Trade for prosperity

It is a case of practice what you preach for Garry Shaw, Managing Director of energy efficiency specialists SURE Solutions.

The family-owned business, which Garry started four years ago offers energy efficiency solutions to businesses using industrial refrigeration, has installed 70 solar panels on the roof of their offices in Birkenhead on the Wirral.

There are plans this year to install a hot water heat pump and EV chargepoints, with Garry pledging the whole of the business will be net zero by 2025.

“As I have spent my working life in refrigeration, I have seen the changes in regulation to reduce carbon emissions first-hand,” explains Garry. “And while helping reduce those emissions was a powerful sales tool, I realised that it was something that had to be of significant importance to myself in order to give an honest assessment to any client who came knocking on my door for help.

“As well as the solar panels, heat pump and chargepoints, we have recently removed the electric wall heaters from the offices and big old gas heaters from the workshop and installed refrigerant heat pumps to provide the heating and cooling.

“We have ensured that our waste is recycled where possible and as we upgrade our vehicles we are replacing them with either electric or hybrid equivalents. Our final step later this year will be ‘carbon offsetting’ by doing something along the lines of tree planting or similar to get to Net Zero.

“The aim is to be carbon neutral, through offsetting, by the end of this year. We want to be Net Zero within the workplace next year and for the whole business by 2025.”

Garry believes helping the push towards Net Zero provides a greater sense of purpose and accountability for his business.

“It helps us be firmer in our decisions and that we show integrity, we do the right things,” he adds.

“We all have to show leadership on the topic if we can. We can’t rely on government alone, or big corporations, or energy providers, it will take an approach across all sectors and business sizes to become effective.”

And his tips for other businesses that are thinking of following suits are clear: “Speak to your own staff, they may have ideas for improvement.

“Also, engage educational institutions or universities for support. We have engaged Liverpool John Moores on a project to map our carbon footprint. We all need to understand the data before we can measure the impact of improvements.

“Engage apprentices or new starters to run projects. Often, they come in with fresh ideas and challenge existing thinking. In addition, the younger generation are more open to taking on environmental challenges.”

And with Glasgow set to host COP26 (United Nations Climate Change Conference) in November, Garry feels it is key that the UK
sets the pace in the race to Net Zero: “It’s important to show our leadership to other countries to have the best possible chance of gaining commitment to global agreements and targets at that conference.”