A £150,000 loan from the Development Bank of Wales’ Green Business Loan Scheme is helping children’s bike manufacturer Frog Bikes to gear up for the production of frames and forks that will reduce carbon emissions by 5.8% per bike.
The investment in 25% post -consumer recycled aluminium will save c.3.5kg of CO2 per 1kg of aluminium used, equivalent to 5.8kg of CO2 per bike. Testing shows it is at least as strong as brand new aluminium and the company is hopeful that it will pave the way for using 100% recycled aluminium. This could result in savings of up to 864 tCO2e per annum, the equivalent of taking 375 cars off the road every year.
Frog Bikes was set-up in 2013 Jerry and Shelley Lawson after they struggled to find good quality, light weight bikes for their own children. Together with Brunel University and bicycle engineer Dimitris Katsanis, they have reformed the thinking behind children’s bike design.
Frog Bikes now has a 120,000 sq ft manufacturing unit at Mamhilad Park Estate near Pontypool where the company employs a team of 35. The company has capacity to build up to 400,000 bikes a year and was awarded the King’s Award for Enterprise in April 2023.
As a member of the SME Climate Hub, a global initiative that empowers small to medium sized companies to take climate action and build more resilient businesses, Frog Bikes has committed to halving emissions by 2030 as part of the United Nations Race to Zero campaign.
Chief Frog, Jerry Lawson said:
“We are committed to producing our bikes in an environmentally conscious way so we are continually working to integrate sustainability into each aspect of the business. It’s an ongoing process but we’ve made good progress by removing single use plastic from our packaging, improving the design of our bikes to reduce the materials required and using renewable energy at our factory and office.
“Our aim is to further reduce the CO2 emissions from each bike that we produce by replacing the aluminium with 100% recycled aluminium. This could result in savings of up to 864 tCO2e per annum and we would be one of the first bike manufacturers in the World to go this way but we need investment to make it happen. The loan from the Development Bank is enabling us to move at a pace that we couldn’t achieve on our own. It will make a real difference to our environment and our ability to foster a generation of healthy, active and happy children with positive, lifelong habits.”
Investment Executive David Knight said:
“With a real commitment to sustainability, Frog Bikes is well progressed on the journey to net zero and but the team recognises that more needs to be done to minimise the environmental impact of their operations.
“Extensive research and careful sourcing means that the production of component parts using 25% post -consumer recycled aluminium can now begin. It’s a big step forward and a great example of how funding from our Green Business Loan Scheme can help businesses of all sizes to reduce their carbon emissions.”
The Green Business Loan Scheme is funded by the Welsh Government and offers funding from £1,000 up to £1.5 million with discounted interest rates and patient capital to support businesses undertaking energy efficiency and decarbonisation projects. The Scheme also provides access to fully and part-funded consultancy support to carry out business specific energy audits. Limited companies, sole traders and partnerships can apply for funding through the Scheme subject to being based in Wales and trading for at least two years with at least one set of filed, annual accounts.