Energy giant Siemens is set to hit its carbon neutral goal at its Congleton factory eight years ahead of its original 2030 target.

By adopting a range of ‘green’ energy measures at the facility the company has saved over £250,000 (US$302,000) a year and taken the 80% power-independent factory off the grid. 

The measures include using a hydro-electric plant at Havannah Weir on the river Dane to generate 75kw (kilowatts) of renewable energy, in addition to using carbon neutral biogas to power its on-site gas engine. 

The biogas generator at Siemens Congleton

The biogas generator at Siemens Congleton

Source: Siemens

Located in Cheshire, the site has also adopted an energy management system, reducing its impact further, and reduced its waste-to-landfill to zero. 

Stating that the company believes sustainability is a force for good, Andrew Peters, Managing Director of Siemens Digital Industries Congleton (Siemens), added, “We want to help customers achieve sustainable growth and to transform their industries through decarbonisation.” 

“The first step of that is for us to achieve these ambitions in our own operations.” 

Since its establishment in 1971, the Congleton factory has embraced a range of cutting-edge industry 4.0 technologies such as virtual reality, digital twins, the industrial internet of things (IIoT), advanced robotics, and additive manufacturing, leading to it becoming ‘fully digital’ in 2018. 

Aerial of Siemens-Congleton

Aerial of Siemens-Congleton

Source: Siemens

By adopting such digital innovations, the factory has dramatically increased its output. According to the company, in 1990, 400 workers made 50,000 variable speed drives (VSDs) and controls per year, today this number has skyrocketed to 600,000 VSDs. 

Supporting its journey to Net Zero, the Carbon Trust – which supports organisations to achieve science-based targets – awarded Siemens its Route to Net Zero Standard tier one certification for ‘Taking Action’. 

“Siemens is taking a holistic approach to achieving Net Zero and we are pleased to be guided by the Carbon Trust who helps us monitor our progress each year,” commented Olivia Whitlam, Head of Sustainability, Siemens Plc. 

Manufacturing more than 1.2m controls and drives each year, the operation has been referred to by Whitlam as ‘paving the way’ for sustainability.