Local Company Recognised as Green Giant

Allsignsgroup 6th Best Manufacturing Company in UK

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Will Tyler and Mike Freely being presented with their award


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Not that long ago pretty much all of the 220 tons of annual waste produced by Allsignsgroup went to landfill at a cost of more than 30,000. Now, a year after introducing a comprehensive recover, recycle and reuse scheme as part of its aim to achieve ISO 14001 certification for environmental management, the Brentford-based firm's monthly recycling rate has shot up to 65%.

Traditionally, raw materials used in sign-making and printing such as PVC foam and aluminium composite were difficult to dispose of responsibly, but the cost of sending it to landfill and a desire to be greener led the firm to work with suppliers to find specialist waste carriers.

The company site now has five metal cages to segregate waste and, fittingly, it made a huge sign for the warehouse clearly showing what products could be recycled. A waste committee was set up and eco warriors assigned to each production area to help spread the green message.

Appropriately enough, the company achieves the highest positive green score (93%) of any organisation for workplace signage being a constant reminder to think green. And it is paying off. Workers give the firm green scores of 99% and 96% respectively for knowing where to put waste and what waste goes where.

They are aware of the company's environmental policy (92%, a top 10 score) and of the environmental implications of the work they do (85%).

Allsignsgroup offers waste materials to local schools and art projects and is working with the Electric Railway Museum to provide waste material to help protect trains and carriages set aside for restoration. Key clients are being given the option of giving back old signage the firm has made for them when it has come to the end of its useful life.

To meet its environmental targets, Allsignsgroup has invested in a new heating system that should lead to a 20% reduction in gas and electricity use this winter, and is phasing in motion and daylight activated lights. All its computers and monitors have automatic sleep settings after a time lapse, and the firm shuts down non-essential equipment at night and during the weekends. In addition, new flush systems are being installed in toilets to reduce avoidable water usage. All this contributes to staff believing Allsigns does a lot for the environment and everything it can to minimise its impact on it (both 90%).

Green behaviour is encouraged and there is a suggestion box for employees to post their bright ideas for eco improvements. They can also nominate colleagues for an award for their green performance. When Allsignsgroup won the inaugural Hounslow Green Guardian award in 2008, staff involved in the success were rewarded with a massage session. Employees feel they have a lot of power to influence the firm's energy use (74%) and even their families believe that the business is a green one (80%).

The group, which offsets its carbon footprint through projects run by the Carbon Neutral Company, gets a top five green score of 96% positive for being committed to the environment, and staff say managing director Mike Freely and his team lead by example (88%, and a top 10 score).

Gratefully reproduced from The Times

June 26, 2009