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Case Study: Food & Drinks Manufacturer


With 6,000 employees at 12 sites across the UK and Ireland, this international food and drink group is involved in the manufacture, import and distribution of branded and customer own-brand products. Customers include major supermarkets, convenience stores, foodservice operators, wholesale suppliers and other food manufacturers. Its brands and products span over 20 different categories including fish, meat, fruit, vegetables, soups, pastes, pasta, cooking sauces, edible oils and a broad range of soft drinks sectors.

The company’s heritage dates back to 1880, when it was established as a fish importing business in Liverpool, the city where its international headquarters are still located today.


The business has an annual energy spend of more than £17M. While assessing its ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) and energy savings obligations to meet CCA (Climate Change Agreement) targets, it also chose to carry out a more thorough assessment to identify cost saving opportunities.


In 2017 the client engaged Consultus to deliver Energy and Utility Management services, including CCA (Climate Change Agreement) compliance reporting, CRC (Carbon Reduction Commitment), EU-ETS (European Union Emissions Trading System) reporting, ESOS Audits & Compliance, plus the myEnergy client portal.

Mobilisation was the starting point, with Consultus and the client jointly developing a compliance implementation plan, Energy Audit schedule and identifying key performance targets and drivers of energy use.

The client planned to use ESOS outputs to inform a larger sustainability investment project; to help with this and to save time, Consultus entered information on potential opportunities directly into the sustainability plan investment tool. “We discussed investment strategy, site plans and compliance policies; each site had its own history with different levels of innovation and investment,” says Steve Edge, Energy & Sustainability Manager at Consultus.

“With this in mind and to maximise value, we initially carried out desktop energy analysis and assessed legislative compliance to identify compliance concerns and help prioritise areas for a more detailed study.” This was a critical requirement: each site is complex and substantial, engineering staff have limited time available to discuss site requirements and potential projects, necessitating the smart use of time on-site.

The desktop audit found that the site had new buildings which were missing Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), a legal requirement for all new buildings. The client was not aware of this and immediately developed
a solution.


Consultus found that the main heating, cooling and ventilation services for a new building hadn’t been commissioned and were running on default settings; the keys had even been left to rust in the doors of the systems.

Although the systems were efficient, they weren’t being operated effectively, energy was being wasted and the environment wasn’t as comfortable as it could be.

The Consultus team also identified pump replacement projects which would result in energy savings of £11,000 per annum, with a payback period of just over a year. Subsequently, Consultus recognised an additional two opportunities for process energy heating savings – through the fitting of a heat recovery unit, or, alternatively, through the complete replacement of one of the steam boilers. By reviewing the two options, the client was able to balance disruption and cost. One project would provide annual savings of £245,000 with a payback period less than 4 years; the other would save £214,000 per annum and pay for itself in just under 5 years.

The overall client benefits included: fixing legislative compliance issues; a no-cost opportunity to improve performance and staff comfort; a minimum energy cost saving of £225,000 per year at just one site; building a sustainability investment plan; and demonstrating ESOS compliance.


“Consultus found that the main heating, cooling and ventilation services for a new building hadn’t been commissioned and were running on default settings.”

Consultus, Energy & Sustainability Manager Steve Edge



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