A leading bakery is aiming to be the greenest bakery in Britain – with the help of solar power.
The Village Bakery has installed over 1,000 solar panels at their new Baking Academy and Innovation Centre on Wrexham Industrial Estate.
The 250 kilowatt system means in summer they will be able to run their bakery just on solar energy during the majority of daylight hours.
The development is part of their Village Green campaign to make the business as sustainable as possible.
Since 2012 the company – which also has a bakery in Minera – has slashed the use of electricity by 18 per cent.
The reduction in energy consumption over the past three years came at a time of massive expansion at the Village Bakery when it was named as the fastest growing company in Wales.
During the same period, the family firm achieved a 33 per cent cut in waste which is the equivalent o 66 tonnes of waste or 66 small cars.
Ashley Dawson, the family firm’s business and sustainability executive, said: “The solar panels are a really exciting development and is in line with the Village Bakery’s ethos of being a responsible, environmentally-friendly and sustainable business.
“It will mean we can operate the Wrexham production site throughout the day off our own renewable energy. Effectively, it will become a solar powered bakery.
“During the night time, the energy we buy from the grid is renewable energy anyway. We buy green energy which means it comes from a renewable source.
“So during the day, we’ll be working with our own renewable energy and during the night someone else’s renewable energy.
“We believe this will make us the greenest bakery in the UK and we’re not aware of any other bakery with this number of solar panels and can make that claim.
“There’s a lot of benefits, not least in the term of the environment.
“Since 2012 we have seen an 18 per cent reduction in electricity consumption versus total finished product. This means that we are energy more efficient. And our process are sending approximately 273 less hot air balloons of CO2 per year into atmosphere.
“Anything we do here that is sustainable goes under the title Village Green which is championed by our company chairman, Alan Jones, who is passionate about environmental sustainability and conservation.
“It is a vision shared by his sons, Robin, the managing director, and Christien, the projects director, who are equally enthusiastic about it.”
Christien Jones said: “We have a clear focus on sustainability here at the Village Bakery.
“As a company, we are growing and developing but also staying true to our core values with a determination to make the best products in a sustainable way.
“The installation of the solar panels is yet another important investment milestone in the history of the Village Bakery and will translate our environmental aspirations into a reality, bringing our Village Green campaign to life.
“Our vision is continue to make products of the highest quality and invest in our workforce so we can work together to operate in the most sustainable manner possible.”