Cool Designs has installed a mega-array of solar photo-voltaic panels at its UK headquarters, to support the company’s Net Zero carbon status.
The installation, which includes 132 PV panels mounted on the roof of its distribution warehouse and offices in Gateshead, has the capacity to produce around 39,148kWh of renewable, carbon-free electricity a year, saving an estimated 9,126kg of CO2 emissions.
The PV system will power on-site electric vehicle chargers and support heating and cooling for the building via heat pumps, further enhancing the carbon reduction by harnessing the renewable energy benefits of the high efficiency HVAC system.
CDL has long been a pioneer in environmental stewardship, becoming the first UK air conditioning distributor to be certified carbon neutral in 2011, some years before it became fashionable to support the green agenda, and ahead of the major manufacturers adopting net zero targets.
Darrel Birkett, CDL founder and managing director, said: ‘The PV installation in Gateshead is the latest step in an ongoing programme of environmental initiatives that began two decades ago. Throughout our development, a guiding light has been to grow responsibly. We have expanded significantly over the years, but it was never ‘growth at all costs’. At each step we have taken time to consider how our actions impacted the local area and wider environment, and the opportunities and costs for everyone involved.’
Before legislation was introduced, CDL was the first distributor to put measures in place to prevent sales of air conditioning to companies not qualified to handle refrigerants.
CDL recently changed its main net zero partner to the Woodland Trust. ‘We wanted to approach the problem from a slightly different angle. The Woodland Trust uses established carbon emission assessments, and plants trees here in the UK rather than using global projects. Carbon is offset through the growth of the trees as they capture carbon from the atmosphere, which aligns with our original thinking when we first set out on this path.’
This year the company has supported the planting of 1,722 native trees in the UK, equating to the removal of 323 tonnes of carbon dioxide. A further roll-out of PV is being evaluated for CDL’s latest branch, opening soon in the North West.