2022 has been a year like no other (although I’m sure we said that in 2020 too…).
The war in Ukraine, a sharp rise in energy prices, high inflation and a significant, post-covid hole in public finances is causing governments, businesses and individuals to think carefully about how and where to spend their money. But one significant positive has been growing recognition of the need to address climate change. The days when energy was cheap and could be used with abandon are long gone, reinforcing the link between sustainability and efficiency.
When the pressure is on, it’s easy to become preoccupied with negatives so we’ve taken time to reflect on what’s gone well at TEL over the last 12 months.
Here’s a glimpse.
In January… we put the finishing touches to a large lab refit project that involved the installation of 65 variable air volume (VAV) controllers on non-standard fume cupboards. Working in partnership with Total Containment Solutions we met the laboratory owner’s requirement to prioritise sustainability and energy efficiency. The use of VAV over CAV controllers generated a total annual energy saving of 2,305,875 kWh – a total annual energy cost saving of £82,615.
In March… we launched a new Bespoke Solution service with the hashtag #TELus to make it easier for our customers to tell us what they need.
Whether it’s a brand new product or a modification to an existing TEL product, our design team has a wealth of knowledge and experience. And they love a challenge! This bespoke service offering enables us to create airflow technology solutions for a specific purpose, creating a more efficient, secure and controlled working environment for our customers, and generating time, cost and energy savings while we’re at it.
In April… we celebrated Earth Day with the launch of our first Sustainability Report. At TEL our very raison d’etre is to reduce our customers’ energy consumption and carbon emissions and we achieve this by creating products that reduce energy consumption in laboratories.
The most energy-intensive equipment in the lab is the fume cupboard and it is in this area we focus on. Our Variable Air Volume (VAV) airflow controller, for example, reduces the volume of air taken from a fume cupboard when it’s not being used (and the sash is closed), reducing energy usage by up to 85% and substantially reducing energy bills.
In addition to what we do, we’re working hard to make sure we do it in the most sustainable way possible. We’ve already made some good progress:
- Our home working arrangements save 986,400 grams of CO₂ per year.
- Our car share and home working initiatives save 1,094.36 kilograms of CO₂ emissions per year.
- We’ve installed an electric car charging port in our car park for staff and customers to use.
- We’re offsetting the unavoidable use of non-recyclable materials with initiatives to reduce and recycle cardboard, paper and other packaging materials.
It’s a work in progress: we know we could do better and we will do better. For more information about our sustainable vision and strategy, take a look at the full report.
Throughout the year we continued our focus on mental health and wellbeing, using #TELus to help highlight its importance among employees, customers and other contacts in the technology space.
We recognise the cost of living crisis (which has followed fast on the heels of coronavirus) is putting unprecedented strain on individuals as well as businesses. So, we’re doubling our effort to build an inclusive, nurturing working environment where people can feel confident to raise issues that are affecting them. All TEL employees also have access to a minimum of six face-to-face sessions with a counsellor.
There’s also been some good news for the sector with two government funding announcements; the first in August ring-fenced £635m for the installation of energy efficiency measures and low carbon heating for public sector organisations; and the second in November committed £484m for UK Science to cover the shortfall created by leaving the EU.
Despite the turbulent economic and geo political environment, we are focussing on the many positives from 2022, at the heart of which is the growing acceptance of the need to address climate change, reduce energy usage and work more sustainably – concepts that are all close to our heart.
We look forward to 2023 and working with customers around the world to help them save energy and reduce costs while maintaining the safety and comfort of lab users. We also have something exciting to announce in the new year but all we can say for now is watch this space…
In the meantime, the team at TEL wishes all our customers, partners and suppliers a happy and healthy festive season.