Ibstock plc has been rewarded for its ‘people-first’ approach to energy efficiency at the Energy Awards 2019.
The UK’s leading manufacturer of clay and concrete products was crowned the winner of the Behaviour Change / Employee Engagement Award in recognition of the work it has done in inspiring staff to engage in and reduce energy consumption across the business.
The group’s energy efficiency and wider sustainability ambitions are being achieved by putting people at the heart of the company. The group identified people as the main energy users and implemented a two-year training plan tailored for significant energy users and all energy users. The aim of the programme was to motivate employees to focus on best practice and take responsibility for their role in managing energy consumption.
Communication has also been key to Ibstock’s success. It has been mindful to consider the views of key stakeholder before embarking on changes to the business and ensuring employees understand and are aware of the group’s activities and success.
The benefits of the programme have been substantial and significant. Highlights include on average it now takes almost 65% less energy to make brick than was the case in 1970 and energy-saving measures mean the business is on target to achieve a 15% reduction in CO2 per tonne of production.
In a competitive category, the judges were impressed by the bottom-up approach to ensure the engagement of employees was genuine and sustainable, commenting “Not only were employees engaged, but results achieved were real and significant. We are confident this program will continue to deliver results going forward, often the problem with behavioural change initiatives.”
Commenting on the win, group sustainability manager Michael McGowan, said: “We recognise that we are major energy users, and delivering sustainable performance is a priority for us. Whilst we have invested in energy-efficient plant and clean technologies to make performance improvements, we realised that our energy efficiency ambitions could only be achieved by putting people at the heart of our strategy.
“We have worked hard to create an environment in which change is embraced and new ways of doing things are welcomed. In doing so, we have been able to develop resource-efficient approaches to problem-solving. The results achieved are a testament to the way in which our employees have become more aware of ways to improve energy usage across our operations. This latest award offers proof that our hard-working team is doing the right things and our people led strategies are working.”