Lightbulb Moment As Chelsom Goes Green

An environmental consultancy programme funded by the European Regional Development Funding and managed by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is helping leading lighting manufacturer, Chelsom, reduce carbon emissions to make headquarters more environmentally friendly.

Chelsom Ltd, based in Blackpool, is one of the country’s leading lights when it comes to manufacturing and designing decorative lighting solutions for the global hospitality and cruise sectors. From its headquarters on the Fylde coast, the company’s 65 staff members work with major hotel and cruise ship chains including Hilton, Accor, Royal Caribbean and Disney.

Recently awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade for the second time in three years, the family company is growing at a phenomenal rate, achieving a 59 per cent rise in international sales since 2017.

However, for managing director Will Chelsom, the company’s growing influence also meant a growing carbon footprint, and he required specialist support to make Chelsom more environmentally friendly.

Referral leads to carbon savings survey

After taking part in the Low Carbon Innovation Forum, Will set up an environmental committee within the company and pledged to attempt to reduce the business’s carbon footprint. After approaching the University of Central Lancashire’s Making Carbon Work (MaCaW) programme, the firm was soon visited by a team of energy auditors who assessed the potential ways that Chelsom could reduce emissions and save money on bills.

The free assessment includes a basement audit of a company’s current carbon output and potential improvements, leaving the owners with a simple list of recommended actions to reduce their carbon footprint through a change of behavioural changes and equipment purchases.

Findings to reduce emissions and energy bills

In Chelsom’s case, a range of recommendations including installing solar panels, improving thermostats and timers for the main heater and converting on site lighting to LEDs was estimated to offset the firm’s carbon output by over 10 tonnes of CO2e emissions per year.

In addition, the recommended actions would also see the firm save significantly on energy costs.

However, for Will Chelsom, the saving is about more than just money. He said: “We are trying to expand our horizons as a greener company and the team at MaCaW have been helping us move from an idea to actual plans that can make us a more environmentally friendly company.

“While we have intentions to offer greener solutions to our clients in the long term, I felt it was important that we were able to get our own house in order and apply some environmentally friendly measures to our own headquarters first.

“The team at MaCaW were very knowledgeable and helpful and were able to quickly assess areas where they thought we could improve and explain how each measure could not only reduce our carbon footprint but also lower our energy bills and make us a more prospective operator to our clients.

“For the hospitality industry, becoming more environmentally friendly is extremely important and by taking strides to reduce our own emissions we can explain to our clients that the carbon footprint throughout the supply chain is lower with us when we bid for work.”

Mark Nelson added: “Chelsom’s approach to saving energy is becoming more and more common. Business owners can have a variety of different drivers for reducing their energy consumption, whether it is a moral standpoint, the lure of cheaper bills, or the opportunities that it brings when competing for work.

“Regardless of motive, the team at MaCaw is able to quickly and safely assess the potential impact that energy saving measures could have on a company, and a range of short, medium and long term plans to reduce emissions and bills.

MaCaW is a University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) project, an industry and academic collaboration funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) alongside UCLan, and supported by Boost; Lancashire’s business growth hub.