Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies are taking precedence as many industries seek to underpin sustainability aspirations with tangible actions on the road to Net Zero.  


By cutting unnecessary usage, implementing energy efficient lighting, and eliminating air leaks, companies can take steps to become carbon neutral and unleash savings at a time when the price of energy is soaring. 


Indeed, according to global management consulting firm, McKinsey, initiatives to reduce industrial energy consumption could generate energy cost savings of between 20 and 50 percent.  


As a leading omnichannel products and solutions provider, RS can help customers cut costs and drive down consumption with tailored energy management strategies, supported by top-of-the-range products designed to keep operations energy efficient, safe, and productive.


For one international food manufacturer striving to make its operations carbon neutral, working with a supplier who actively supports its sustainability ambitions was key to unlocking further energy-saving initiatives. 


A pressing area for the customer was the lighting infrastructure in use across its 20 sites. Given LED lightbulbs use between 80% and 90% less electricity than standard bulbs, switching to LEDs would allow the customer to reduce its energy consumption immediately. Against a backdrop of rising energy costs, being able to standardise lighting across the business and have greater visibility of usage and spend was also key.


In addition, the customer was losing a significant amount of money as a result of air leaks at its sites. As a major source of energy waste, these leaks needed to be identified and resolved quickly.


Led by one our National Account Managers, Daniel, a cross-functional team from RS was assembled and worked closely with the customer’s engineering, procurement and infrastructure leads to discuss their challenges and objectives. 


Daniel explains: “The customer wanted to tackle two areas; lighting and air leaks. The lighting proposal was treated as a CAPEX project and required product standardisation across the business. Being able to manage the lighting centrally would give the customer greater visibility of savings as well as control over purchasing, which had traditionally been done at site level.” 


RS worked in partnership with trusted supplier and leading lighting provider Sylvania to deliver an audit and lighting design proposal, followed by the implementation of a full turnkey solution.  


To streamline the process, Account Manager Daniel acted as the single point of contact, managing relevant paperwork, contractors, and the product requirements for each site. The lighting project was followed by a subsequent bespoke ultrasonic testing programme to identify and resolve air leak faults, which RS rolled out across the customer’s sites.


As LED lighting uses less energy than other lighting types, ROI was expected to be achieved within 18 months to two years. However, with rising energy prices, payback is now projected within six months. Meanwhile, the air leak surveys identified leaks costing £1.5million per year. Once remedied, 11,500 tonnes of CO2 savings will be achieved. 


Daniel adds: “As LEDs have a longer lifespan, the customer will also save time spent on replacements and maintenance. This is particularly welcome in industrial settings where access to lighting can be challenging and can potentially only be undertaken during shutdowns.” 


RS works with several customers to deliver bespoke energy management strategies. By utilising energy loss surveys, smart technology for valuable data insight, and a comprehensive product portfolio that includes metering solutions, thermal imaging cameras, and timers, RS enables customers to reduce energy consumption, CO2 emissions, and wastage, achieving payback within months.