In 2018, Maintenance Manager, Mika Mustonen and his team completed the first step in an ambitious plan to convert all the company’s warehouse lighting into environmentally friendly long-life LED lights. The plan, which is already bringing environmental and economic savings, began with an investment of more than 42 000 euro for the conversion of 1 114 lights. Based on the projected 18 000 euro in annual savings, the investment will be offset in less than three years.
The environmental gains of an estimated 180 000 KW hours in annual savings, equate to 134 tonnes of mitigated CO2 emissions, or the equivalent avoided CO2 emissions needed to power three homes in Finland for a year.
From the point of view of climate action, if we factor in that Saga Furs already sources only carbon-free renewable energy for its company-wide heating then the net impact for the environment in this project is all upside.
However, Finland’s cold climate, combined with the nature of the fur auction business, does play into the overall equation. In warehousing, traditional lighting, although more expensive to run and with higher emissions, does bring an additional heat factor. The shift to LED lights, which generate less heat, must therefore be offset by an uptick in heating spend, especially during winter. This takes away slightly from the total cost savings.
The good news is that some of this is additional heating spend can be regained from the cold store warehouses where any loss of heat from lighting is actually a gain. “In the fur auction business, skins left out of stock must be stored in cool humid conditions so particularly in the summer months, converting to LED light is a win-win,” says Mustonen.
Saga Furs Management Team have approved plans to continue into 2019 with an additional investment of 60 000 euro into green light upgrades, which Mustonen sees as good news. However, cutting energy at the operational level is only part of Mika Mustonen’s story, who says: “I’m working every day to motivate my colleagues to cut their own energy footprint across the business, and with some good results.”