Cast-iron efficiency progress for Stockport firm

Castrads, a Stockport-based producer of cast iron radiators, has boosted its resource efficiency with grant funding from Stockport Council and expert support from the Business Growth Hub.

The family-run business, which dates back to 1986, designs and assembles traditional cast iron radiators that are rigorously tested and tailored exactly to customer requirements. Its radiators can be found in more than 10,000 homes in over a dozen countries worldwide.

Low impact

The low environmental impact of Castrads’ products is a key part of the company’s ethos and it is working with the Business Growth Hub’s Green Growth service to ensure that its manufacturing site is as efficient as possible.

“While a typical steel panel radiator has a life expectancy of just 25 years, our cast iron radiators can last 100 years or more and are easier to fix when broken, making them a much greener heating solution to modern panel radiators”, said Nick Baylis, director of Castrads.

“We’re keen to make sure the manufacturing and assembly side of our operations matches that philosophy.”

Grant funding

Following an on-site resource efficiency review from Green Growth environmental business advisor, Alasdair Dalzel-Job, Castrads has replaced 91 inefficient light fixings with high efficiency LEDs. 

As well as improving light quality, the LEDs will save over £4,400 a year in electricity costs and reduce Castrads’ annual carbon footprint by 17 tonnes (CO2e).

The new lighting was match-funded by a grant from the Stockport Sustainable Business Challenge, a resource efficiency funding competition run by Stockport Council, Stockport Economic Alliance and the Business Growth Hub in May 2015. 

Future opportunities

With the lighting now installed, Castrads has several further resource efficiency improvements in the pipeline. 

A compressed air leak detection survey conducted by the Green Growth service calculated that small, easily fixable air leaks in Castrads’ compressed air machinery were costing the company £1,200 a year in wasted electricity. Green Growth’s compressed air leak testing kit is also helping Castrads to trial a new waterless leak testing procedure for its radiators that could significantly reduce future water use. 

Other opportunities under consideration include using rainwater harvesting to reduce mains water use, upgrading the air compressor with heat recovery technology and exploring the potential for more efficient paint application. 

‘Continual improvement’

“The Stockport Sustainable Business Challenge funding was a great opportunity for us to make immediate and lasting cuts to both our energy costs and environmental impact”, said Nick. “And the expert support we’ve received from the Business Growth Hub will ensure that we continue to move forward and make more advances in future.”

“It’s great to know that there is so much support for green business practices in Greater Manchester that companies like us can take advantage of.” 

Alasdair Dalzel-Job added: “Castrads is a great example of a company that is capitalising on the cost and environmental benefits of resource efficiency and boosting the eco-credentials of its products. 

“We will continue to support Castrads into the future to help identify and achieve new efficiency improvements.”

To find out more about the Business Growth Hub’s Green Growth service, or to read other success stories, visit the website.

Posted under General Interest on 19 October 2015