Building a sustainable future – The case for LED lighting for the industrial sector. In 2016, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy reported that the industrial sector accounts for approximately 17% of the UK’s total energy consumption. The figure has halved since the 1980s, ranking it below both domestic users and the service sector. At first sight, this may simply appear as an encouragingly positive development towards a low carbon economy. However, this downward trend conceals the challenges faced by companies today, as energy prices are at an all time high and still rising, whilst eco-legislation is becoming ever more stringent. The decrease in energy is also owed to the fact that economic share of the industrial sector has significantly reduced since the 1970s as the UK shifted to a predominantly tertiary economy.

The reality is that although the technological advancements and new processes of the last 50 years have allowed industry to be more energy-efficient, companies are now ever more reliant on electricity and gas than other fuels for power. By 2014, electricity and gas combined, amounted to 67% of industrial energy, compared to 13% in 1970 and 56% in 1990, and with wholesale prices of electricity and gas on a constant rise for decades, companies have continued to struggle to keep their overheads low and maintain stable profit margins. Between 2004 and 2016, prices for non-domestic consumers have roughly doubled for very small consumers and tripled for larger entities. Add carbon reduction premiums such as the Climate Change Levy (CCL) to the equation, and the costs just keep piling up.

With electricity playing a larger role in powering industrial operations, companies have been investing in energy-efficient technology such as LED lighting and sensor controls, to minimise their energy costs and carbon emissions. Although at first, the initial cost of purchasing LED lighting appeared restrictive, soon its long-life, low-maintenance and energy-saving properties spoke for themselves, making LED

the most financially and environmentally sustainable lighting solution available for industrial applications. Due to the intensive nature of such environments, LED technology had to evolve to meet the performance demands of this sector, which is why early on, customers were yet to be convinced of LED’s effectiveness. Soon however, LED products rapidly began to match, and eventually outperform HID or fluorescent equivalents, as persistent technological developments led to the broadening of LED’s functionality and a notable increase in reliability. LED luminaires now offer the same if not improved performance of HID or fluorescent equivalents whilst consuming in the region of 70% less energy with the added advantage of eliminating the maintenance costs of frequent lamp replacements. With the addition of sensor controls, this figure can also be raised substantially. LED therefore, fits perfectly into the industrial model, which is to be as cost-effective, efficient and as eco-friendly as possible.

About the Client

Founded in 1906, CEMEX has grown to become a global player in the cement and aggregates industry with a multi-billion dollar turnover and 40,000 employees worldwide. During its 80-year history in the UK, the company has established itself as market-leader in ready mixed concrete and has become a leading supplier of mortars and screeds; building a strong reputation for reliability and outstanding technical expertise. With over 230 plants and a vast logistic network, CEMEX now supplies high-quality materials to every corner of the UK.

With growth, however, comes responsibility, as CEMEX is under the scrutiny of its international stakeholders to maximise profit whilst mitigating its environmental and social impact. Sustainable development is therefore at the core of the company’s corporate ethos, with efficiency measures permeating every aspect of operations. To help address these responsibilities, CEMEX decided to convert to

LED in selected sites starting from its quarries and workshops in Pentre Halkyn, North Wales, choosing Dextra Lighting as the sole lighting manufacturer for the project.

The partnership began not only due to Dextra Group’s wide range of high-quality products specifically designed for industrial applications, unrivalled delivery times in the UK, vast bespoke manufacturing capabilities, and a highly experienced in-house design and specification team, but as a result of sharing core values and approaches to business. For global companies such as CEMEX it is important to ensure that social responsibility remains a priority and environmental policies in line with ISO 14001 environmental management criteria and other internationally recognised standards are upheld not only within its immediate operations, but throughout its supply chain.