STAMFORD | AVK™ has six global manufacturing plants, based in UK, Romania, China and India, working to one global standard of market-leading alternator excellence.
Home of our STAMFORD® brand is Stamford, Lincolnshire where our presence of building alternators in the UK dates to 1904. The Stamford facility manufactures the STAMFORD® range, including the S4, S5, S6 and S7, which are shipped all over the world. Sustainability is high on the agenda for STAMFORD | AvK's 'Future Ready' initiatives - we explored the ways the Stamford facility is focusing on making a difference.
1. Introducing an environmental specialist
One of the Stamford's plant's priorities is to operate in a sustainable way, with a focus on waste reduction by reusing or recycling. To ensure this is not overlooked, the role of a Environmental, Health and Safety Coordinator was created. This is a position that Mark Hemnell has led since May 2022. Mark has been with the wider business since 1994. He started as a forklift driver and now he is responsible for site tidiness, looking after waste streams, recycling and chemicals disposal.
2. Creating recycling point for various materials
The first task Mark took care of was increasing the number of materials that can be recycled. Mark meticulously reviewed every type of waste and distributed containers across the site. This resulted in around 70% decrease in the general waste produced. Key initiatives included designated collection for metal banding and clips, batteries, plastic cables and wires, cardboard, or steel waste. If any wood waste cannot be resent or reused, it is chipped and used as bedding for animals or chipboards.
3. More efficient ways of operating
As Mark explains, "My focus is on finding the processes that could be done more efficiently. Making minor changes in current processes can not only reduce waste or costs but bring our company closer to meeting sustainability goals". One of the recent actions was looking into machines that produced around 10-15 kilos if grease waste - now there is zero waste. Here are two further examples of processes increasing efficiency and reducing waste.
- Reusing skids (pallets with no bottom deck) and wooden v-block, on the lorry that would normally travel empty, where they could be reused instead of using new pallets. Last year the plant sent back above 700 of mentioned units for reuse.
- Reducing the amount of gas bottles used in plant and reducing fuel usage by implementing the rule of not travelling without load. Now, forklift operators are taking empty boxes on their way back, which is 0.25 mile long. Although it is a small win, it makes the process more efficient and environmentally friendly.
4. Taking ownership in the recycling process
To maintain complete visibility, Mark looked at ways to shorten the recycling process cycle, by sending packaging and materials directly to specified recycling points. Previously, materials received from contractors were given back; Mark decided there is a better solution. Now materials are sent straight to designated recycling points.
5. Reusing materials
Polythene and silicone bags are now dried out and sent back, so they can be reused, as opposed to waste disposal. Another success has been the collection of polyester panels that arrive with deliveries, which are sent back to suppliers.
6. Reduction of non-recyclable waste
Mark's efforts resulted in a notable change on how often the waste compactor is collected. It collects non-recyclable materials and was last emptied in May, shortly after Mark started his role. Before it used to be emptied every 3 months. With waste collections decreasing to every 7 months, over 70% of waste is recycled and reused.
7. Investing in the future
Recently Mark completed an Environment Champion Training, with a focus on a holistic approach to sustainability. It provides knowledge on how to better lead site energy, water and waste management. This training investment provides long term focus on sustainable initiatives.
Through all mentioned actions, the Stamford plant continues towards cleaner waste and a positive impact on the environment. This initiative supports the 'Future Ready' campaign to enforce sustainability throughout the business and supporting customers with their renewable energy applications.