Colin Le Gresley is the owner of Aztec Label, a business that produces selfadhesive labels and tag products of varying descriptions, from food labelling and packaging to courier systems and medical labels – a complete spectrum. Operating in one of the only growing sectors within the print market, Aztec Label has been trading for 26 years and now has an annual turnover of £3m, with continued growth over the last 5 years. Colin’s original motivation for installing solar PV at Aztec Label was driven by corporate responsibility, along with the marketing advantages of promoting green technology within his industry. Aztec Label don’t employ sales people, all their business comes from word of mouth and the good reputation that they have developed over the years – in Colin’s opinion, being able to promote sustainability through solar energy contributes positively towards that reputation and differentiates his business from the competition. Colin knew that it was going to be a big, long term commitment to install solar PV, but felt that whatever happened, it just HAD to be the right long term thing to do. The financial grants (at 45%) that Aztec Label were able to obtain certainly helped to justify the cost, but they were more interested in demonstrating to the market that they are a sustainable business. To Colin, it wasn’t about the cost of install, as the bold company statement and longer term benefits would far outweigh the initial outlay. When added to the fact that Aztec Label are a ‘zero to landfill’ company with their waste management, and have already moved a high proportion of their internal lighting to LED, they are really using sustainability as a key differentiator in the market – they believe that no-one else is doing as much in the print industry.
Aztec Label have installed the largest solar PV system they could fit on their building. At 98Kw, it has 360 panels. The system has been fully operational for just over 3 months and has generated 43Mw so far, a huge amount and 30% more power than the business is using.