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68m more trees required for UK to offset its carbon emissions

960 640 Stuart O'Brien
The UK needs to plant 68.4 million trees to offset its carbon emissions and North Lincolnshire has the highest number to plant with almost 1.5 million trees required annually.
That’s according to a study conducted CompareTheMarket.com, which analyses annual emissions from 379 local authorities (342,004,200 tCO2) in the UK to calculate the number of trees needed every year to counteract their total carbon footprint (68,400,840 trees).
Local authorities that would need to plant the most trees: 


Local authority


Annual emissions (tCO2)

Annual trees needed to offset carbon footprint


North Lincolnshire

Yorkshire and the Humber




Neath Port Talbot






West Midlands





Yorkshire and the Humber




Cheshire West and Chester

North West




High Peak

East Midlands










South West





South West




East Riding of Yorkshire

Yorkshire and the Humber



North Lincolnshire is the local authority that requires the highest number of trees to offset its CO2 emissions as it’s home to the Tata-owned Appleby-Frodingham steel plant, one of the largest and most successful steelworks in Europe. With annual emissions of 7,445,200 tCO2, the area needs to plant 1,489,040 trees to make it carbon neutral.

Neath Port Talbot followed in second place, needing 1,301,160 trees to offset their carbon emissions of 6,505,800 tCO2.

Two of the country’s major cities filled the next two spots as Birmingham and Leeds took third and fourth place respectively.

Local authorities that would need to plant the least trees: 


Local authority


Emissions (tCO2)

Annual trees needed to offset carbon footprint


Isles of Scilly

South West




Argyll and Bute





Oadby and Wigston

East Midlands









Orkney Islands



You can read the entire entire study here.

How Purpose-Built Containers Can Help Businesses Meet Their Environmental Goals

768 512 Stuart O'Brien

In the age of sustainability, businesses are growing the efforts to meet new environmental goals. Whether preserving the environment or reducing waste, your choice of workspace is vital.

Of course, sustainability has more benefits for businesses than simply protecting the environment. For consumers, sustainable businesses that are ethically aware are rewarded with their custom. In fact, one consumer index found that 47 per cent of people worldwide have changed to a different product or service because a company violated their personal values.

Considering environmental practices as a strong consumer value, you can expand your operations while remaining sustainably aware. Purpose-built containers have long been used as extensions for businesses. However, the benefits of this space can also help meet your environmental goals. Here, we look at why purpose-built containers are the solution for your sustainable business. 

Less is more

Purpose-built containers can add a lot to a business. But it is actually what they take away which makes them so environmentally friendly. According to WRAP, the UK construction sector uses 400 million tonnes of materials and generates 100 million tonnes of waste every year. This waste contributes to over a third of the UK’s total waste. The evidence suggests that construction is currently operating at unsustainable levels.

Containers can reduce the amount of waste generated by minimising the types of materials used in their simple yet effective design. The steel walls are fabricated to minimise waste, each being designed and cut to size. Any excess materials can contribute to the construction of another container. A typical 20 ft container may only weigh about 2,230 kilograms, meaning that the weight of materials is lower than purpose-built brick and mortar spaces.

The benefits of this are overwhelming for businesses. Money can be saved on both material cost and constructing heavier-bearing foundations. To further meet your environmental goals, this saved money can be diverted into other sustainable investment funds.

Purpose-built containers can also save space. Condensing your working environment into a container helps protect the natural environment too. This means that natural habitats are not disturbed by the construction of larger industrial spaces.

Energy conservation

Purpose-built containers can benefit your business through energy conservation. Containers can be easily insulated, meaning that temperature is regulated during both hot and cold seasons. Fuel needs are also minimised, as the confined space of the container means that not as much energy is needed to climate control work area.

Containers can also help with your investments in renewable energy. The simple design of the container means that solar panels can be mounted on the roof of your repurposed space. The energy from which can be used to power electrical essentials within your new space. Using renewable energy is the most proactive way for a business to meet its environmental goals. It is also a visible sign for customers that your business is dedicated to sustainable practices.

Longevity and reusability

One concern that businesses may have with purpose-built containers is their longevity. However, this issue is ill-founded. In fact, containers used for retail or industrial space can last around 30 years. Hard-wearing materials such as steel are coated with zinc paint coat, slowing the process of rusting. Erosion is also less likely than one would expect with brick-and-mortar spaces. 

The solid structure of these containers mean that your business can rest assured that its space is protected from the elements. Reducing repairs can help to combat issues with sustainability and will contribute towards your environmental goals.

Equally, the long-lasting and minimal material needs of containers means that they can be reused and repurposed. Of course, the original purpose of these containers was for hauling and storage. Today, they are a popular alternative for many businesses looking for a workspace. When container space is no longer needed, the space it occupied can be easily reclaimed without contributing to landfill waste or paying for expensive deconstruction. The material or container in its entirety can then be rebuilt or reused by another business or for other purposes.

When reviewing your business’ environmental goals, consider how your workspace can help to achieve this. Purpose-built containers can be used to achieve energy efficiency and reduce waste. Plus, the simple design benefits the installation of insulation and renewable energy sources. These spaces are a viable tool for growing businesses to ensure they maintain sustainable practices.

Open fridges in supermarkets face environmental scrutiny

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Recycling and waste disposal specialists Business Waste has called for a ban on open fridges in supermarkets due to the energy and environmental impact.

Fridges, used to display cold meats, dairy and other chilled produce, became popular with retailers as they allowed consumers to see what was on offer and easier access, resulting in bigger profits the the retail chains. 

However, Business Waste asserts this open-fronted design is precisely what makes them so damaging for the environment. The refrigerant used in many of the leading retailers’ stores consists of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – a group of so-called ‘super greenhouse gases’ which are much more harmful even than carbon dioxide, which, the firm sayd, means that the over 7,000 supermarket locations in the UK are collectively making a hefty contribution to harmful emission levels.

1.5 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy are used by supermarkets each year, with 60-70% used by fridges – the energy equivalent of boiling the kettle 15 million times. 

1% of the UK’s energy demand is used by retail giant Sainsbury’s alone. 

While some retailers have made moves to improve the environmental impact of their refrigeration systems – with some of the household names, such as Aldi and Tesco, committing to reducing their HFC use – Business Waste says this fails to address the energy wastage which is a factor of all open fridge designs, regardless of the coolant used.

New ‘aerofoil’ technology in supermarket fridges could mean energy savings of up to 25% if adopted by other retailers.

Mark Hall, spokesperson Business Waste, said: “Committing to reducing harmful emissions is all well and good, but retailers have been slow to do so in practice – and by continuing to use open fridges, they are simply paying lip service to improving their environmental credentials. 

“Shoppers adapt quickly to new initiatives; the 5p plastic carrier bag levy is an excellent example of the general public quickly adopting new ways of shopping. And, with environmental concerns higher than ever on the public consciousness, we are finding that consumers are increasingly willing to accept that changes must be made to prevent further damage to our planet.”

If all UK supermarkets put doors on their open fridges, the electricity saved would be approximately double of that generated by Yorkshire’s coal-fired Drax powerstation – Europe’s second largest.

Hall continued: “Supermarkets are ultimately concerned about the bottom line, and whether or not their sales would be affected without the pull of products catching shoppers’ eyes. They rely heavily on impulse purchasing – hence more expensive products being stocked at eye level and those tempting treats placed by the tills. But, as with many issues which are huge contributors to environmental damage, it’s now the responsibility of industries to innovate and find new ways to operate in this new, concerning landscape we find ourselves in.

“We urge all retailers to look more closely at how they store and market their cold products, and help dramatically reduce the use of open fridges in the UK. We have the opportunity to make the UK a leader in this space, and while some work has already been done, we have a long way to go.”