Alan Rance is not a typical tree hugger.
He makes plastic mouldings for a living. He lives a nice life in a nice part of the world. He loves his meat and is a petrol head, or he was until one day in 2019.
That day he watched a David Attenborough documentary on climate change and changed his life and his business overnight.
“My world changed in 24 hours. I was utterly devastated that I’d been so complacent and complicit in the process of climate change. My personal lifestyle, my professional lifestyle, neither was something I felt proud of in that moment and I just decided we need to do something,
“I need to do something, the business needs to do something and frankly when I put my mind to something, I do it.”
And so he did.
Change in an instant
He went from meat eater to vegan. He sold his car collection and bikes and got an EV and he transformed his business.
Buying green energy, installing energy efficiency measures, upgrading kit, installing biogas boilers, LEDs, sensors, removing all single use plastics, installing a solar roof on his factory and getting rid of all the foam and bubblewrap he used to protect his products.
“We bought an industrial carboard shredder, started making all our packaging, brought in biodegradable starch bags. We ditched the bubble and ditched the foam.”
Profit and planet
All these measures he rushed through in a matter of months and although there was an initial cost, he says the return has been not just environmental, or social but fiscal too.
“In just 14 months we went from being a typical British manufacturing business to a process carbon neutral business and it was fun! And the money that we spent, I thought I was investing wisely for the benefit of the planet, what I never considered was how much more money it put on the bottom line.”
So here we are in 2021, Alan runs a net zero business and says anyone, big or small can do the same if they really want to change.
“The more people do something the more we will see companies doing extraordinary things. Together the momentum that we build will bring around the change that we need.”