Training goes nationwide

Environmental management expert, Global Resource Management (GRM) has teamed up with the European Union's Social Fund department to launch a new nationwide scheme worth almost £1M, which will provide environmental management training and support to the UK's manufacturing and engineering industries.

The year-long project will help companies gain the knowledge and practical experience needed to implement environmental management systems, and improvements within their business - saving money off the bottom line, and helping the environment in the process. In addition, it will seek to improve working relationships at each level of the supply chain, and identify opportunities to increase efficiency through rationalised ordering and delivery schedules, optimised batch sizes, reduce packaging and encourage the adoption of re-usable forms of packaging, and foster a better understanding of the needs of each company within the supply chain.

Tracey Kelsall Brown, general manager at GRM, explains: "This is a great project to be involved in, as it really will bring about tangible improvements both in the environmental and operating performance of those organisations involved. The funding enables GRM to provide free training for 160 company representatives nationwide.

"With many SMEs and larger organisations being increasingly asked to achieve environmental improvements and demonstrate best practice as a condition of supply or to meet new regulatory requirements, effective environmental management has become an important element of running any successful company."

Supply-chain champions
The project will enable GRM to recruit eight companies from across England who will act as 'supply-chain champions'. Each champion will bring together 20 of their suppliers, with the entire supply chain working towards a shared goal of sustainable development and environmental improvement entirely funded by the ESF.

A similar training programme delivered by GRM in 2001/2 led to many of the participating companies realising significant cost savings through improved efficiency, waste and energy reduction, increased resource re-use and recycling.

Environmental considerations
Tracey adds: "It is our belief that most medium to large sized businesses need to integrate environmental considerations into overall strategic business decisions. With the size of supply chains being progressively reduced by the larger organisations, those companies which are able to meet future environmental management challenges, will have a competitive advantage and will be best placed to keep existing customers and develop new markets."



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