The project is a social initiative, which has seen the installation of a 250KW Solar PV Array on the roof of Cropper’s Burneside mill to generate clean, green electricity, and enables residents – many of whom are also employees – in the parish local to the business’ headquarters to benefit from investment in renewable energy.
The multi-award winning project, which launched in December 2015, has been praised as a sustainable eco-friendly solution, while James Cropper was commended for its commitment to green energy and the local community.
The installation generates 200,000 kWh of renewable electricity per annum – enough to offset the energy requirements of James Cropper’s specialist laminating and technical coating facility, or the equivalent of powering 50 UK homes.
Susan Wilson, group packaging director at James Cropper, presented the scheme to a panel of industry experts, including British sustainability advisor, Charlie Mathews and Damien Parenteau, vice president of purchasing and development from Chanel.
Susan said: “We’re thrilled that the Burneside Community Energy Scheme has been recognised by Luxe Pack. It’s just one of many green initiatives that we’re proud to be involved in. There is an enormous appetite for sustainability in the industry at the moment, from manufacturers like us to end clients and everyone in between. We’ve made a strong commitment to proactively innovate in this area, from ensuring our pulp supply is FSC® regulated to installing the a unique reclaimed fibre plant with the capability of recycling paper cups at our mill in 2013.”
As well as the positive impact on the environment, the scheme delivers a five per cent annual dividend to investors, and an additional £50,000 for a community fund to deliver projects of social and environmental benefit to Burneside over a 20-year period.
Julie Tomlinson, part of the James Cropper sustainability team, commented: “With BCE we set out to generate greener energy in a way that doesn’t compromise the special ecology or superb landscape of Burneside and Cumbria and the project also rewards the parish and its investors with ethical energy and financial benefits. It really is terrific to see that our efforts are paying off already. It’s estimated that the initiative will reduce our carbon dioxide emissions by 1.91 million kilograms over the next two decades.
“The scheme will create an invaluable amount of environmental and social benefit for the community, ranging from help and advice for those in fuel poverty and support for young people and the school, to provision of community services and conservation and wildlife enhancement. It’s helping to create a positive, sustainable legacy for future generations in Burneside, while reducing our dependency on fossil fuels.”
The scheme profits will be generated through the Government’s feed-in tariff and from the sale of electricity to James Cropper PLC, as part of the manufacturer’s long-term commitment to supporting the community of Burneside and reducing its carbon dioxide emissions.