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Case Study: John Cotton

Trident has been managing John Cotton’s current Climate Change Agreement since 2007, helping them to secure a rebate of c.£1,400,000.

Case Study

John Cotton

John Cotton Group is Europe’s leading manufacturer of pillows, duvets and mattress protectors and the UK’s leading supplier of thermally and mechanically bonded nonwoven products to the mattress, upholstery, insulation, filtration and automotive industries.  

The main site has extensive production facilities for the two different products, that start with the receipt of raw materials, namely cotton, microfibre, polyester etc for household textiles and polyester, wool, used clothing and other materials for the nonwoven section. The materials pass through numerous processes before being transformed into finished goods for despatch. 

Due to the site’s high electricity and gas consumption, the cost of some energy taxes, such as the Climate Change Levy (CCL) were very high (c. £200,000 per year for John Cotton). Trident has a wealth of experience assisting a large number of UK manufacturing companies to reduce the cost of this levy by implementing and managing Climate Change Agreements (CCAs). 

The Challenge

  • Understanding the legislation and the requirements of the scheme
  • Complex application process
  • Determining specific energy consumption of eligible processes
  • Vast data collection of energy consumption, processes and production
  • Liaison with the relevant authorities

The Solution

  • Evaluation of eligibility
  • Fully managed application process dealing with all EA and Trade Federation enquiries
  • Mapping of specific energy consumption to qualifying processes
  • Collection of monthly energy consumption and production data
  • Monthly and annual calculation of SEC
  • Provision of relevant annual records and evidence packs for the EA and the UK Fashion and Textile Federation
  • On-going advice to ensure retention of CCA and CCL reductions

The Benefits

  • Energy tax savings of c. £1,400,000
  • Achievement of energy target for every Target Period (TP)
  • Reduction of energy consumption
  • Reduction in carbon emissions
c.£1.4 million

saved in energy tax savings since John Cotton secured the CCA in 2007


Some industrial and commercial users of gas, electricity, and other fossil fuels can apply for a rebate on the CCL in exchange for a binding commitment to reduce energy consumption by a pre-agreed amount. This is called a CCA.  

The challenge

The main challenge was to manage the initial application to the Environmental Agency (EA) to get a CCA in place. The CCA’s application process is quite complex as it requires collating a vast amount of information regarding consumption and manufacturing processes. Trident was asked to help with the application process, on-going management and retention of the CCA. Retention of the CCL rebate demands that accurate records of energy consumption and evidence of sufficient energy reduction are regularly submitted to the relevant authorities.

The solution

Trident managed the CCA application from start to finish, mapping all the data required, coordinating the communication with both the customer and the Environmental Agency (EA), and meeting the application deadline. John Cotton secured a CCA with BATE who represents the textile energy-intensive sector, which started in 2007. Since then, Trident has also been helping John Cotton to manage this agreement, by: 

  • Collecting monthly energy consumption and production data 
  • Calculating monthly and annual Specific Energy Consumption (SEC) 
  • Providing quarterly summary reports regarding: site performance against the energy target, CCL savings and recommendations to improve performance.
  • Dealing with the EA and the UK Fashion and Textile Federation to provide the relevant annual records and evidence packs.  
  • Providing advice to retain the CCA and therefore, CCL reductions 

The results

Since John Cotton secured the CCA back in 2007, they have saved c. £1,400,000 in energy taxes. Additionally, John Cotton has achieved the energy target for every single Target Period (TP), avoiding the payment of penalties through the acquisition of Carbon Allowances. Indirectly, the pressure to achieve the CCA energy targets has helped to reduce energy consumption, improving John Cotton’s energy performance.  

John Cotton has developed a very close customer relationship with Trident spanning over 15 years. During this time, Trident has provided several additional services to John Cotton, including helping with ESOS phase 1 and 2 compliance.