Folens reduces energy and water costs by 50% after going green

Irish educational content provider Folens has announced that it has reduced its energy and water costs by 50% after leveraging technology and education to go green.

The Dublin-based company, founded in 1958, decided last year to commit to environmentally friendly practices acrossits operations and set a goal to achieve NetZero by 2029.

As part of its green investment, Folens recently installed a solar energy system and adopted a Solar-as-a-Service model. This has seen it reduce its electricity bills and its CO2 output by 11.58 tons since the installation in June. Going forward, the solar panels are expected to deliver a reduction of 39,000kg of CO2 emissions annually.

This new solar energy system forms part of the organisation’s wider Folens Go Green initiative which includes clear objectives across the three key pillars of energy, waste, and water reduction.

Over the past year, Folens has established a Green Team consisting of 17 members of staff and joined forces with Fifty Shades Greener (an environmental education provider) and Techies Go Green (a movement of IT and tech-oriented companies which are committed to decarbonising their businesses) to aid its sustainability journey.

It assessed its water consumption and implemented better water management practices, including reducing toilet water flow and replacing tap fittings, which has decreased its water usage by 50%.

Folens also introduced personal drinking bottles and mugs for employees, while installing organic and recyclable waste bins at every workstation. Along with performing an audit on and removing single-use plastic items from the office, it moved to eco-friendly products and suppliers.

Furthermore, it updated its air-conditioning system, replaced the building insulation, put controls on its water heating systems, and swapped in LED lighting which all lowered its electricity consumption. The company also switched to 100% renewable energy and heating suppliers. These efforts have lowered electricity consumption by 30%.

Outside of the office, Folens has moved half of its company car fleet to Electric Vehicles (EVs) and installed two EV charging points at its head office, which can also be connected to the new and more efficient solar energy system. Furthermore, it installed EV charging points in every EV driver’s home.

As well as delivering immediate benefits for the business and enabling it to meet compliance requirements, these efforts are helping to future-proof the content provider’s operations and drive staff engagement, with employees also receiving comprehensive Green Skills training.

Speaking about the initiative, Folens CEO Andrew Miller said: “We’re incredibly proud of the strides we’ve taken over the past year to be a more sustainable, responsible business. Of course, there’s still more to do but it’s all about driving change – be that through small actions or bigger initiatives.

“As long as organisations are taking one sustainable step at a time, we can collectively move towards a brighter future. That’s what’s great about communities like Techies Go Green. Through these, businesses can share knowledge and experiences, while also connecting with others who can support them on their green journey.

“But action remains crucial. People need to stop talking about the importance of being more sustainable or discussing the things that might prevent them from going green, and just do it. Certainly, it’s a challenge but challenges lead to change, often driving engagement, innovation and success along the way.”

See more stories here.