cardboard boxes to the exact quantity needed, we’ve managed to drastically reduce the number of incoming cardboard deliveries from 66 to just 15 per annum. These initiatives minimise our waste generation, maximise our recycling efforts, and ultimately reduces our environmental footprint.

Scope 2: Indirect & Direct Emissions From Purchased Energy

By 2030 we will reduce these emissions by 70%*. To help achieve this we are incorporating renewable energy sources within our manufacturing operations. Plus, all the energy we purchase is from non-fossil fuel-based electricity.

Our commitment to sustainability is evident in the impressive outputs of our renewable energy systems. Our rooftop solar panels generate approximately 45,000 kWh annually, effectively offsetting 10,500 kg of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to about 25,021 kettle boils. Additionally, our solar wall, covering an area of 290m2, contributes over 44,000 kWh annually, resulting in a significant reduction of 13,880 kg of CO2 emissions each year.

We’re further enhancing efficiency by recirculating heat from internal processes and upgrading machinery. These initiatives demonstrate our dedication to decreasing energy usage in production while promoting sustainable practices.

Scope 3: Indirect & Direct Emissions From Our Products & Value Chain.

By 2030 we will reduce these emissions by 30%*. We will continue to limit the embodied carbon in our products and use the TM65.2 measurement reporting methodology where we assess carbon throughout a product’s lifecycle, including installation, maintenance, and end-of-life.

Our luminaires are also evaluated using CIBSE TM66 criteria for design, material use, and environmental impact. Our fittings are designed with removable gear trays for longevity and deconstruction. To reduce carbon emissions during use, we employ energy-efficient LED modules and integrate lighting controls and smart connectivity where possible, prioritising lower-power fittings.

We, as part of the Fagerhult Group, are committed to ethical purchasing. The Fagerhult Group Code of Conduct lays out our sustainability and environmental values with our business partners. We are also working within the sustainable procurement practices set out by ISO 20400: 2017. Accordingly, we are working with our suppliers to get more recycled content into the materials we use to make our luminaires.  Since the start of 2023, we have increased the recycled content in the aluminium we use from 20% to 47% and our efforts to further increase this are ongoing.  We have also worked with our suppliers to reuse as much of our incoming packaging as possible. Together we have eliminated 6,000 plastic bags per annum from our supply chain by introducing returnable cardboard boxes with suppliers. We also regularly return incoming cardboard boxes, so that they can be reused for future deliveries.

We’re also focused on reducing material miles. Aiming to increase European sourcing to 70%, with plans for further improvement in 2024 and beyond. Additionally, we encourage energy-efficient transportation, including the use of electric vehicles by our suppliers.

Scope 3: Reducing Use Phase Emissions

By 2030 we will reduce these emissions by 30%*. We are focusing on sustainable retrofitting and connected lighting systems as we’ve led the way in luminaires with removable metal trays, facilitating sustainable transitions from fluorescent to LED lighting.

A real-life example of utilising our retrofit gear trays is at Birmingham New Street Station. The light engine of the existing luminaire was replaced by an LED gear tray. In total, 163 tonnes of embodied carbon are saved, equivalent to 165 flight journeys between London and New York each year.

We also promote connected lighting systems to optimise energy usage and reduce environmental impact. Equipped with sensors and smart controls, these systems adjust lighting levels based on occupancy and natural light, reducing electricity usage by up to 90%. Remote monitoring identifies inefficiencies, minimising wasted energy and carbon emissions. Data analytics offer insights for continuous improvement, aiding further energy reduction and emissions mitigation, while enhancing user comfort and operational efficiency.

Our Commitment to Sustainability

In summary, our commitment to sustainability drives our efforts to achieve net zero emissions by 2045. Through innovative strategies and collaborative partnerships, we continue to advance our environmental stewardship. Therefore contributing to a more sustainable future for generations to come. To find out about our sustainable ventures, download our sustainability brochure.

*from the baseline year 2021.