Plastic Challenge 2017
July 19, 2017 – 11:17 am | 4 Comments

What is the challenge?
June 2017 was officially the Marine Conservation Society’s  ‘Plastic Challenge’ month.
This is the third year of the challenge, which encourages people to pledge to cut down the amount of single-use plastics they …

Read the full story »

The Suma range of food and household products. Our products are sourced ethically, with the environment in mind.


Delicious vegetarian recipes created in our very own Suma canteen. Healthy meals, and a healthy amount of cakes too.


Environmental issues, sustainable business practices, climate change, recycling, green living and more.


New developments and activities at Suma, press releases, and updates we think you’ll be interested in.


Suma is the uk’s largest workers’ cooperative. We operate equal pay and are democratically run by our members.

Home » Ethics

Suma saves electricity with new warehouse lighting

Submitted by on April 2, 2010 – 1:24 pm3 Comments

warehouse_lightsCutting the Carbon Cost of Warehouse Lighting

Suma saves 114,000 kilowatt hours a year in one go

Although environmental issues go in and out of fashion, driven by other mainly economic concerns, at Suma we have always considered these concerns to be an integral part of day-to-day management.  Sorting out the compromise our economic activity inflicts on the world is not something we can achieve in one hit, it is a continuous process. There is no single solution to the problems we have helped to cause. To use a hackneyed phrase beloved of politicians, “there is no silver bullet.”

 So we are constantly looking at how and why we do things and then asking ourselves if there is a more efficient way of doing them. It is small incremental gains that together add up to significant change.  Over the past six months we have been dealing with failing lighting units in our warehouse. As they were clearly coming to the end of their useful operating life cycle, we weighed up the options of simply replacing them as they failed, or looking at alternatives.

 The solution was not obvious. The cost of replacing failing units was about 25% that of overhauling the entire system.  However, the new system was the option we went with. It uses programmable motion and lux sensors which means the lights only come on when needed, to provide as much light as is necessary at the time, and then switch themselves off when they’re not.

 The good news out of all this is we are now demanding a staggering 114, 000 kWhs less from the grid every year. To make that a little less abstract, that’s enough to power about 20 average households for a year.  We think that’s worthwhile.

Can you make savings too?

The Carbon Trust provide specialist support to business and the public sector to help cut carbon emissions, save energy and can grant 0% business loans.

Act on C02 website is a great resource for everyone and includes practical changes you can make in your home, on the move, when shopping  and in your community to reduce your energy usage, as well as carbon calculators, competitions, videos and information.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  • […] trees year after year in an attempt to offset our emissions from the fleet whilst concentrating on other areas to reduce our overall carbon footprint.  And this year was no […]

  • David Styles says:

    Well done Suma.

    Sensible planning, and forward thinking ideas put into place.

  • Warehouse Lighting says:

    It sounds like you made an intelligent decision. Although the capital outlay is more than simply replacing lamps, the payback can be astonishing. If you’ve gone for the Carbon Trust help, I would imagine that the new lights are saving more every month than the monthly cost of their 0% interest loan? Positive cashflow and green credentials, too. Well done.

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.