Spark eCommerce Group launched Project Focus to help reduce its carbon footprint by promoting recycling and energy saving initiatives across the business.

One of the areas Gateshead-based Spark was keen to look at was the efficiency of its warehouse lighting and thanks to a new scheme set up by the Carbon Trust and Siemens Financial Services Ltd, the company was able to invest in new high output tube lights, motion sensors and daylight sensors, all of which reduce the amount of unnecessary lighting used on site.

And the changes made by Spark have resulted in energy savings of between £1,000 and £1,500 per month since the installation 18 months ago, which means the £40,000 project has a return on investment of between three and four years.

Heather Nicholson, Environmental Quality Manager at Spark eCommerce, said: “We chose the EEF scheme to finance our lighting project because of its competitive interest rate and the stamp approval of the Carbon Trust.

“It was important to us that the installation could be finished within a short time in order to avoid any major impact on our daily business. We are very pleased about the smooth process and the energy savings are now offsetting our monthly finance payments, essentially making the investment zero cost for us. We are over the moon and would definitely use the EEF scheme again to make energy efficiency investment in the future.”

The Energy Efficiency Financing (EEF) scheme is designed to provide finance for businesses to purchase energy efficient equipment. Monthly payments are arranged over the financing period so that the expected energy savings offset the cost of financing the equipment, effectively making the investment zero net cost or even cash positive.

As an environmentally conscious company, Spark eCommerce was one of the first in its industry to operate a fully ISO 14001:2004 accredited Environmental Management System. Its progressive energy management policy not only helps cut operational spending, it also gives the organisation a competitive edge in canvassing new prospects, as clients are increasingly concerned with sustainable business practices.

Pictured: Heather Nicholson.