A bicycle shop in Bishop Auckland is leading by example and taking action to reduce their impact on the environment
Inspiral Cycles is an independent bike shop in Bishop Auckland, offering traditional and electric bikes, expert advice, and full workshop services. The shop owners have embedded sustainability throughout the business and over the course of almost a decade have radically reduced their carbon emissions and waste.
Fiona and Gary, the owners, take sustainability very seriously, and have been a recycling hub for your old bike tyres and inner tubes since 2020. In 2021, following the expansion of their shop, the team applied to our Business Energy Efficiency Project (BEEP) for a fully funded and independent energy audit to identify where cost and carbon savings can be made. Following the audit, they decided to make the suggested changes such as switching to all LED lights which can use up to 80% less energy than traditional lighting. Then in 2022, they installed Infrared Heaters in their workshop which provide on the spot heating for the team when working on servicing customers’ bikes.
Earlier this year the building had solar panels installed alongside battery storage to help the team use as much of the solar energy as possible. On a particularly rainy day in March, the solar and battery storage covered 68 % of the energy used in the shop and by mid-April it was providing 100% on sunny days. The energy from the solar panels is also used to power their new low carbon Airbnb which has just launched for anyone looking to explore the areas of County Durham.
“As we are encouraging people to ride bikes and travel sustainably, we want to lead by example. We’re not perfect and we have learnt a lot along the way – our advice to other businesses would be to take it 1 step at a time, making small incremental changes can make a real difference. We are still learning…”
What are their next steps?
The shop is considering an electric vehicle charging point and will be trailing an electric van, supplied by our Try Before You Buy scheme, in May.
So, why not follow their lead and look into more sustainable practises for your business, or take up cycling to lower your carbon emissions?