Released by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk
Four days before the start of critical global climate change negotiations in Copenhagen, a forward thinking company from the West Midlands has been invited to Downing Street to showcase how the UK’s low carbon innovation and partnership are already shaping business for the future economy.
Among 100 companies gathering in Downing Street on Thursday evening who have embraced the low carbon economy will be leading-edge Don-Bur Trailers, manufacturers of fuel-saving teardrop shaped trailers based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said:
‘Our transition to a low carbon economy will be a key driver of our future economic prosperity. Don-Bur Trailers are at the forefront of this transformation. Their innovation and expertise demonstrates why the UK is one of best places in the world for low carbon business.'
Before environmental concerns were high on the world agenda, Stoke-on-Trent-based trailer manufacturer Don-Bur started to look at new ways to reduce the CO2 output of its vehicles. In 2007, as fuel prices increased and companies around the world strengthened their commitment to reducing CO2 emissions, Don-Bur was prepared to act quickly. As an alternative to standard trailers, it offered a teardrop-shaped trailer, leading to major fuel-savings and a reduction in CO2 output.
Two years after the production of the first Teardrop™, the design is now a major part of Don-Bur’s product line. The company has sold many hundreds to customers operating commercial fleets, such as DHL, Wincanton, M&S and TK Maxx.
Lord Davies, Minister for Trade, Investment and Small Business, said:
‘The world is engaged in a race to low carbon. Acting early will mean we are well positioned in the new industries that are being created, at the forefront of the technological and social shift that will define the next century. The low carbon transition is therefore everybody’s business and everybody’s opportunity.
‘The UK’s lead in this area makes us well-placed to secure new business overseas and act as a global hub for low carbon products, services and technologies. This is a fine example of how companies with low carbon products and services are already seeking out opportunity and shaping the UK’s future economy.’
Richard Owens, Group Marketing Manager at Don-Bur commented;
“Since the 1940s, the car industry has recognised that the Teardrop™ is the most aerodynamic shape for an object moving along a flat surface. Our Teardrop™ trailer has now been proven by multiple fuel trials to achieve an average of 11 per cent fuel reduction. It also increases the internal cubic capacity of the trailers by 10 per cent, so many companies can fit more goods in the trailer, thereby cutting the number of deliveries they need to make. It’s a double-whammy in carbon reduction.”
At the same event, leading UK and international companies are backing the Prime Minister in the push for an ambitious and equitable deal that can contribute to sustainable prosperity.
The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change will present a communiqué endorsed by more than 850 companies to Gordon Brown. The Corporate Leaders Group includes John Lewis, Shell, Tesco, Kingfisher, Vodafone, Unilever and Lloyds Banking Group.
The communiqué sets out the business case for a strong and effective UN climate framework and underlines that economic development will not be sustained unless the climate is stabilised, making it critical that we move beyond the global downturn in a way that lays the foundation for low-carbon growth.
The global market for low carbon goods and services is already worth over £3 trillion and is expected to exceed £4.5 trillion by 2015.
The UK market for low carbon and environmental goods and services is the sixth largest in the world. It is presently worth around £107bn – over 7% of GDP - and is set to grow by £45 billion by 2015. Manufacturing currently makes up 30.8% of this activity, compared with about 20% in the UK economy as a whole.
It employs 880,000 people, rising to an estimated 1.2 million by 2015.