Social enterprise benefits from environmental project
10th February 2015 4:14pm - Return to press releases
A wood recycling social enterprise in Hull can now clearly demonstrate its environmental benefits after teaming up with the Energy Technology Centre (ETC).
Humber Wood Recycling Project (HWRP), based in Bilton Grange, worked with the ETC to develop an automated method for calculating how much waste its activities are diverting from landfill and what this translates to in terms of reduced demand for raw materials and CO2 emissions.
This means HWRP can now clearly illustrate to potential clients the environmental benefits of its activities, as well as the cost savings associated with avoiding waste disposal charges.
The ETC is an ERDF-funded project run by East Riding College which is working with businesses across the region to identify cost-effective energy and environmental efficiencies and to help them secure opportunities in the rapidly growing Humber energy sector.
HWRP enterprise manager Bob Bunce said: "We have been working with the ETC over recent months as they have conducted a comprehensive review of our operational environmental performance.
“Thanks to the calculator they have developed for us, we are looking forward to showing businesses in the region exactly what our activities achieve in terms of preventing waste going to landfill, reduced CO2 emissions and more.
“We are also benefitting from new clients thanks to the ETC’s recommendations to other businesses they are working with, who are seeking to improve their environmental credentials and corporate social responsibility profile by engaging with organisations like ours.”
ETC business advisor Paul Jensen said: “Proactive environmental and corporate social responsibility policies are increasingly essential to forward thinking and ambitious businesses but it can be hard to demonstrate the tangible benefits of them.
“Working with HWRP helps to meet many of the commitments made in these policies and can also create cost savings for a business, proving our belief that improving environmental performance can create competitive advantage on a variety of levels.
“Our project with HWRP has enabled them to prove to potential clients the environmental value of working with them, in addition to the client’s own cost savings and the benefits of engaging with a social enterprise.
“In addition to this, we have recommended HWRP to a number of other ETC clients seeking to improve their environmental performance and have no hesitation in continuing to recommend HWRP’s innovative and commendable community focussed services to any business.”
HWRP is a self-funding social enterprise, formed in December 2013 with the aim of reducing wood waste, saving resources and creating training, volunteering and workplace opportunities for people who may be considered as disadvantaged or marginalised.
Its core business involves reclaiming waste wood product, predominantly generated by the construction industry, and therefore reducing the amount of wood that is needlessly sent for landfill or pushing it further up the recycling chain by reusing it as opposed to recycling it into fuel chips.
Some of the reclaimed wood is offered back for sale to the community at reduced prices and some is used to make products by volunteers or made into kindling or firewood, which are again offered for sale to the community.
Only wood that cannot be reused or recycled in HWRP’s depot is sent for processing off-site and turned into biomass fuel chips. Nothing is ever sent for landfill.
The calculator developed by the ETC has given HWRP a simple method for quantifying its environmental benefits in terms of landfill diversion, virgin materials reductions and reduced CO2 emissions.
For example, if one tonne of a business’s wood waste that would have gone to landfill is recycled, that is automatically one tonne of landfill diversion.
If all of this wood is turned into furniture, used for making a fence or even a piece of art, for example, this equates to one tonne of virgin material reductions as it is one tonne of timber that would not need to be felled to make the furniture or fence.
As the wood waste does not decompose in landfill and therefore does not produce methane, it achieves a saving of approximately 300kg of CO2 equivalent emissions.
Cost savings to the client are achieved through avoiding the £80 per tonne landfill tax and a handling charge to a waste management company. The only payment is a waste removal charge from HWRP.
For more information about the ETC, go to www.energytech.org.uk or call 0845 120 0037.
Notes to editors
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