Have bike, will travel and in the case of QV workers from March the desire for going green is encouraging many more to cycle to work

A POTATO farm has staked its claim to become one of Fenland’s leading energy-savers.

QV Foods at Glenthorn, Whittlesey Road- which employs over 200 workers- invited those wanting to take part to meet in West End Park and then cycle to work together at staggered times.

Site services co-ordinator Sebrena Richmond said: “The idea behind it was to encourage employees to dust of their bikes and hopefully encourage them to bring their cycles in to work on a regular basis and leave their cars at home, helping to reduce their carbon footprint.”

She said that since the ‘cycle to work day’ was advertised “, more employees seem to be cycling to work already. Some keen riders are now coming to the firm’s premises in from Wisbech and one even as far away as King’s Lynn”.

QV set up its own ‘Green Team’ in April 2011 made up of people from different levels across the company to try and drive ideas and involve everyone in adapting to a new way of working. The Green Team meet every six weeks and put forward ideas to help the environment by reducing carbon footprint and CO2 emissions.

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QV Foods first project was to recycle more to reduce waste going to landfill. They separate all cans, plastic cups and all packaging including cardboard and plastic which are collected and taken to a recycling plant to be re-used.

Taps are knee-operated, instead of by hand, to help curb waste by workers who accidentally leave water running and systems have been installed to monitor electricity usage.

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Later they hope to use its vast roof space to collect rain water for recycling and revisit proposals for solar panels and wind turbines.

Ms Richmond said: “We decided we wanted to go green and start looking after the environment a bit better. It has been very well received by the staff “

She said the engineering department has taken on a lighting project where they have invested in LED lighting around the factory.

“We have calculated that this has given an 87.8% reduction on our carbon footprint which is 79,282 tonnes of CO2 saved per year,” she added.

“It has already helped us to make a difference towards the environment.”

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