National Fire and Security Company Goes Off-Grid In Pursuit of Sustainable Business Expansion
FCF plc, a national fire and security company, has launched its first ever EMU (Environmentally Managed Unit), in a bid to expand its business through strategic locations that are completely independent from the national grid.
[UKPRwire, Mon Feb 09 2009] This month, the Local Government Association has published a report, creating green jobs developing local low-carbon economies, which envisions a transformation to a low carbon economy that has, “The potential to boost the high growth environmental industries that will generate valuable green jobs”.
The report calls, “For a Green New Deal [of] targeted area based initiatives… to promote a green pathway out of recession”. The report has many synergies with the vision of FCF plc (http://www.fcfplc.co.uk/news.asp?group=2009), a national fire and security company, which has launched its first ever EMU (Environmentally Managed Unit), in a bid to expand its business through strategic locations that are completely independent from the national grid.
The EMU at the renowned Beacon Energy site (http://www.beaconenergy.co.uk/resources_1.html#whittlehill) is championing the use of renewable energy systems and low carbon operational practices as the blueprint for an expansion strategy that aims to deliver FCF’s vision of sustainability, through a major investment plan over the next five years.
Situated amidst rural Leicestershire countryside, the EMU site’s energy consumption is just 200kWs per sq metre per year – 45% of the energy that a typical office building requires – and is completely self-sufficient in terms of its power generation, water supply and ecological sanitation.
Electricity is supplied by a photovoltaic roof system covering a solar walkway and from wind turbines at nearby West Beacon Farm. The building is heated via a condensing air heater, which is 95% efficient, while solar powered air conditioning and passive ventilation systems keep the building cool during summer.
Impressed by the energy efficiencies of working within such a low carbon business environment, FCF is now working towards ISO4001 certification for Environmental Management.
In conjunction with the Energy Savings Trust, FCF is also reviewing its current fleet management structure in order to minimise the number of carbon miles used to service its customers.
FCF has also engaged the services of Will Sutherland, an organic farmer from Waterford and Ken Bates a local Leicestershire Gardener, to plant organic vegetables and fruit trees at the new EMU, so that local staff can enjoy a more self-sufficient lifestyle. This will form a key part of FCF’s ‘Fit 4 Life’ programme, which aims to support staff who wish to improve their personal well being.
Using the Loughborough EMU as a model for future growth, FCF is now actively seeking disused farm buildings around the UK in which to situate further EMUs, which are central to its plans for sustainable business development. FCF has a strategic vision of 125 EMU’s in the next five years; one for every key postcode area in the UK.
By creating local, low carbon, business environments, FCF is demonstrating a long-term commitment to investing in the local communities in which it is based. As well as providing a valuable source of employment in rural areas, each EMU will invest 1% of its profits and 1% of staff time (21 hours a year per person) in community projects through the FCF Helping Hands outreach programme.
In the current commercial climate typified by contraction and retrenchment, such a commitment to sustainably planned expansion offers a beacon of hope for the future.
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Notes to Editors:
First Choice Facilities plc (FCF plc) is an independent company with over 20 years' experience in the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of Fire, Security and Electrical Testing services.
FCF has a prestigious portfolio of blue chip clients, including approximately 30% of high street retailers, including famous names such as Monsoon, Blockbuster and Carphone Warehouse.
FCF has a fundamental commitment to customer service and the environment and aims to work in harmony with its people, customers and local communities, encouraging open dialogue, loyalty, commitment and investment.
The FCF management team is passionate about developing the business along sound, ethical lines, while at the same time providing unequalled standards of service and value for money for its customers.