Posted by: Sam Carson | 26 October, 2007

British companies developing an new eco-business concepts.

Gordon Brown might be fiddling about with Britain’s environmental commitments, but some companies are having a go at becoming more “green” on their own.

British Telecom is one the UK’s largest energy users, and sucks about 0.7% of all power off the national grid. That’s a lot of power, and the company is looking to cut down on costs by building their own wind turbines.

The progressive technology company plans to sink £250million into projects and partnerships that will scatter 150 wind turbines around the UK.  The project should end up generating one quarter of the corporation’s power by 2016.

This idea already occurred to Mackie’s of Scotland, a boutique ice cream company, and they run their business off the giant 3 wind turbines in their backyard.  This local on-site power supplies 90% of the company’s electricity, and often will “turn back the meter” and sell power back to the national grid.

Wine on canalboats is not a new idea, trust me.  I’ve had a few glasses while cruising England’s vast interconnected network of canals.  Up until the 1940s this was how things were transported.  Since then, they have become used for tourism until the UK’s supermarket giant, Tescos, had an idea.

They now use canals to transport their bulk wine stores.  When Tesco’s brand Merlot arrives in Liverpool from Australia, it comes in massive tanks (bliss!).  It used to be offloaded on to trucks, but now it is sent to canal barges.

Now the wine is shipped into Liverpool’s Royal Seaforth dock and transferred to 20ft containers each holding the equivalent of 32,000 75cl bottles of wine. The barge will shuttle up and down the river and ship canal three times a week, with the journeys, according to Tesco, taking 50 lorries off the road every week and cutting carbon emissions by 80%.

This is only the beginning.

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