Sugar Talk Sugar Talk
LED lighting: Our latest investment in sustainable technology
Our commitment to sustainability drives everything we do at Ragus, so we’re always looking for ways to reduce the carbon footprint of our business and factory. Our new LED lighting is our latest investment in sustainable technology.
Innovating sustainability has been at the core of our business strategy since Ragus’ founders Charles and John Eastick turned the run-off from sugar factories into the now legendary Golden syrup in 1883.
Sustainability at Ragus
Today, we’re still determined to make the most of what we have while deploying the very best technological advancements to help us conserve the world we live in. When our factory moved to its present site in Slough, Berkshire, we moved selected key plant and equipment that still had a viable life from our existing factory to the new site, minimising waste and energy.
At the same time, when designing the new factory, we already had the future in mind. By envisioning the next few decades of upgrades and creating the space and infrastructure at Slough to house them, our design team opened the doors to the cleaner technology we’re using today.
The LED programme
At the time we moved into our new factory, in 2013, we fitted the most energy efficient lighting possible. In the decade since, clean tech innovation has exploded, allowing us to take advantage of the very latest ‘intelligent’ LED lighting. Running on 150-watt bulbs compared to 400-watt ones, and automatically adjusting light output in response to changes in the environment, the new lights are reducing our carbon footprint and our energy bills.
After a trial period at the beginning of 2023 to evaluate the performance of the new lights, we swapped out all 300 lights across the factory. After a year, the savings we make on energy bills will have paid for the whole project.
The impact on the ground
Since our new LED lights went live, we’ve more than halved our energy consumption required for lighting from 53 kWh to 23 kWh, which saves 40 tonnes of CO2 a year. That means that we’ve reduced our lighting energy consumption by over 50%.
As Head of CSR at Ragus, reducing our carbon footprint is always at the forefront of my mind. To save energy, we use inverters so our motors don’t run at 100% capacity, needlessly using power and reducing their operating lives, except when they need to. Highly specialised software automatically ramps them up and down at specific stages in the manufacturing process.
On top of that, we’re now using voltage optimisation: a form of voltage management technology installed to match the voltage of the incoming supply to our factory, meaning that we don’t use excess voltages from the grid.
Mains electricity supply in the UK is currently 230V with a tolerance of +10% to -6%. If a home or business is being supplied with power at a higher or lower voltage level than it needs, energy and money is being wasted.
A lot of our electrical equipment consumes greater levels of energy at higher voltages. Voltage optimisation changes the voltage level from the grid supply to the level we need. In other words, it reduces the voltage of the electricity that is supplied to our equipment, saving energy and reducing emissions.
Our drive to do what we can to protect our world and use the least of its resources is as old as Ragus itself. The ingenuity and sense of innovation that made Golden syrup is just as present in our leaders today as it was 150 years ago.
At Ragus, we understand the sustainability challenges that we and the wider food and beverage industry faces. To find out more about our commitments, visit our responsibility page.
Joining Ragus in 2017, Henry is the fifth generation of the Eastick family to work in the business. He has worked across our company, implementing plant and technology improvements in the factory to working in the lab developing a knowledge for our products. He focuses on our raw materials procurement as well as leading our digital transformation, adapting new technology and plant to meet our needs. His deep interest in nature and sustainability makes him a dedicated and passionate CSR manager.