Effecting sustainable change
Employee-driven initiatives at Sulzer Leeds facility promote sustainability and wellbeing
“As part of our sustainability strategy, we’ve been carrying out many green initiatives here at Leeds. From rewilding to safety and the environment, we are working towards our goals and supporting our customers and suppliers to reach theirs too.”
Manor Mill Meadow is the Leeds facility’s in-house rewilding project. A 5’000 m2 space at the facility has been turned over to nature. Featuring a wide range of plants, four beehives, two ponds, butterfly garden and spaces for wildflowers – the meadow provides a haven for wildlife and offers employees at the site an opportunity to relax during a welcome break.
A 600 step footpath travels through the meadow, constructed from plant chippings generated from the shrubbery around site and from the garden itself. A cabin has been built from a recycled gearbox packing case, fitted with a solar powered Wi-Fi hotspot so employees can work outside. Benches from recycled sources provide plenty of places for visitors to admire the view. The four beehives contain half a million bees and produced 80 jars of honey last year.
“We leave the meadow to the wildlife. With declining insect numbers, we felt a wildflower habitat was important. The ponds will also encourage water life to move in. Currently we have in excess of 28 species living in the meadow, and soon we will be installing bird and bat boxes too. The meadow also provides a place for our employees to get outside and spend time in the fresh air, which helps support everyone’s mental health and wellbeing.”
Another sustainability strategy driven by employees at the Leeds facility is the continuation of its environmental improvement system driven in accordance with ISO 14001 and ISO 50001 accreditations.
“Our current safety/environmental theme is based around energy usage and reducing our carbon footprint. We have been raising awareness over the previous 24 months and have seen an 83% increase in employee observations related to opportunities for environmental improvements,” says Gareth.
“We collaborate a lot here at Leeds, which is empowering for everyone. All of us are on the lookout for energy savings or sustainability improvements. This awareness means everyone has a responsibility for reducing our environmental impact.”
Environmental improvement suggestions can vary from proposals to optimize energy usage to identifying areas where recycling could be promoted instead of disposal. Ideas are shared throughout the company to inform employees on the latest developments in policy. The system has already led to a stronger recycling culture, more efficient use of equipment and a robust culture of collaboration on environmental issues.
“Even small changes can bring big benefits. We managed to reduce our energy consumption by simply unplugging equipment where possible, instead of leaving it plugged in on standby,” adds Gareth.
“A sustainable future is important for us at Leeds. It is also important to our customers and partners. We want to ensure that anyone coming here for our services can make a more sustainable choice,” Gareth continues.
“Everyone here is committed to improving sustainability and wellbeing, and we want to share that.”