Online retail business invests £700k in renewable energy system at Wirral HQ

Dyfan Thomas

Online fashion group, Oh Polly, has taken steps to deliver on its group-wide sustainability promise by investing £700,000 in a new hybrid renewable energy system at its Wirral base.

The system will provide heat and electricity to the 180,000 sq m facility, situated in Bromborough’s Riverside Business Park.

Partnering with renewable energy specialists Engenera, the new Combined Heat and Power unit (CHP) will provide enough renewable energy for the site to become carbon zero by November.

The system uses anaerobic digestion to power a generator which, in turn, will produce electricity and warehouse heating for the site.

Working alongside an additional roof-mounted solar system it will provide energy without the need for fuel over the summer months when there is less need to heat the warehouse facility.

The move, which will position the company as one of the industry’s leading ‘green’ fashion brands, comes as part of a company-wide strategy to deliver a safe, sustainable workplace while still remaining at the leading edge of high quality, online fashion.

Oh Polly’s environmental, health, and safety manager, Dyfan Lloyd, said: “We are aware that this is a major move for the industry and a huge undertaking for us here at Oh Polly.

“As leaders in our field, creating a safe and sustainable environment for our staff is central to our challenging sustainability strategy. It’s a huge project, but we are extremely excited to be taking this next step on our sustainability journey.”

Oh Polly, which was founded by Claire Henderson and Mike Branney in 2014 after they met while travelling in the far East, now employs more than 200 staff in the UK.

Along with its Bromborough headquarters, the company also has offices in Glasgow and Los Angeles, with dedicated suppliers in Dhaka and Guangzhou.

Founded initially to help fund the couple’s charity work in Cambodia, the company has stayed true to its ethical roots with more than 50% of its clothing range made by dedicated supply partners and a team of buyers who deal direct with manufacturers from across the globe to help eradicate exploitation.

To date, the company’s charity, The Brannerson Foundation, has raised more than £1m to help support children in some of the poorest regions in the world. Oh Polly has also become a ‘zero to landfill’ site this year.