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Ideal Heating director joins Humber Business Week panel to share net zero journey

Helen Villamuera, Engineering Director at Ideal Heating, centre, joined a panel of experts on stage during Humber Business Week. Picture by Pace Communications

Ideal Heating’s Engineering Director joined a Humber Business Week panel to discuss how the UK market leader is helping companies in its supply chain reduce their carbon footprint.

Helen Villamuera said the company has a responsibility to help SMEs in its supply chain understand their carbon emissions and embark on their own journey to net zero.

She joined a panel of industry experts on the third day of Humber Business Week, at an event run by the Oh Yes! Net Zero initiative.

The collaborative campaign has so far been backed by more than 150 organisations from across the Hull and Humber region, which are all committed to reducing their carbon footprint and supporting the transition to net zero.


Helen discussed the steps Ideal Heating is taking to decarbonise its headquarters in National Avenue, Hull, as the company looks ahead to achieving net zero status by 2035.

Ideal Heating is currently investing £60m across the site, including new manufacturing, distribution and research and development facilities.

A key element of the investment is focused on the energy efficiency of new buildings and the installation of solar panels on the site to provide a source of renewable energy.

Helen said: “Part of the challenge is understanding what we can do ourselves and another part is what we refer to as scope three emissions – that’s emissions in our supply chain and downstream.

“We’ll soon be launching a carbon calculator on our website, which allows employees to input data and understand their emissions and the key things they can do to reduce them.

“Our Chief Operations Officer Jason Speedy has also been a driving force behind the new Carbon Clinics which are running in the region, giving SMEs a chance to sit down with experts and start that journey to net zero.”

Helen spoke on a panel at the ‘Collaborating towards a net zero future’ event, held at the Aura Innovation Centre in Hessle, East Yorkshire.
The session formed part of a busy programme of events taking place during Humber Business Week, from June 5-9.

At the heart of the event was practical advice for businesses looking to start their decarbonisation journey.

Alongside Helen on the panel was Louise Smith, Director at Aura, Paul Andrews, Director of Global Energy at Smith & Nephew, Matthew Dodson, Director at Vic Coupland, Sally Wray, Managing Director at GoHire, Susana Medina, Partner at Partners in Performance and Craig Neill, Quality, Health, Safety and Environment Manager at Advanced Plastics.

Ideal Heating is currently working with Hull-based Advanced Plastics to measure and ultimately reduce its carbon footprint.

Advanced Plastics has supplied Ideal Heating with materials since the launch of the company’s Logic range of boilers, around 12 years ago.

Craig said: “We started on the net zero journey about a year ago. As a business, we’re starting to see more of our customers challenging us on our carbon footprint.

“We’ve done some work on looking at where our materials come from and where we can use more recycled products in our operations.
“There’s still a long way to go and we’re grateful to have Ideal Heating’s expertise and knowledge to help us along the way.

“The Carbon Clinics which have been launched are a great way to sit down with experts and go through your business and carbon footprint. This is something every business will need to do and it’s OK to admit that you need a bit of help on the journey.”

Helen said businesses across the Humber region – one of the biggest pollutants in Europe – had a shared responsibility to decarbonise their operations.

She emphasised the importance of collaboration and knowledge exchange and that businesses must share their experiences and expertise to help others on their journey.