A local sport shoe manufacturer is leading the way in tackling climate change.

New Balance, at Flimby, has recently reached a major milestone having generated a total of more than one million kilowatt hours in solar energy.

The company's electricity use at the moment averages 30 per cent of renewable energy but that is just the start, according to local manager Andy Okolowicz, who said his ambition is to eventually run a carbon neutral factory.

Internationally New Balance has announced that it is joining the RE100 and signing the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action.

The RE 100 is a commitment by some of the world's largest companies to strive to source 100 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. The UN charter will see factories such as Flimby's New Balance using materials ethically sourced and environmentally friendly.

But Flimby has taken its climate fight even a step further.

Mr Okolowicz revealed that the factory now sends nothing to landfill.

"We work with Derwent Recycling Ltd which takes all our waste for recycling."

A company such as New Balance would not be able to afford this morally correct method of working if it was financially unsustainable.

Mr Okolowicz said when the company started installing solar panels in 2013 there were substantial Government grants available. That is no longer the case.

Because New Balance began on the path to carbon neutrality early on,

it is still economical because less power needs to be bought in.

But he said for those starting out, it would be more difficult.

"The Government has committed to fighting climate change and subsidies of the kind we enjoyed would do much to help."

Workington MP and Shadow Environment Secretary Sue Hayman agreed.

She visited the factory this week and said: "It is really important that this kind of initiative works throughout the country for companies like New Balance who produce high quality international products. I was so impressed by them and I believe any Government should support their climate change stand."

New Balance is an international brand worn by celebrities and sports people. The latest person to be seen in New Balance trainers was Coco Gauff, the 15-year-old who became Wimbledon's darling this year after beating Venus Williams.