Guest post: tackling climate change

Feritech MD, Rob Ferris, outlines his company’s radical vision as we work towards net zero.

Feritech MD Rob Ferris

The publication of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report in September 2021 has been described as “a code red for humanity”. It stresses the urgent need for us all taking serious action to avert a climate catastrophe.

Our new advanced manufacturing facility near Falmouth, which has just opened for business, shows how our industry can work in harmony with the natural environment and play its part in reducing harmful emissions.

When we were planning the construction of our new facility, we knew that we would not be content with buying an industrial unit ‘off plan’ from a developer. It had to be purpose-built from the ground up and designed around our specific needs.

We understood that building our facility, our way, would be the best strategy to create a great service for our clients. However, by starting with a ‘blank page’ we also had the opportunity to take a radical approach to environmental sustainability. We were on a mission to prove that our industry can be environment-friendly.

One of our key areas of business is the renewable energy sector, especially offshore wind power. We firmly believe that, in future, the government, the public and progressive businesses will expect not only sustainable forms of green energy but also a ‘green supply chain’ to support them.

We want Feritech to be a pioneer and role-model for these new 21st Century ways of operating as we move towards a Net Zero economy.

That is why our new manufacturing site incorporates some effective special features:

  • The site will harvest its own water, from boreholes that we have drilled ourselves
  • It will have a state of the art solar roof, combined with on-site power storage, and have its own wind turbines. This will generate more than enough electricity for our needs and the surplus will be ‘exported’ to the grid
  • In addition to the above, we will use ground source heating for our offices
  • The site will have over 5,000 trees planted, to help it blend with its rural location and promote bio-diversity
  • A pond will capture the surface run-off from the site. This will act as a heat store and provide vital new habitats for wildlife
  • We will carry out our own recycling on-site, which will include the composting of food waste from our catering facilities
  • We took a novel approach to the fencing and wind-breaks around the facility. Rather than ugly metal screens, we opted to plant thousands of blackthorn trees. What these provide is a natural, growing impenetrable fence. They also provide more habitats for local flora and fauna (and some fantastic sloe gin!)

As well as radically reducing our carbon footprint, this strategy also makes good financial sense. The more self-sufficient and sustainable our facility is, the more our overhead costs come down.

And by creating a great working environment for our team, we have happier, more motivated people. It also helps us attract the best new recruits to our business.

At Feritech, we are by nature innovators, as is demonstrated by our ongoing stream of exciting new product developments.

We are adopting the same pioneering spirit in the way we approach sustainability and we are putting environmental principles at the heart of our business.

We hope that our story can help inspire others to do the same. As the IPCC report says: “If we can combine forces now, we can avert a climate catastrophe.”