Ambitious Envirolab invests in new laboratory, Labour MP James Purnell to host opening ceremony
23 June 2009, News release from RSK Group plc
On 10 July, Cabinet rebel and Labour MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, James Purnell, will host the opening ceremony for the new inorganics laboratory of Hyde-based Envirolab, one of the UK's leading soil and chemical testing companies.
The culmination of 18 months of planning, the £1m laboratory will expand Envirolab's analytical remit to include all common inorganic contaminants, virtually eliminating subcontracted services and saving around £500,000 per year.
Envirolab's investment is expected to put the contaminated land specialist in a prime position to pick up work from resurgent property developers working on brownfield sites.
Staff numbers have already increased by six to twenty-six, with six further appointments expected in the next few months.
The new laboratory will be accredited by United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to ISO17025 and the Environment Agency's Monitoring Certification Scheme (MCERTS).
The expansion of Envirolab forms a key part of a strategy by its Helsby, Cheshire-based parent company, RSK Group, to become the UK's leading 'one-stop shop' environmental consultancy. Since 2006, RSK Group has expanded its workforce from 300 to 850 and its turnover from £26m to around £62m (2009, provisional accounts figure). It is currently the UK's largest privately owned environmental consultancy.
Envirolab managing director Claire Knighton said:
"This is a major investment for us and shows we are prepared to be ambitious and forward-looking, even at a time of widespread economic gloom and doom.
The new inorganics laboratory will enable us to offer our clients a comprehensive service that will be hard to beat. Envirolab is not a conveyor-belt laboratory fixated on churning out digits. We strive to be utterly reliable, focusing on quality, accuracy and unrivalled client liaison to ensure our customers get the best possible service."
The inorganics laboratory will be managed by John Gustafson, who joined Envirolab last May after spending 20 years working for major laboratory companies like Severn Trent Laboratories and TES Bretby.
"In the past, we've focused on identifying hydrocarbons, like oil and tars, which frequently pollute the ground after heavy industry has taken place.
The new inorganics lab will enable us to identify substances like arsenic, cadmium and other heavy metals."
The inorganics laboratory is not the first ambitious move that Envirolab has taken in the interest of company growth and adaptation to client needs.
In 2006, it invested £200,000 in new Gas Chromatography instrumentation and became one of the few laboratories in the UK to achieve UKAS accredition for speciated total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHCWG) analysis.
Then, a year later, it became one of the few laboratories of its kind to run 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.
Another way Envirolab seeks to steal a march on its competitors is through employing a high proportion of chartered chemists and PhD graduates.
Such technical acumen has yielded, among other things, 'Haswaste', arguably the most comprehensive soil hazardous waste characterisation tool in the contaminated land sector, and an electronic Q&A service, askEnvirolab.
The 10 July launch will involve a guided tour of Envirolab's facilities, networking opportunities over a buffet lunch, and all existing and potential customers will receive £1,000 worth of discount vouchers to redeem against services of their choice. If you are an existing or potential Envirolab customer and would like to attend the launch on 10 July, contact email@example.com.
For further information please email RSK Group plc