Midland Lead has recently taken delivery of a fleet of electric forklifts, an investment of £217,000 as part of their ambition of becoming net-zero.
Last year we invested £230,000 in projects including 569 solar panels and we are hoping to become a leading example of how businesses can create sustainable manufacturing processes.
As a manufacturer, we know how vital it is to introduce and maintain sustainable processes at every step of our operations and this latest investment forms part of the ongoing commitment to enabling a greener future. The electric vehicles will contribute to improving both our environmental and health & safety performance and reduce our energy consumption.
Sustainability is at the core of our business and whilst we are at the top of the game in terms of efficiency, we work alongside environmental experts to use the best available techniques to further reduce our carbon footprint. We believe that by using energy efficient lighting, solar power and an electric fleet, we can reinforce our manufacturing, supply chain and company ethos. Midland Lead’s ongoing commitment is a great example of how manufacturing can, and should, make positive and constant changes to further strengthen the future of sustainable manufacturing.
Mark Winchester, Financial Controller at Midland Lead, was instrumental in sourcing the new electric fleet, he said: “We constantly review our environmental impact and look for ways to improve our sustainability. This investment came at a time when the previous fleet of workplace transport was ready for replacement, and the natural thing for us to do was to invest in electric vehicles. An electric fleet not only improves our environmental performance on site, but it also contributes to better health and safety practices for our operators.”
Gateway Consultants (HSW) Ltd worked closely with Midland Lead as Health & Safety consultants in the assessment of the new electric forklift fleet. Shelley Stiles, Partner Director at Gateway said: “Introducing a new electric fleet of forklifts has several health and safety benefits including a reduction in health risks from exhaust fumes and eliminates the need for fuel storage and handling. The forklifts also have better visibility at their rear as there is no gas or fuel tank, which is particularly important for operators and pedestrians. An electric forklift also produces less noise in the workplace – which is an advantage for the people on site.”
We also worked with training provider DH Training to create a programme around familiarisation for our team to be able to safely operate the new electric vehicles. Dave Hines of DH Training said: “Midland Lead always put so much investment into making sure that their team are fully trained and provide lots of opportunities for employee development. This latest training programme has been a real team effort, and everyone involved was fully invested. The training we provided included familiarisation of the new electric fleet including the pallet stacker, counterbalances, loading shovel, overhead gantry crane and additional banksman training. Midland Lead drive a real health and safety culture which is great to see, and have been so positive throughout the whole process.”
Vinnie Hogg, also from DH Training added: “Being a family run company it really does feel like everyone is involved and every time we go, we feel energised by the enthusiasm of the whole team. Health and safety training can sometimes feel like it is just another process, but everyone at Midland Lead is keen to learn and this makes working with them an absolute pleasure.”
Sustainable manufacturing in the lead industry is already paving the way for the future in construction, but with continual improvements to the industry, sustainability will be at the core of our future. We want to encourage change and share our experiences to improve the industry’s environmental impact.
Two years ago Midland Lead was the only lead manufacturer to be awarded a BRE Global Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for cast sheet lead and are constantly looking for ways to demonstrate our commitment to reducing our impact on the environment.
We are also proud to see that, over the years, positive changes have taken place within our industry and many of our suppliers and customers share the same values of introducing and maintaining sustainable practices. This is also one of the reasons that we recently became an associate member of the Lead Contractors Association, to help promote the sustainable qualities of lead as a construction material.
Key Facts around the Electric Forklift Fleet:
- There are Seven new vehicles;
- Four 1.6 tonne pedestrian reach stackers that are used internally to move pallets from the cutting lines to the loading area.
- Two 8.0 tonne forklifts to move spools from the DM machine at the top of the workshop down to the cutting shop store and then from the store to the cutting lines.
- A 3.5 tonne forklift that will load completed pallets onto lorries.
- Midland Lead chose to invest in the electric fleet to help reduce emissions and provide additional health and safety measures in and around the manufacturing, storage, loading and despatch areas.
- Total investment of £217,000.
- The process included;
- Identifying the vehicles that would be purchased, creating a training programme for staff and considering all of the health and safety requirements.