Solar panels installed on the roof

MGS Technical Plastics has invested £43,000 in solar power for its factory in Blackburn, Lancashire.

The new 49kW solar panel unit will help power the company's facilities, reducing its carbon footprint as well as saving money on energy bills. While the solar panels represent a sizeable investment, the company expects them to pay for themselves within six years making the purchase a sound business decision, too. The system can also be upgraded, meaning MGS can easily add capacity in the future.

The five-figure purchase is the latest in a long line of initiatives the specialist moulding firm has introduced to become kinder to the environment. MGS has switched 97 per cent of its lighting to low-energy bulbs many of which are activated by motion sensors, dramatically reducing its energy use. Recent machinery purchases - of which the company has spent more than £1m in recent years - have also seen older, less efficient equipment replaced in favour of greener alternatives. The new machines, for example, have servo drive motors which means the pump only runs when required, unlike previous models which the pump runs continuously. This can result in energy savings of around 40%.

MGS has also implemented a recycling policy to ensure sprue is diverted from landfill wherever possible. Manufacturing director Neil Garrity added: "It is important to take care of the environment around us for the local community and for future generations. "We are dedicated to reducing our carbon footprint through lower energy use, recycling and more efficient working practices."