Laker drives further sustainability

Laker drives further sustainability

As featured in PBM’s January edition, Laker Builders Merchant’s MD Steve Robinson tells us that part of the company’s ambitious growth plans includes a requirement to “be more sustainable and push hard to reduce the carbon footprint of the business as well for the industry.”

With branches in West Sussex and Surrey, and also serving Kent, Hampshire and South London, Laker Builders Merchant is an independent family-run business that takes a “customer-first approach” and is “equally passionate about service excellence”. A member of the BMF, NMBS and the h&b Group, a major aim for the business is “to be a merchant that is different” — one that is “innovative, unafraid of technology and ahead of its time”.

Increased sustainability is described as a key part of its growth plans, and the business is working towards being carbon neutral. Progress on this journey has already been made from a number of initiatives, including the replacement of Crittal windows with double glazed units, insulating all offices and shops to reduce energy consumption, changing the lighting system to LED, installing hot taps to replace the kettles, changing to an efficient oil based electric heating system and reducing the paper usage by 90%.

A Clean Growth UK member business, Laker says it is fully on board with the Co2nstructZero initiative to drive carbon out of the building industry with aims to become a carbon reduction champion. MD Steve Robinson states: “For Laker becoming carbon neutral is a journey made up of many small steps, one of which was calculating our carbon output, so we may hereafter focus where we could make a big difference to the environment and our staff.”

The business worked out that its forklift fleet produced a “whopping” 20 tonnes of carbon per annum, so it developed a plan to change its materials handling equipment through looking for a supplier that shared its “passion for the environment and understood the commercial requirements”.

Steve explained: “As we are a business looking to grow and diversify, it was important that our partner can think long-term and work with us to support both our green ambitions and the commercial viability of our projects both now and in the future.”

Having researched the market, Laker selected Forkway for its ethos and commercial approach. Offering a collaborative approach and with its own “serious ambitions” to reduce its carbon emissions, Forkway was deemed to have highlighted “opportunities to find the best overall solution in an inventive and progressive way”.

Recommending new to the market, Lithium battery operated 3-tonne Counterbalance Forklift Trucks, Forkway’s Steve Noble said: “The proven Lithium technology replaces the IC Engine Yard Trucks, ensuring that Laker reduces as much CO2 as possible with this change. They also allow for great flexibility, with opportunity charging meaning Laker can charge the batteries whenever the forklifts are not being used, just as you would your mobile phone.”

In addition to offering near zero CO2 emissions, the units are also said to provide “greatly reduced running costs along with improved reliability” compared to IC engine equivalent forklift trucks. Much attention was also focused on pedestrian safety with both BLUESPOT and RED HALO pedestrian awareness lights fitted, in addition to the standard reverse audible alarm and flashing beacon.

Steve Robinson commented: “We are thrilled with the partnership with have created with Forkway and the shared passion we have for the environment. We look forward to working with them for many years to come for all our materials handling requirements, and are particularly excited for when we can take delivery of further electric Combilifts in the new year so that our entire materials handling fleet is completely electric, meaning full savings in carbon emissions of 20 tonnes per year”

Click the link for more information on Forkway’s handling solutions for merchants.

Related posts