The company received the inaugural Environmental Award at leading UK magazine CAT’s 2022 Awards, sponsored by Parts Plus, which was held at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester.
Magazine Editor Greg Whitaker said: “We looked at companies in our sector and how they were transitioning to renewable energy and making environmental concerns a core part of their business.
“One project that particularly stood out for me was the N-Forest NGK building in Japan. The building uses all sustainable materials and is powered both by solar cells and by oxide fuel cells. It also encourages new work styles and has a raft of other ‘green’ features.
“Although this building is in Japan, and the firm’s building in Hemel Hempstead has a way to go to match it, we noted that the company has a plan to transition away from carbon, which will mean upgrading buildings and working practices everywhere. For that reason, the panel thought NGK deserved the CAT Awards’ Environmental Award.”
NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd Managing Director Marko Wowczyna said: “We are honoured to be the first recipient of this prestigious CAT award which is testament to NGK’s worldwide drive to transform into an environmentally sustainable company fit for the future.”
The new ‘N-FOREST’ building at its Komaki Plant in Japan serves as a focal point for promoting its change, digital transformation, new work styles and innovation with a variety of different facilities and systems.
With the company goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, the ‘N-FOREST’ building is making an impressive contribution towards this target. It features a solar power generation system as well as a power generation system built by Hitachi Zosen Corporation.
The latter uses solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), which are supplied by Morimura SOFC Technology Co., Ltd. SOFC is an electrochemical conversion technology that produces electricity directly from oxidising a fuel. Indeed, this technology will provide even further benefits in the future when carbon-free hydrogen can be used as fuel.