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An award-winning window-cleaning solution 

Each year we hold our internal Sustainability Awards open to all our people within Bouygues & Energies Services UK. The Awards recognise and reward those who have demonstrated their commitment and improvement to making a real difference to our sustainability performance, and implemented innovative solutions that bring about environmental, social or economic benefits with potential for being adopted by the company on a wider scale. 

Our latest winner, Leon Neal from of our window cleaning team, demonstrated great personal commitment to come up with a way of heating water in his team’s vans which saved energy, reduced pollution, and was even more efficient for the team. Our staff chose Leon as the winner of our latest Sustainability Awards after his brilliant pitch. 

Leon discovered that the hot boxes that heat the water in the window cleaning vans required the engine to be running which. In addition to this not being an environmentally-friendly solution, it was was also not an efficient way to work. Leon was not satisfied with this and took it upon himself to find a new solution. 

Crews clean windows, on average, for about 7 hours per day.  If the van engine is left idling for all that time, using approximately 0.62 Litres of diesel every hour, then switching to PV power is calculated to save 2.49 Tonnes of CO2 per annum. Also, an idling engine may be emitting around 3g of NOx gases every hour. 

After some personal research Leon discovered an innovative way to heat the hot water in the vans that would be much kinder to the environment as well as a more efficient solution to his team. By installing solar panels on the roof, the on-board hot boxes in the vans could generate hot water. This meant there was constant hot water for the team without needing to run the engine.  

Not running the van engine when the window cleaning is taking place eliminates the production of NOx and SOx gases and harmful particulates and reduces noise. Not running the van engine also brings a fuel saving worth £1,600 per annum. 

Installation on the vans is simple and the battery remained charged even on the dullest of days. 

Congratulations to Leon and the team for introducing and implementing this brilliant idea. 

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