Ensuring we limit any negative impact on the environment and protect the natural resources we rely on, creating long-term sustainability for the business.
We adopt technologies, materials and processes that ensure we minimise our impact on the environment and maximise our use of sustainable resources.
Vitec's products and processes
We continue to implement initiatives aimed at sustaining and protecting the environment in the areas of energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, water use and waste; and sustainable use of materials, packaging and waste disposal. We also encourage a culture of environmentally sustainable behaviour at work and ensure that our employees understand how they can contribute.
Our products and services have a comparatively low impact on the environment. We use low hazard materials, minimise the use of resources during the manufacturing process and search for materials that are sustainable and can be recycled or reused. Our efforts and environmental awareness have continued to evolve, not only to comply with regulations but also to make our business better and more sustainable.
In March 2018, a new site was opened in Bury St Edmunds to house the Vitec Production Solutions manufacturing and engineering plant, as well as many of the Division’s operational functions in the UK. This site replaced the previous 50-year old existing factory and is purpose-built for modern manufacturing and specialises in advanced technology in areas such as robotics, automation and broadcast studio equipment. It includes a unique manufacturing process for the development of carbon-fibre for the Flowtech tripod – a world first.
The site houses up to 200 staff, comprising engineers, sales and marketing, operational support and manufacturing personnel. The facility was required to meet the needs of this diverse group of employees, whilst fostering improved work flow, efficiency, productivity and making optimal use of the space. A cross-functional design team was engaged to meet this challenge.
The new site is 66,000 square feet – one-third smaller than the previous location, making effective space utilisation imperative. The goal was to reduce the use of electricity by 30% and gas by 60% through a combination of factors including: the introduction of LED lighting; no requirement for heating in the factory due to improved thermal properties; and three new compressors that deliver further electrical use savings and a new, more efficient paint oven.
Another key change has been the improved flow of materials from the assembly area to the shop floor; reducing travel time and improving energy efficiency.
Below: James Guest, Engineering Manager at Vitec Production Solutions, demonstrating product testing.
Below: The state-of-the-art new carbon-fibre cell, where the award-winning Flowtech tripod is manufactured.
We monitor and track our usage of electricity, gas and water across our manufacturing, warehouse and administrative sites and make efforts, where possible, to reduce our usage.
Many buildings within the Group have timer and motion sensors for lighting to save on electricity usage. The Vitec Production Solutions sites in Bury St Edmunds, UK and Costa Rica have LED lighting throughout, which has significantly cut their electricity usage. Other buildings have programmable thermostats that are centrally managed to optimise heating and cooling needs.
The electricity contracts with Green Certificates at our two main sites in Italy were renewed in 2017 until 2021, confirming Vitec’s commitment to use energy generated by renewable sources. Sites in Italy and Costa Rica maintained their ISO 14001 compliance which were renewed in 2017.
Greenhouse gas reporting
In accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Directors’ Reports) Regulations and the requirement to report on greenhouse gas emissions, we have developed processes to capture and report all material Scope 1 and 2 emissions as defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol as of 31 December 2016. We have applied the financial control basis for our reporting boundary. These emissions have been recorded at 20 of our sites in the 12 months to 30 September 2018 and arise from on-site energy use and any fugitive emissions, and transport from owned vehicles.
We have identified the following major operating sites as the material sites for the Group for this requirement: Feltre, Italy; Bury St Edmunds, UK; Cartago, Costa Rica; Ashby-de-la-Zouch, UK; Irvine, US; Cary, US; and Shelton, US. These sites account for over 95% of the Group by revenue. We have excluded smaller sites, as their size and scale of operations are not material with respect to Scope 1 and 2 emissions.
Our most significant emissions arise from the use of electricity which makes up all our Scope 2 emissions. Approximately two-thirds of our Scope 1 emissions arise from the use of natural gas, with the remainder mostly arising from transport fuel. All of our emissions have been calculated using the latest Defra conversion factors available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/greenhouse-gas-reporting-conversionfactors-2016.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions for the period from 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018 (Tonnes of CO2 equivalent)
|Scope 1 emissions||1,815||1,647|
|Scope 2 emissions||2,825||3,106|
|Total gross emissions||4,640||4,753|
|Total carbon emissions per £m of Group revenue||12.0||13.5|
We have selected a reporting date of 30 September to enable accurate data to be collated to compile the Greenhouse Gas Emissions disclosure in time for inclusion in this Annual Report.
Sustainable resource management
Various initiatives around the Group took place in 2018 to build on our work to reduce the amount of waste created in our operations. At our Costa Rica site, electronic waste and lithium ion batteries are recycled as proper disposal prevents hazards and contamination. We sort waste for recycling at our manufacturing sites in Italy, UK, US, and Costa Rica using colour coded bins to improve segregation. At our factory in Bury St Edmunds, UK, the improved waste stream segregation and labelling, combined with employee engagement in the process, has resulted in 91% of all solid waste being diverted away from landfill, as well as a rebate for metal recycling from the site. Water free urinals and sensors for use of water for irrigation at our Costa Rican plant have also reduced water consumption. In 2018, SmallHD introduced water stations at various points in the building to help decrease the use of plastic water bottles.