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Why stop at saving lives, if you can save a few tonnes of carbon while you’re at it?

At least, that could be the mantra for Gloucestershire’s A&E Fire & Security, who have risen to the challenge of reducing their carbon footprint and seized it with both hands

Based in a unit on the edge of Staverton airport, the firm specialises in providing fire and security equipment; managing health, safety and equipment maintenance for Gloucestershire businesses; and train employees from all over the county to confidently handle emergencies at work. So it’s fair to say that when it comes to keeping you and I safe in our workplaces, A&E Fire & Security are the silent heroes in the room.

Familiar as they are with taking positive action to see future benefits, it’s should come as no surprise that A&E are the latest Gloucestershire business to lead by example and make changes to their workplace that invest in the future and make them leaner, cleaner and that little bit greener than before.

With 35% grant funding from Severn Wye’s Target 2020 project put towards installing more energy efficient, A&E Fire & Security have replaced all their office lighting, with every bulb, tube and fixture fitted with 129 ultra-low carbon LED equivalents, saving an estimated 4.7 tonnes of carbon every single year. And it’s not just a green decision, either; it makes business sense too, with the 9,000 kWh reducing A&E’s energy bills by an estimated £1,700 annually. In some areas of the office, the lighting is working so effectively that only half the lights need to be on at any one time!

It doesn’t stop there either. The installation of a Tesla electric charging point in the office car park means that the 25,000 business miles travelled by the MD alone each year can be done in his EV, saving a huge 20,000 kWh, 2.4 tonnes of carbon a year. As to the cost savings, the business expects to spend £1,400 less on getting the boss from A to B, and he’ll still be able to do so in style!

These installations attracted a Target 2020 grant of £1,650 – and as a result the changes should pay for themselves within a year! Lynn De Backer, A&E’s Finance Manager, gave some background to the work being done:

“The motivation for the installation, and having the Target 2020 team to come round is mainly one of environmental sustainability. As a company, we have been reviewing all aspects of our business, and assessing where we can improve with regards to Environmental Sustainability. The Target 2020 report outlined some major possibilities, and we felt that as a company we needed to respond to these proposals, not only for the costs savings, although this is of course also handy, the main motivation remains to be able to be more sustainable and stand out from the crowd by being innovators in the industry, which has perhaps not yet been affected that much by Government incentives. We feel strong about being able to offer the customer a service that combines quality, sustainability and affordability into one neat package.”

Having caught the bug for energy saving, A&E Fire & Security already have big plans for their next projects. As a business that relies heavily on their fleet of vans, they have put in a request with Volkwagen to trial their forthcoming electric Caddy, and have plans for all future fleet vehicles to be at the very least hybrid.

Rolling out the move to LED further, they expect to fit the rest of their property – currently leased to other tenants – with the same energy saving lighting that they have in their own offices; and they are looking at the potential they have on their roof space to install solar PV and further minimise their carbon impact and energy costs. The drive towards saving energy at A&E Fire & Security doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon.

The Target 2020 project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, and is delivered by Severn Wye Energy Agency to support Gloucestershire SMEs to improve the energy efficiency of their businesses. Find out more at

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