Skip to content

Sustainability in Enterprise - Millward

How engineering firm Millward are on track to reach their carbon reduction targets with support from NTU.

European Regional Development Fund logo
Millward Team

Millward is an integrated engineering consultancy working across multiple sectors of the construction industry - solving complex challenges and adding value through innovative solutions, from pre-planning to completion. Established in 1993, the Nottingham-based company specialise in civil, structural, environmental, and geotechnical engineering across a range of sectors.

Through NTU’s Sustainability in Enterprise project, Millward has been working closely with a team of Student Sustainability Consultants from Nottingham Business School (NBS) to reduce their carbon footprint. NBS’s Student Consultants are in their final year at NTU and come from a broad range of undergraduate courses including business, accounting and finance, economics, marketing, and management. They are all undertaking a team-based carbon management consultancy project as part of the Sustainability in Enterprise Project module and are supported by academics with expertise in sustainability and carbon management including Dr Muhammad Mazhar (SiE Project Strand Lead), Helen Taylor (NBS Sustainability Consultancy Projects Coordinator) Dr Shaun Gordon, Dr Ramez Kian, and Al Dharmasasmita.

Millward Student Presentation

NBS students presenting their carbon management recommendations

We spoke to Joanne Ord, Finance and Administration Manager at Millward to find out how the company have benefited from the support on offer.

“I was very new to sustainability when I joined the Millward team last April, so I signed up to NTU’s Carbon Management Programme to find out more and learn how to calculate our carbon footprint. My colleague, Alex also attended the programme in his role as a graduate structural engineer, while my colleague Ibrahim, a graduate civil engineer, was part of NTU’s Sustainability Community Lab for early career professionals.

“Next, I thought it would be good to get some help from NTU’s student consultants as they’ve been studying sustainability for much longer than I have and really know their stuff. As a company, we wanted to find out if we were on the right track with sustainability and get some practical help to reduce our energy use and carbon impact. It was really beneficial to see where we were.

“Before the student consultancy, we were already doing things like recycling, including sending our crisp packets to a project in Hastings which turns them into blankets for homeless people. We had also swapped our PC towers for laptops, which consume a lot less energy. But we wanted to go further.”

In their role as sustainability consultants, a small team of NBS students visited Millward to find out more about the company and then created a presentation to share their findings and recommendations. They found that Millward’s two biggest carbon generators came from the company’s electricity and transport use.

The students recommendations included switching to an electric company vehicle, which could cut Millward’s travel-related carbon emissions by 65%, and replacing energy intensive lightbulbs, which could lower their electricity-related carbon emissions by 6.6%. The students also identified significant cost savings. Switching to an electric vehicle could save the company £5,000 a year in fuel costs, while replacing energy intensive lightbulbs could save £576 a year. Alongside this, the students also outlined how Millward could provide carbon management services to their clients, which could reduce their carbon impact by 35%, while increasing their competitiveness as an engineering consultancy.

What we’re doing now

Joanne continued: “The student consultants were all really insightful, they asked great questions and came back with some fantastic solutions. It was spot on in terms of what we were looking for.

“They checked our lighting and recommended the best way for us to switch to LED which gave us the confidence to go ahead with our lighting plans. Our LED lightbulbs have only been fully installed since January, but we’ve already seen a 20% saving in our monthly electricity bills. On top of that, we’ve also had a Carbon Grant from NTU, which has refunded 40% of the upfront cost, making switching even more affordable.

“The students also recommended moving our window decals so we can make more use of natural light. We’re currently having our windows upgraded from single to double glazing and are implementing the students’ suggestions as part of this project, which should be completed shortly.

“Next, we’re exploring more sustainable travel options.

“The students recommended we provide all our staff with carbon management training, so we can embed our newly found knowledge into our wider business practices. We’ve already made a start by holding presentations to staff. For example, we’re reducing the number of emails we send and are sharing our approach with our clients. I was gobsmacked when I learnt that emails have a carbon footprint! (According to some estimates, a typical day’s worth of office emails can have the same carbon impact as driving 2km in a fossil fuel powered car.)

“We’ve also switched to a lower weight 80gsm recycled paper and are using local suppliers. We have also changed our energy supplier. All the small changes can really add up and by sharing what we’re doing to reduce our carbon impact, we can hopefully inspire our clients to do the same.

The impact

"The support we’ve had from NTU’s Sustainability in Enterprise programme has helped us to embed sustainability across the business and get the whole staff team on board with lowering our emissions."

“We’ve set ourselves a target to reduce our carbon footprint by 15% this year, and by a further 15% by the end of 2024. The support we’ve had from NTU’s Sustainability in Enterprise programme has helped us to embed sustainability across the business and get the whole staff team on board with lowering our emissions. People were really quite shocked by how much carbon comes from specific things like emails and we are all working together to make a difference.

“We really appreciate the help and it’s been great to be able to reach out to NTU when we have questions. We’re new to sustainability so we have a lot of questions, but it’s never been too much trouble for anyone, including our student consultants.”

Student consultant, Tahmid Kamali explained how the students have benefited from the experience of working with Millward:

“It was good to be able to apply all the knowledge we gained throughout the module to a real-life case study. One of the main benefits was that we got to understand the impacts of climate change and being able to work out carbon outputs really helped us to see how we can help SMEs like Millward make significant changes to their carbon footprint through small scale changes. It was a huge learning curve being able to see the impact we can all have to reduce the effects of climate change and how the UN’s Sustainable Development Goalscan be implemented into a business through effective strategies and processes.”

How to access the support available

Find out more about the broad range of support that NTU is providing to local businesses: