Through the use of environmental technologies such as the Photovoltaic Solar Panels, warehousing and food distribution specialist Oakland International is significantly accelerating its goal of becoming a fully carbon neutral company, and with a potential energy saving of £30,000 annually on the cards, they are strengthening their business offer whilst maintaining a competitive edge in the demanding supply chain food arena. Oakland International MD, Dean Attwell explains: “By embracing new technologies and continually challenging conventional use of lighting, heating and chilled refrigeration requirements across our Redditch-based offices and warehouses, we are benefiting greatly from considerable energy and CO2 savings.” Adding a further 208 Photovoltaic Solar Panels to their existing 800 panels, Oakland’s total system size is now 250Kva with solar power saving the firm an extra 20,000Kg’s of CO2 annually across their depot. Their first instalment of 50 Kva saved £12,854 pa, followed by a further 150 Kva in the second phase delivered an additional £13,197 pa of savings. Said Dean: “Oakland’s final instalment of 50Kva completed the 250kva system and will deliver an extra £5,072 of savings annually, meaning Oakland International will now have the potential to make renewable energy savings of over £30K which is slightly above the manufacturer’s predictions. Equally, the profile of solar power generation mirrors our demand profile with the warm summer months generating more energy at a time when our energy demands peak.” Seeking to establish an externally verified carbon footprint baseline measurement, Oakland International completed the Carbon Trust’s verification process in September 2012. Using this result as a base, they further developed plans to reduce their carbon footprint, with Oakland also keen to minimise any service-growth impact on the environment by extending their onsite sustainable reed bed sewage treatment system, whilst investigating the impact of installing a biomass food digester (to convert food waste in to mineral rich fertilizer) to help reduce operational food waste disposal costs. Landfill as a disposal route has reduced by over 90% during the last 5 years through an aggressive campaign of recycling initiatives and use of third party bio-treatment plants.