Days before the start of critical climate change negotiations in Copenhagen, a forward thinking West Midlands company has been invited to Downing Street to showcase how the UK’s low carbon innovation and partnership are already shaping business for the future economy.
Among 100 companies gathering in Downing Street on Thursday evening who have embraced the low carbon economy will be leading-edge Don-Bur Trailers, manufacturers of fuel-saving teardrop shaped trailers based in Staffordshire.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: “Our transition to a low carbon economy will be a key driver of our future economic prosperity. Don-Bur Trailers are at the forefront of this transformation. Their innovation and expertise demonstrates why the UK is one of best places in the world for low carbon business.”
Before environmental concerns were high on the world agenda, Stoke-on-Trent-based trailer manufacturer Don-Bur started to look at new ways to reduce the CO2 output of its vehicles. In 2007, as fuel prices increased and companies around the world strengthened their commitment to reducing CO2 emissions, Don-Bur was prepared to act quickly.
As an alternative to standard trailers, it offered a teardrop-shaped trailer, leading to major fuel-savings and a reduction in CO2 output. Two years after the production of the first Teardrop, the design is now a major part of Don-Bur’s product line. The company has sold many hundreds to customers operating commercial fleets, such as DHL, Wincanton, M&S and TK Maxx.
Richard Owens, marketing manager at Don-Bur said: “Since the 1940s, the car industry has recognised that the teardrop is the most aerodynamic shape for an object moving along a flat surface. Our Teardrop trailer has now been proven by multiple fuel trials to achieve an average of 11 per cent fuel reduction. It also increases the internal cubic capacity of the trailers by 10 per cent, so many companies can fit more goods in the trailer, thereby cutting the number of deliveries they need to make. It’s a double-whammy in carbon reduction.”
The global market for low carbon goods and services is already worth over £3 trillion and is expected to exceed £4.5 trillion by 2015.
The UK market for low carbon and environmental goods and services is the sixth largest in the world. It is presently worth around £107bn - over 7 per cent of GDP - and is set to grow by £45 billion by 2015. Manufacturing currently makes up 30.8 per cent of this activity, compared with about 20 per cent in the UK economy as a whole.