Planet Mark-certified M3 Solutions helps Chester Zoo cut carbon with switch to solar

Apr 26, 2017 | News

By <a href="" target="_self">George Catchpole</a>

By George Catchpole

Marketing Manager

Leading commercial solar installer and Planet Mark-certified M3 Solutions has just completed a major solar installation at Chester Zoo – recently voted the UK’s most popular visitor attraction outside London.


The rooftop installation of 150 solar panels is the second in three years to be completed by M3 Solutions at Chester Zoo, bringing the total to 430 solar panels. The solar panels have been installed at Chester Zoo’s administration centre, Animal Health Centre and Zoo Entrance and provide enough power to run 25 homes.

Phase One, which completed in 2015, installed 280 solar panels, providing a total 70 kilowatt (kW) solar system and saving the equivalent of 560 tonnes of carbon emissions over the next 25 years. The recent Phase Two programme delivered a further 43kW’s to the current system and will save a total of 899 tonnes of carbon emissions over 25 years.

Chester Zoo’s head of site operations, Gareth Simpson commented: “Phase one and two of this solar installation programme forms part of the zoo’s energy management plan to help reduce our carbon footprint for the future. We’re always looking at ways we can act more sustainably to minimise our impact on the environment, in everything we do”.

Adrian Williams, managing director of M3 Solutions, said: “M3 were delighted to install the further solar requirement at Chester Zoo, and of course meet their very high standards of sustainability and efficiency. M3 trust that through the installation of solar on their estate, these cost savings will help contribute towards their devotion to conservation”.

M3 Solutions was established in 2004 and specialises in solar, energy efficiency and interiors. It has been certified by The Planet Mark™ for the past three years and achieved a 15.5% reduction in its total carbon footprint per £m turnover in 2015-16.

Last year, M3 completed the largest solar PV array fitted to an existing London building at the materials recycling facility run by Bywaters, another Planet Mark-certified business.

Chester Zoo, based in Chester in Cheshire, is a registered conservation and education charity that supports projects around the world. Welcoming 1.9 million visitors a year, it is the most visited zoo in the UK; home to 15,000 animals and more than 500 different species, many of which are endangered in the wild. It is also the first UK zoo, and only the second one in Europe, to be awarded the internationally recognised Environmental Management System ISO14001.

Chester Zoo opened in 1931 and spans across 125 acres. It was recently named the UK’s most visited attraction outside London by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions.