Volunteering & Community Development
Leadership In Sustainable Manufacturing

Tetley's Eaglescliffe factory's efforts to drive efficiency and safety are guided by its foremost goal of being an ethically, socially and environment

 

Manufacturing almost all of Tetley’s teas, is the iconic Tetley Eaglescliffe factory, our biggest in the world. Around 280 million teabags are produced every week, which accounts for almost 30% of the UK tea market. This means that we would have enough tea bag tissues to cover 128 football pitches. 

Started in the year 1969, this factory produces all of Tetley’s products for the UK and the Canadian markets. According to Tony Stubbs, the factory Manager, “Tetley’s factory here is one of the best factories in the UK. It is placed in the upper quartile on almost all measures of performance in comparison to other FMCG companies in the UK. We have outstanding (top 10th percentile) levels of machine effectiveness and output efficiency. We employ some of the best-trained staff in the UK, who receive around 27 days of training per year.” 

Tetley’s Eaglescliffe factory is an ethically, socially and environmentally driven facility with efficiency and safety as our foremost goals. The management team works with a unique vision of being recognized as the best FMCG factory in the UK, by the Cranfield Best Factory Awards. The awards, run by the Cranfield School of Management and the “Works Management” magazine, is to celebrate manufacturing excellence in the UK. And in 2014, Eaglescliffe won the Cranfield Judges Award. Awarded to the plant that is seen as the rising star from all categories, this award was for the factory’s outstanding leadership, people development and production cost profile.

For around ten years, the factory has been identifying the requirements and operating with a directive. It implemented the “Hoshin Kanri’ or the Policy Deployment, a seven-step process used in strategic planning that has been in existence since the 1950s. With the Hoshin Kanri, the factory aims at eliminating waste caused by poor communication and inconsistent direction.

 

ZERO WASTE TO LANDFILL: 

A strong commitment to the elimination of waste and a constant evaluation of the processes has helped us make the Eaglescliffe factory zero waste to landfill since 2013. Collaborating with the experts in the field - Total Recycling Services (TRS), the factory has identified and worked on various avenues of efficient waste management. The TRS provides a range of fully-compliant recycling and waste disposal services. They recommend the quantity and type of compactors - a machine to reduce the size of the waste material- the location for the color-coded bins, and several other environmental objectives for the factory such as: 

• Reduce the amount of waste during production by working with suppliers to reduce the extra packaging to a minimum. 

• Improve the environmental impact of any waste generated, ensure that we are fully recycling whenever possible and also adhere to the waste hierarchy. 

• Use of a dry manufacturing process, limiting the use of water. 

“At first, the thought of working towards zero waste to landfill was daunting but exciting. After a lot of hard work by the teams involved at the factory, and our waste carriers, the target of zero to landfill was met! The biggest challenge, which continues till date is one of employee engagement and the management of the waste stream systems to ensure the correct waste is being disposed into the correct bins.” – Denise Graham, Technical Manager, Operations, Tetley Eaglescliffe factory.

 

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND RENEWABLE ENERGY :

One of the first companies in the UK to be accredited to the Energy Management System, ISO 50001, TGB Eaglescliffe is exempt from many of the new EOS regulations. In 2008, we began the carbon reduction program, and since then we have implemented a number of energy-saving initiatives that target large energy processes like air compressors and dust extraction systems. 

In 2012, we achieved the Zero Waste to Landfill by bringing about better waste segregation. For many years, TGB has recycled the teabag tissue and used them to heat the factory. The factory has PIR sensors installed on the lighting fixtures, and at present, we are working on replacing all the non-manufacturing lights with LEDs. The solid fuel combustion boiler on site which accounts for about 10% of the total energy consumption, is now being replaced by a renewable energy source biomass boiler. Eaglescliffe factory is now recognized as the industry experts in energy reduction that we are asked to write technical papers and present at many energy confluences in the UK. Energy reduction training is taken seriously and a number of employees in our factory are trained for ISO 50001 as internal and lead auditors. 

Owing to all the awareness brought about, we now see that the site’s energy consumption has fallen drastically over the last ten years. An annual saving of £5000 was achieved by reducing the compressors from 6.6 Bar to 6.1 Bar, which in turn decreases the air demand from 600 liters per second to 200 liters per second. The work on dust extraction system reduced the Softpack vacuum system from 110kWh to 70kWh. The team also installed intelligent compressors with energy pulse on demand, inverters and tap down transformers. 

All these efforts led to a remarkable milestone – a reduction in our energy consumption from 260 kWh/ton to 240 kWh/ton. In addition to this, the changes in the pallet configuration implemented has allowed us to double stack the products bringing about greater utilization of vehicle space and thereby reducing the overall number of vehicles on the road.