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Throwing Greater Light on Banking Activities

07 January 2016 | Updated 01 January 1970

Energy savings of more than 50% and lower greenhouse gas emissions are being promised by GE for Santander in a lighting infrastructure upgrade.

Claimed to be the UK’s biggest ever fully funded LED lighting retrofit, the project will see 90,000 new lights installed across the Santander’s UK estate of 800 branches and 13 office buildings, cutting energy use by 50% and reducing carbon emissions by more than 7,000 tonnes each year.

GE will deliver lighting services throughout the 10-year contract which includes optimised system design, installation, maintenance and management. The project is to be delivered using a ‘cash-positive’ financing model which includes a ‘substantial’ investment of £17.5 million by the UK Green Investment Bank and Sustainable Development Capital Limited, reportedly making it the biggest LED-financing package the UK has ever seen.

This unconventional approach, in which the financing partners enable the lighting to be procured as a service rather than a product purchase, allows Santander to benefit from the reduced operating costs and improved energy efficiency of the LED lighting but without the capital investment and impact on the balance sheet that may well see other organisations following suit.

“We launched our 20-20-15 energy efficiency strategy three years ago in which we committed to reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 20% by 2015,” explained Nick Roberts, Property Director, Santander. “LED lighting has become an integral part of our energy efficiency plan and plays a key role in achieving these overall sustainability goals. Through this lighting upgrade we have taken a huge step forward in executing our long-term efficiency objectives with GE providing the support, scale and suitable products that we needed.”

Picture: Seen as a new model for lighting infrastructure upgrade, the contract between Santander and GE could be followed by others

Article written by Cathryn Ellis | Published 07 January 2016


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