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Something Different For The Minister For The Economy Of Wales

Published date: 13/06/2023 08:54

BlogMainImage_MinisterialVisit (848x466).jpg

Something Different Wholesale had the pleasure of hosting Vaughan Gething, the Minister for the Economy of Wales, on Wednesday, 7th June 2023. Accompanying him were Giles Thorley, Chief Executive of Development Bank of Wales and Rhian Elston, Investment Director of the Development Bank of Wales (pictured above).

The purpose of their visit was to celebrate the successful completion of a recent investment made by the partnership between Development Bank of Wales and the Welsh Government.

As one of the earliest beneficiaries of the Green Business Loan Scheme, Something Different Wholesale received a £1.2 million loan. This initiative, established by the Development Bank of Wales and the Welsh Government, aims to assist businesses in Wales in reducing their carbon footprint with the ultimate goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Image of Anthony David, Jane Wallace-Jones, Vaughan Gething and Anthony Dixey

Pictured left to right: Anthony David - Commerical Director of SDW, Jane Wallace-Jones - Managing Director and CEO of SDW, Vaughan Gething - Minister for the Economy of Wales, Anthony Dixey - Managing Director of AWD Electrical Ltd

We used the investment to install over 2000 solar panels on our 158,000 square foot warehouses at our headquarters in Upper Fforest Way, Llansamlet, Swansea.

The solar panel project has now reached completion, generating an impressive 1.1 million kilowatts of power annually. Of this energy, the business will consume 300,000 kilowatts to support our operations and sell the remaining 800,000 kilowatts as surplus energy back to the grid. This achievement equates to savings of over 650 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, equivalent to driving 3,780,00 miles in a car annually.

The installation of the new panels follows an upgrade of our LED lights in 2021 furthering our commitment to sustainable initiatives. We are the first business to access the Green Business Loan Scheme and the first to complete a project using these funds. 


Image of Vaughan Gething, Jane Wallace-Jones and Giles Thorley

Pictured left to right: Vaughan Gething - Minister for the Economy of Wales, Jane Wallace-Jones - Managing Director and CEO of SDW, and Giles Thorley - Chief Executive of Development Bank of Wales.

Jane Wallace-Jones, founder of Something Different Wholesale said:

“We are delighted to welcome Vaughan Gething, Giles Thorley & Rhian Elston to our headquarters and showcase the successful implementation of the investment in our solar panel project. The visit has provided an excellent opportunity to demonstrate how the funds have been utilised to enable us to lead the way towards a sustainable future for Wales.

The support from the Development Bank of Wales has been instrumental in enabling us to achieve our first milestone on our journey to net carbon zero as we continuously look for ways to build a greener future”.

Giles Thorley, Chief Executive of the Development Bank of Wales, said:

“We are delighted to have supported a local wholesale operator such as Something Different Wholesale in executing a considerable sustainability energy project with the assistance of our Green Business Loan Scheme. This is the latest in a series of investments we’ve made into Something Different in the recent past, and we’re really pleased to be working with them again to realise this support.

The scheme is there to help SMEs such as Something Different who face high energy bills due to the size of their premises, day-to-day operations or inefficiencies in their systems. Incremental energy costs are faced by numerous SMEs throughout the country. We want more businesses to access the Green Business Loan Scheme and to see how it can support them in decarbonising their operations.

Thanks to the decarbonisation measures introduced as a result of this sustainability project, Something Different will now produce sufficient energy for their Swansea site and generate a return on energy sold back into the market, while taking further steps to lessen the energy use of their business more broadly.”

Vaughan Gething, Minister for the Economy of Wales said:

“I’m delighted to see this home-grown business get the support it needs from the Welsh Government and Development Bank of Wales to innovate and adapt to the climate emergency. Tackling climate change is a priority for the Welsh Government. That’s why we’ve set ambitious plans for Wales to become net zero by 2050.

Businesses like Something Different are a crucial part of our net zero ambition, so we’re proud to work with the Development Bank in supporting Welsh businesses on their decarbonisation journey.

We want to ensure businesses have the support needed to make the improvements they want and need to make, through Green Business Loans and practical advice from our Business Wales service. I’d encourage any businesses interested in the new scheme to contact the Development Bank for more information.”


Click here to read our story on Development Bank of Wales' website.




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