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Wenlock Spring leads charge towards a greener future – Shropshire Star

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Premium water brand Wenlock Spring is ramping up its efforts to become more energy efficient and win the war on waste.
As part of its continued commitment towards sustainability and protecting the environment, the family-run business, based in Wolverton, Church Stretton, has introduced a series of measures to reduce energy wastage across its site.
Alongside more traditional methods of recycling, Wenlock Spring is using technology which prevents air and heat from being wasted, and which is then reused elsewhere in its operations.
Matthew Orme, director of Wenlock Spring, said: “Our air recovery kit means we are able to reuse air which would otherwise be lost and therefore reduce our energy consumption by 35 per cent on the machine we use to make our bottles.
“For our large 1.5 litre bottles, we recover so much air we are able to put it back into the air system for our whole site and reuse it for other machines.
“We’re always looking at ways to reuse and recover heat or energy to allow the site to run more efficiently. Rather than just let the air go, it makes sense to capture it and reuse it.”
Another way Wenlock Spring is reducing its energy consumption is by reusing heat recovered from its compressors.
“Rather than the heat just being blown out into the atmosphere, we’re actually capturing it, using it to heat a storage tank, and then using the hot water stored in there for hot washing the returnable 1 litre bottles used on our water coolers before they are sterilised and refilled before being delivered to our customers again,” said Matthew.
“In addition, this also supplies hot water for sinks and washbasins. It basically stops us from having to use electricity to heat our water.”
Wenlock Spring has also grown a miscanthus crop on its land to fuel its carbon-neutral biomass system, which is used for hot water and heating.
Matthew said: “We planted the miscanthus in 2020 and the benefits of the crop are that it produces high annual yields of biomass, it doesn’t need any fertilisers or chemicals, and it provides a good winter covering for animals.”
The firm’s whole bottling process takes place on its site in South Shropshire where it recycles 99 per cent of all packaging.
It has recently launched a new returnable/refillable service for its 750ml glass bottles as part of its continued efforts towards embracing a more environmentally responsible approach to its packaging.
Through its partnerships with Milk & More and Again, Wenlock Spring’s still and sparkling glass bottles can be collected from customer’s doorsteps, sorted and sterilised before being returned to its bottling plant for refilling.
“As an independently-run business, we are driven by innovation and are continually implementing new procedures and infrastructures to improve sustainability and reduce our impact on the environment.
“We are now able to capture more energy from renewables on our site than ever before. From our solar panels to the heat captured from the compressors and biomass system, on a good day we could be saving over 400kWh an hour as well as recovering and reusing about 50 per cent of our energy,” Matthew added.
The second generation family business is based at Wolverton, near Church Stretton, and its water is sourced from a protected historic spring, dating back to 1086 which is located near the famous Wenlock Edge.
The water filters naturally through the rock strata – giving it its unique blend of minerals, including calcium and selenium.
By Matthew Panter

Business Editor covering Shropshire and Mid Wales. Got a story? Get in touch at matthew.panter@mnamedia.co.uk.

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