Speedy opens low carbon innovation centre

By Belinda Smart11 November 2021

UK rental company Speedy has opened a new low carbon innovation and rental centre, to supply zero-emission construction equipment, delivered by a fleet of electric vehicles or vehicles run on biofuel.

Located in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, the Innovation Centre is being described as “an industry-first low carbon facility that will showcase net-zero equipment and provide an extensive hire range for contractors.”

Russell Down (left) and Shaun McCarthy, opening the Speedy Innovation Centre at Milton Keynes.

Employing more than 50 staff, the 9000-square metre site is located to support contractors building the first phase of HS2 high speed rail project from London to Birmingham.

It provides low-emission equipment to help meet the project’s sustainability goals, including electric lighting towers and track laying machinery.

It will also showcase electric, solar and hydrogen powered technologies, designed to help lower contractors’ environmental impact.

Specialist services for lifting equipment, survey requirements, and powered access will also be available, with a training suite providing courses including safe working at height, through real-world and virtual technology.

The centre is powered by 670 solar panels and utilises “pioneering bespoke energy efficient lighting and climate control technology.” 

Other features include a wildflower garden, an 18-metre living wall, beehives made from repurposed hard hats and furniture made from recycled materials.

The new facility follows numerous carbon reduction initiatives, including Speedy’s recently announced commitment to science-based net zero targets. The company also recently partnered with Generac on eco lighting and earlier this year appointed its first ESG director.

It was officially opened on 10 November by Shaun McCarthy OBE, Chair of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, with over 120 major contractors and suppliers at the event.

Contractors were able to view sustainable construction equipment demonstrated by Speedy’s suppliers including Hilti, Milwaukee and Generac.

Speaking at the opening, Russell Down, Chief Executive at Speedy, said: “This first-of-its-kind facility showcases to industry the innovation that’s driving forward the development of new sustainable technologies, while acting as a blueprint for how we’ll minimise the environmental impact of our hire centres.

“Customers are increasingly scrutinising the sustainability of their supply chains to meet growing demand for low-carbon construction projects.

“We recognise as a key intermediary our responsibility to enable this transformation, which is why we’re investing millions of pounds across the business to expand our range of eco products, to decarbonise our delivery fleet, and to lower the environmental impact of our facilities.”

Shaun McCarthy OBE, Chair of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, said: “Seeing a site like this, and the progress being made by manufacturers and intermediaries, proves how decarbonisation can soon be within the industry’s reach.”

The site adds to Speedy’s larger regional service centres launched in the past 12 months, including sites at Reading, Swindon, Doncaster, Aberdeen and Edinburgh, providing a comprehensive range of hire tools, equipment, plant and powered access under one roof.

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