Metsec’s environmental ‘light-bulb moment’

Steve Giles, Safety and Environmental Manager at voestalpine Metsec plc, looks at how simple changes have had a considerable impact when it comes to the company’s environmental footprint

Metsec is committed to undertaking its activities in an efficient and financially sustainable manner, in line with environmental best practice and meeting the requirements of ISO 14001.

Over the past 10 years, Metsec has been striving to reduce the impact it has on the environment, with a Carbon Trust survey highlighting improvements that we could make in factory heating, energy monitoring, compressed air use, factory and office lighting, and replacing inefficient boilers.

Environmental impact

All the issues raised in the survey were addressed and helped reduce our environmental impact.

As part of the continuous improvement philosophy that runs at voestalpine Metsec, we continued to look at new energy-saving initiatives, and since the Carbon Trust survey was carried out, we have now:

  • Reduced supply capacity charge on electricity by 100 kVa
  • Installed the latest version of the Vickers Energy Management System to gain a 10% reduction in gas used for heating.

Energy efficiency

Never one to sit on our laurels, we have then looked at other areas where improvements could be made, with the focus shifting to energy-efficient lighting. Our factory areas were using 440-watt lightings, with one building alone using 400 lights.

After considerable research carried out by the Electrical Maintenance team, a suitable low energy light was found. These benefit from reduced energy consumption and are motion-activated, with an adjustable lux level, so lighting levels can be changed to suit the task being carried out in each area.


The new lighting has been installed and the considerable savings are already being made. The lighting provides a better working environment, with the added advantage of a longer life span than the original bulbs.

So what does all this mean? Just by installing energy-efficient lighting, voestalpine Metsec has reduced the company’s energy use by the equivalent of that used by around 400 households per year. Since our energy saving journey started, we have saved the energy equivalent of 3,000 households per year.

What will be your light-bulb moment?


 *Graph indicating the reduction in electricity for every tonne of material produced