Green Speedy showcase
12 November 2021
Speedy has taken the opportunity to make its latest regional service centre in Milton Keynes into a facility highlighting the sustainable equipment in its fleet and illustrating ways in which the business has adopted green solutions as part of its ESG (environmental, social and government) responsibilities.
The new 100,000 sq ft facility was officially opened on Wednesday. I was able to visit the centre and it really is very impressive.
Like Speedy’s other regional service centres, it offers a comprehensive range of tools, equipment, plant and powered access under one roof, but it also acts as an Innovation Centre housing displays of eco-friendly tools and machinery that can in future be visited by customers and Speedy personnel. Electric, solar and hydrogen powered technologies are represented.
Speedy chief executive Russell Down pictured (left) at the opening, said: “Our new Milton Keynes facility represents the gold standard in decarbonised construction hire. This first-of-its-kind facility showcases to industry the innovation that’s driving forward the development of new sustainable technologies, while acting as a blueprint for how we’ll minimise the environmental impact of our hire centres.”
Shaun McCarthy OBE, chair of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, who officially opened the site alongside Russell Down said: “Speedy’s new centre is an impressive vision for the future of construction - hiring zero-emission equipment from a carbon neutral centre, delivered to site by an electric truck [reported earlier on the blog]. Seeing a site like this, and the progress being made by manufacturers and intermediaries, proves how decarbonisation can soon be within the industry’s reach.”
Maria Willings, regional director for Midlands and Anglia at Speedy, added: “I am incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication of the Speedy team in designing our new flagship Regional Service Centre. As well as its low carbon credentials and the ability to showcase the latest in product innovation, it will enhance the customer experience as well as make Speedy a great place to work for our people.”
The Milton Keynes centre is powered by 670 solar panels and utilises bespoke energy-efficient lighting. Air quality monitors are placed throughout the building to measure levels of CO2, particulates and other parameters, automatically adding fresh air if required.
Thermostats in storage and warehouse areas switch on heaters when the temperature falls below a certain level, but only if the doors are all closed so that heat is not wasted.
At the rear of the building there is a well-being and wildflower garden (below) providing an area for personnel to spend a quiet few moments in pleasant surroundings.
This includes bird feeders, a hedgehog 'hotel', benches manufactured from recycled plastics, and bee-friendly flower planters imaginatively fabricated from repurposed hard hats by technicians at Speedy’s Ipswich depot workshop.
The garden is dedicated to the memory of David Burns, Speedy’s regional manager for powered access south, who passed away in September.
Making an impressive visual impact as you enter the centre is a 54 sq m ‘living wall’ (also below) supplied by PHS Greenleaf with plants mounted in a frame made from eco-friendly materials. Each cubic metre of wall extracts 2.3kg of CO2 per annum from the air and delivers 1.7kg of oxygen. It is also designed to create an atmosphere of relaxation and well-being.
It might be hidden now, but the distinctive Speedy chevron logo has been incorporated into the wall vegetation and this will grow through from next spring. Watering and caring for the plants can be done remotely, minimising site visits and giving further carbon reductions.
All commercial vehicles operating out of the Milton Keynes site will be electric or fuelled by hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), which emits up to 90% less CO2e when compared to red diesel.
Employing more than 50 staff, the site is already supporting contractors building the first phase of HS2 from London to Birmingham, and provides low-emission equipment to help meet the project’s sustainability goals, including electric lighting towers and track laying machinery.
A number of suppliers displayed eco-friendly products at the official opening, including Hilti, Generac, Milwaukee, Trime, Oxford Plastics, Metal and Modular, Niftylift and Leica Geosystems.
Look out for details of more innovations I discovered during Speedy’s open event in future blog posts.
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