Leading networking solutions manufacturer Brand-Rex has been awarded ISO 50001 certification for its Energy Management Systems. The certification adds official validation to the company’s energy management systems that helped it to become the first globally carbon-neutral company in the networking sector.
ISO 50001 requires a company to develop a management framework for more efficient use of energy. Targets and objectives are established to meet these requirements, using relevant data. Brand-Rex was the first in its field to introduce carbon-neutral products, including Category 5e and Category 6 cables, and has done much to reduce its carbon footprint, energy usage and costs.
“This is a journey we started in 2009,” says Brand-Rex CEO Martin Hanchard. “That’s when we first measured our carbon footprint and analysed our energy usage. Since then we’ve invested £300,000 to achieve a drastic reduction in energy consumption. So drastic, in fact that we’ve now saved over £1 million in energy costs and we’ve reduced our CO2 emissions by 20 per cent.”
According to Kennedy Miller, technology and sustainability manager at Brand-Rex, “In 2009 we found that we created 44.7 grams CO2e (carbon-dioxide equivalent) per metre of cable. We decided to set a target of 35.7 grams. That meant a 20 per cent reduction between 2009 and the end of 2015. In manufacturing terms that was a highly ambitious goal that we knew would take a huge amount of sustained effort.”
Changing the factory heating from oil to gas and the re-introduction of natural daylight panels into the roof alongside intelligent electric lighting and a suite of other measures has allowed Brand-Rex to smash its target – achieving a 24 per cent reduction (to 33.8 grams CO2e) – six months early.
Chris McFarlane, QHSE Director explains “It was a logical and natural progression to embed the fantastic work started in 2009 within a management framework moving forward. As energy prices continue to fluctuate, it is important that Brand-Rex has operational controls in place to manage energy use while meeting legal obligations in terms of government energy reduction targets. ISO 50001 gives us this framework.”
Chris continues: “Although ISO 50001 didn’t exist when the journey started, Kennedy and his team kept track of its development and implemented the same basic principles. The award of the ISO 50001 certification not only compliments this work but gives a robust best practice framework, using an international standard, to continue the journey.”
Asked why Brand-Rex focuses so highly on energy efficiency and environmental issues, CEO Martin Hanchard concluded: “Quite simply it reduces the company’s cost base; allows us as an organisation to be good corporate citizens; and provides competitive differentiation in a very competitive market. More and more of our customers are recognising and demanding sustainable networking infrastructure as an integral ingredient of their building infrastructure.”