Hull business reaps rewards of ‘forward-thinking’ sustainability commitment

A leading Hull business has become a model for local businesses who want to embrace environmental responsibility while reaping financial rewards.

Springfield Solutions’ action was originally driven by efficiency and cost-cutting goals, but in March 2022 the packaging company pivoted towards a commitment to combat climate change.

Marketing Manager Lauryn Hall says that prioritising sustainability has been transformational: “As a responsible business, we must do everything within our control to be Net Zero, ‘future-proofing’ our operations,” she says.

Key to Springfield Solutions’ success has been the installation of 96 solar panels on their roof in July 2021, delivering both environmental and financial dividends. In 2022, the company generated 32,769mWh of their own energy, saving an impressive £4,587 on energy bills. By November 2023, with 29,640mWh generated, the annual savings amounted to £4,149.

But Springfield Solutions’ commitment to sustainability continues under their roof. LED lighting, including timed lights in low-use areas, are installed throughout the site, while the disposable gloves used on the shopfloor are now biodegradable.

Electric vehicle charging points have been installed in their car park and over 350 deliveries have been made in electric vehicles so far. Even their IT storage servers have been replaced with more efficient solid state variants, saving over 370kWh per month.

Hall emphasises that team engagement lies at the core of Springfield Solutions’ success. “It starts with the ‘why’,” she says. “For example, why turn off lights? Because climate change and scientists tell us our grandchildren won’t have that option.”

The company enlisted Professor Dan Parsons, at the time of the University of Hull, to educate the team on Climate Change, resulting in ten staff members becoming “Climate Champions”, actively driving internal initiatives and team engagement.

Those “champions” have driven forward projects including cycle to work and electric vehicle salary sacrifice schemes, smart thermostats for central heating, water harvesting, a roof garden and batteries to store electricity generated by their solar panels.

Hall continues: “Engaging the wider team is vital. We distribute monthly tips in our internal newsletter ‘Small Action – Big Difference’ as well as keep the team up to date with our solar figures and any additional initiatives.”

In recent years Springfield Solutions have also seen an increased interest in their eco-friendly label substrates, revealing a broader positive business impact in the country’s move towards sustainability.

Springfield Solutions’ commitment to helping other companies become more sustainable extends to being part of Hull’s Oh Yes! Net Zero campaign network, and Hall suggests that even small changes can make an impact.

“Even if it’s small steps such as switching off the photocopier and turning off the lights, you need to educate your teams about reducing energy,” Hall says. “They will have great ideas that will save energy consumption and money, but it’s so important to give your staff the ‘why?’ – why it is so important, why are they being asked to do these things. Education on climate change and the devastating impacts it causes is essential.”

She continues: “Once you’ve made some savings, start investing in larger projects such as LED lighting, solar panels, electric charging ports, sub-metering and thermal imaging.”

You can learn more about Springfield Solutions’ net zero journey on their website.