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COFELY innovation helps United Biscuits to reduce its carbon footprint

20 January 2011

As part of a wide-ranging sustainability programme operated by United Biscuits, COFELY has helped the company achievea 27% reduction in gas usage, a 5.2% reduction in electricity consumption and a reduction in CO2 emissions of 27,468kg at its headquarters in Middlesex.

The range of works carried out formed the first phase of an ongoing energy conservation programme as part of the COFELY’s energy and facilities management contract with United Biscuits.

“The key to the success of this project is that we have been working as one team,” noted United Biscuits’ Mark Tupper. “Once we had agreed what needed to be done, COFELY simply went off and delivered it. So there has been no pressure on our management resources, as would have been have been the case if we were managing a team of sub-contractors,” he continued.

Plans for the work began in December 2008, when COFELY presented a Carbon Reduction Road Map to United Biscuits. For most elements of the programme COFELY offered several proposals for improving energy efficiency and each element of the project was budgeted and evaluated against the forecast carbon reduction.

“We challenged each project in terms of practicality, delivery, timescales and cost-effectiveness, so that each possible solution was fully validated before work began,” Mark Tupper added.

The scope of the work was extensive, ranging from improving control strategies to fine-tuning maintenance schedules, with attention to detail at every stage. For example, the building management systems and control networks were completely overhauled, which also included updating a corrupt database, migrating data from an older system and installing a new graphical interface. To optimise the data handling, intelligent OSS Sword modules were installed – which have enabled high power data transfer without needing to invest in new hardware.

Other work that has been carried out included voltage reduction by 2.6%, installation of energy-saving shower heads, balancing the main air intake and adding free-cooling functionality to air handling plant and improving lighting control.

“This is a prime example of how an initial TM22 Building Energy Benchmarking report can open the doors to a world of energy saving opportunities” commented Jonathan Crowley of COFELY, who carried out the initial survey, “it’s great to see COFELY and our customers working so closely together, achieving impressive carbon reductions.”

Education Programme

In parallel with the upgrade work, United Biscuits and COFELY have launched the Carbon Charlie education campaign, designed to make staff more aware of energy efficiency at work and in the home. This is centred around a competition to work out Carbon Charlie’s carbon footprint and supported by a range of informative literature.

As a result of these initiatives, the site is well on its way to achieving its target carbon footprint of 78kg/CO2/m2, considerably below the CIBSE TM22 benchmark of 101kg/CO2/m2 for a building of this size and type. Furthermore, now that the ‘basics’ have been addressed, the team is well positioned to investigate the potential for introducing renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic power generation.

COFELY’s contract with United Biscuits encompasses energy management, technical facilities management, project works and project management.

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