North-East companies which have made significant environmental improvements have been recognised by a Teesside University project which has helped firms save millions of pounds.
The Resource Efficiency Pathways to Sustainable Growth (REPS) programme, based at The Forge at Teesside University, helps companies become leaner by looking at resource efficiency savings from all aspects of business process including use of raw material, energy, water, waste, and product design.
Over the last four years, the £2.5 million programme, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, has worked with more than 170 businesses, helping them to make £4.7m in savings, investment and new business generation.
In addition, the project has helped save 21,500 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and diverted more than 210,000 tonnes of waste.
The REPS project, which began in July 2011 and ends in September 2015, aims to help North-East SMEs to undertake resource efficiency improvements and help them appreciate the value of a resource and environmental management strategy for their business.
Through the REPS programme, companies are given tailored expert support, worth approximately £3,000 to increase operational, managerial, environmental and financial performance.
This looks at many different ways to help businesses improve their profitability, including carbon footprinting, Enterprise Resource Planning, and waste management, such as finding alternatives to landfill for difficult waste streams that provide a cost saving and environmental benefit.
At a special event, held at Wynyard Hall, 14 SMEs which had made significant environmental achievements with REPS were recognised for their work.
Pedro Rivera, REPS Project Manager, said: “From the outset of the programme, it was key that we recognised the companies which have made a significant environmental improvement as a result of implementing the solutions and recommendations from REPS support.
“Each of these companies has seen costs savings and increased efficiency as a result of the changes they have made to operational and environmental processes.
“It was also a fantastic opportunity for the SMEs and our stakeholders to share best practice and network.
“There was also a lot of discussion about developing and building upon the work that REPS has achieved once the project has come to an end.”
The companies that picked up awards were: Silver award – Altec Engineering, AV Dawson, C&A Pumps, Greencare Mobility, Industrial and Marine Hydraulics, Modus Subsea Intervention, Quick Hydraulics, RPS, WRL Glass Media. Bronze Award – Easby Flooring, Geoffrey Robinson, Meldrum Construction, PSI Global, TRM Group.