A company which specialises in producing large low carbon pipes has made further steps in its target to achieve zero carbon production by the end of the decade.

A £45,000 investment has been made to switch to electric forklifts at Aquaspira's site in Nelson, with the company also starting to install solar panels to generate electricity for the site, allowing the forklifts to be charged using renewable energy.

AquaSpira Managing Director Neil Wallace said: “We are investing in a series of initiatives to make our production process more environmentally friendly in line with our innovations to de-carbonise through pipe design and sensors.

"This has included the use of recycled materials in our manufacturing, the installation of solar panels and reducing our road mileage.

"Investment must be based on a return on capital and while reducing our carbon footprint we can also be more competitive.

“It’s all about making sensible decisions for the good of both our company and our workforce.

"Choosing electric forklifts will help us cut not only our carbon footprint but also our running costs.

"Due to their low energy consumption, the forklift trucks only need to be charged every couple of days.

"There are also no emissions so it is much safer for the team, especially on the factory floor.

“This in-house work supports the huge strides we are making in helping housing and commercial developers and the transport industry considerably reduce their impact on the environment through their drainage specifications.”

As well as supporting cleaner operations, electric trucks have the added benefit of being future-proof, given the impending end to red diesel subsidies that could see the running costs of diesel trucks soar.

Additionally, a six-figure investment into research and development is already paying dividends, with Aquaspira boasting its first drainage product using recycled material, as well as a new research laboratory at its Nelson headquarters.

Aquaspira’s unique light weight composite pipe already reduces the number of vehicle movements and fuel consumption when compared to traditional concrete products - a significant advantage with the current shortage of haulage drivers.

Aquaspira is also on course to eliminate landfill waste from its North West site and is installing digital media to reduce road mileage.

Overall the company believes that it is on target to save 126 tonnes per year.

Mr Wallace added: “We have been watching events at COP26 with interest and feel every company, whether large or small, has a role to play in reducing carbon consumption.

"We will continue to drive innovation, both in our products and the way we run our business, so we can help utility companies, housebuilders and the wider infrastructure and construction sectors reduce their impact on the environment.”