BUSINESSES with strong green credentials will have more potential to thrive, says the head of a global manufacturer in North Yorkshire.

Richard Shaw, chairman of Ellis Patents, says the cable cleat manufacturer in Rillington is increasingly being called upon to provide a 'green CV' when seeking to secure specifications for its electrical safety products.

“Evidence of climate change is unarguable and we now all have a moral obligation to play our part in helping to save the planet," he said.

"As a result, those businesses with the most impressive green CVs will rightly be given a greater opportunity to thrive.”

Ellis Patents' green culture dates back to February 2001.

On his first day at the company, new managing director, Richard toured the site and learnt that the factory substation was at capacity. To grow the business, he was told he would have to invest in a new one.

“Financially that wasn’t an option and from that point onwards, energy consumption was a factor in every investment decision,” said Richard. “We began planning for the long term and accepted from the very start that energy efficiency justified a longer payback.

“Things didn’t change overnight; it was a slow process which advanced as finances allowed, however because it happened slowly the culture became truly embedded in the DNA of Ellis Patents.”

One key change was purchasing of factory machinery with new equipment chosen over second-hand as it was more energy efficient, faster and more reliable.

Since 2001, Ellis Patents’ headquarters has expanded with five new buildings, exceeding 30,000 sq. ft., and each built to the highest standard of insulation, using rapid-close doors, and maximising natural light. The company was also an early adopter of LED lighting in the factory and offices.

Ellis Patents has also invested in its legacy buildings. All asbestos cement cladding was replaced with modern insulated materials in 2015. In its injection moulding facility, natural ventilation was introduced, which improved working conditions, saved power and cut noise, improving conditions for neighbours.

Completed as lockdown began in March 2020, the latest new building includes 408 solar panels, capable of providing up to half the company’s electricity needs. They also provide electricity for eight charging points for a fleet of electric and hybrid vehicles. The calculated payback for this investment was eight years, but Ellis Patents bought the best and the installation is already exceeding expected output.

Ellis Patents is part of Circular Malton & Norton, a York and North Yorkshire LEP initiative aimed at developing local, collaborative circular economy approaches that will see the two towns become the first circular market towns in the region.

“This green investment and culture not only helps to save the planet, it keeps energy costs low, which protects margins and keeps us competitive,” added Richard. “And what about the substation? After 20 years of growth, incredibly it is one investment we haven’t had to make.”