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Airedale takes steps to reduce carbon emissions associated with service work

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Airedale Catering Equipment Group plans to make it easier for engineers to obtain parts and encourage the use of smart kitchens at customer sites to make its service activities greener.

The Bradford-based company operates one of the largest catering equipment and refrigeration service businesses in the UK, accounting for almost 45% of its £37m turnover last year.

Just before the pandemic it acquired Flowrite, a refrigeration maintenance specialist with 100 engineers.

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Given that the most significant source of greenhouse gas emissions arises from the fuel consumption of its vehicles, Airedale is actively seeking to reduce the required mileages they cover.

In its annual report published this week, the company said that one of the initiatives it is implementing involves changes in the distribution of parts to its engineers to reduce travel requirements.

It is also placing greater emphasis on smart kitchen remote monitoring to reduce unnecessary engineer call-outs. Growth in the usage of connected equipment at customer sites means that issues can now be detected and resolved without an engineer being physically present.

Additionally, Airedale said work is being carried out to reduce ‘damage returns’, which is expected to result in lower distribution requirements and therefore related emissions.

Various measures have also been introduced to reduce energy consumption within its manufacturing facilities and offices, including replacing old equipment with newer, more efficiency units.

Airedale reports its greenhouse gas emissions using an operational control approach based on data for which it deems itself responsible.

It uses an emissions intensity ratio of ‘tonnes of CO2 per £1m of revenue’ as it believes this provides the best comparative measure over time.

In 2020, its business emitted 1,162.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Based on sales of just under £37m, this works out at 31.6 tonnes of CO2 per £1m of revenue.

Its total energy consumption as a business was 4.54 million kWh last year.

Yesterday, chief executive Rob Bywell said the business was tracking in line with its performance expectations having seen the picture improving since the third quarter of last year.

“We are delighted to see a strong recovery in the sector,” he commented. “All our clients are now actively pushing forward with their development plans. Airedale has a strong platform and, with Rubicon as our investment partner, we are looking forward to pushing forward with an exciting growth agenda.”

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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