Leonardo Apprentices reducing our carbon footprint in Edinburgh

06 March 2023

A team of apprentices working at Leonardo’s Edinburgh site has just completed its first sustainable energy efficiency project. It has been so effective, that it is set to be rolled out in all the labs at the company’s radar centre of excellence.

Apprentices Samuel Ramsay, Marina Hendren, Scout Horan, Sam Morton and Daniel Friel worked together to conduct a study into the Receiver Lab, investigating the potential to reduce energy consumption on site.

The team analysed the impact of energy wastage over a two-week period, discovering it was the equivalent of watching TV for over 9,000 hours: enough to view every episode of The Simpsons 36 times!

Sam, who joined Leonardo’s apprenticeship scheme as a Design Engineering Graduate Apprentice, after receiving straight As in her Advanced Highers in maths, physics and applied mechanics at Hamilton College, said: “People were very helpful when we reached out to our lab workers and lab managers. Our team leader guided us in the use of engineering techniques to break down our tasks into a logical process. The Receiver Lab, where we conducted the project, is an important part of the business, where we extensively test receiver parts and components. The receiver collects information coming in from the radar array.”

They identified that there was a significant proportion of equipment left on while not in use. For the purposes of their study, the apprentices classed this as ‘wasted energy’. Working with the Lab Managers and users, they designed a process where individuals were assigned responsibility for sustainable energy usage in each lab area, to ensure unused equipment was switched off.

The team calculated that over the two-week duration of the project, their process had reduced wasted energy by 53% in the Receiver Lab. The project has been so well received by the business that it is now being rolled out across all the site’s laboratories.

Sam added: “Going forward, there will be two or three engineers acting as Sustainability Champions in each of the labs. They work there regularly and understand the equipment, so will know whether it can be switched off safely and what needs to be left on for long-running tests.”

Mark Stead, Senior Vice President Radar and Advanced Targeting, commented, “Many of the company’s senior leaders began their careers as apprentices, and a significant number of apprentices go on to undertake degrees and achieve graduate status. This was our Edinburgh apprentices’ first energy efficiency project and it reduced our carbon footprint in a measurable way. We will continue to encourage and support our apprentices in championing sustainability, as their fresh insights can help us experiment and explore our path to net zero, both today at the start of their careers and in the years to come as they continue to grow as professionals.”