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George UTZ – a shining light in solar power

Reinforcing its commitment to sustainability, leading materials handling manufacturer George Utz Ltd is now generating its own energy to help run operations at Alfreton in Derbyshire, with the installation of solar energy panels.

210 Bosch photovoltaic solar panels and 3 SMA solar inverters were installed on the factory roof last month by Nottingham energy company Life Long Energy.

Part of the privately owned, Swiss company Utz Group, George Utz has been manufacturing here in the UK since 1990. As a plastics manufacturer, the company has always taken its environmental responsibilities very seriously and in 2010 was awarded ISO 14001:2004 accreditation, in recognition of its efforts to reduce its impact on the environment.

Project Manager Shaun Batty (pictured) comments “These cells don’t need direct sunlight to work – they can still generate some electricity even on a cloudy day. This 49.9 kWp system will produce up to 20% of our total energy requirements – reducing our carbon footprint and helping to keep operating costs to a minimum.”

To help put that into perspective, a car travelling 10,000 miles per annum will have a carbon footprint of around 5.5 tonnes. Utz’s new solar system is expected to produce around 41,064 kWh of energy per year – the equivalent of over 31,000 tonnes of carbon.

General Manager Carsten Diekmann adds “we believe in adopting robust environmental policies wherever possible and being totally transparent with our customers. That’s why we’re even installing real time monitors to be displayed in our reception area which will clearly show what energy we’re using and what we’re generating with the new solar system. Our customers are increasingly requesting confirmation of our “green” credentials during contractual negotiations. Our investment in this renewable energy source is a clear demonstration of our commitment to minimising our impact on the environment.

“Another example of this is our recycling facility – customers can return their old containers to be “chipped up” and the materials re-used to produce new containers or other materials handling equipment. By using recycled polymers, our customers are not only doing their bit to help reduce climate change, but also saving on costs – on average, high quality recycled polymers are 30% cheaper than new, with little or no effect on performance.”

As a UK manufacturer George Utz Ltd has been well known for many years for providing successful and reliable injection-moulded and vacuum formed storage solutions to British and European industry. It offers specialist technical advice about the best products to integrate with existing or new automated systems. Working closely with customers (including many well known blue chip names) and logistics experts, it develops innovative solutions for complex materials handling operations. George Utz prides itself on co-operation, quality and customer-focused project management.

George Utz Ltd

Carsten Diekmann

Tel: 01773 543170