UK business briefs: Recycling support, Trash fashion, Scrapstore success, Green photo competition, Business report, Business award shortlist

Elliot Morley has renewed Defra's offer of specialist consultancy support for local authorities to help them meet waste recycling and composting targets for 2005/6 and cut waste going to landfill sites. Latest figures show that England looks certain to meet its national recycling and composting target of 17%, the first time such a target has been met. To build on this momentum and provide local authorities with further assistance to meet the ambitious national target of recycling and composting 25% of total household waste by 2005/6, Defra, through the Waste Implementation Programme, Local Authority Support Unit, has made further funding available for Direct Consultancy Support for 2005/6. The Environment Minister is urging those authorities that have yet to take advantage to apply as soon as possible.

When you think of recycling, you may not immediately think of glamorous designer clothing. However, this is set to change from the 17th February 2005 when Re-fuse, a unique fashion exhibition, sponsored by London Remade, shows just how stylish ‘recycled couture’ can be. The exhibition of jewellery, accessories and fashion garments will display the work of over 30 designers, all using recycled materials. Styles of the garments range from the glamorous to urban street wear including Sari – recycling old sari’s to beautiful tailored garments, Traid – operating textile recycling for aid and international development and Junky – recycling men and women’s clothing. Hugh Smith, Project Manager at London Remade, is pleased to help the exhibition: “It’s great to see such a wide collection of stylish products made from materials that would otherwise have gone in the bin. We must start to appreciate the value in a lot of what we would think of as ‘waste’. By recycling these materials, not only have they been diverted from the waste bin, they have been made into new products for resale, closing the recycling loop. The garments and jewellery on display here are just a few examples of how effective this process can be.” The exhibition will be launched with a fashion show on Thursday 17th February 2005 where a raffle of the designers work will be held in aid of the Tsunami Earthquake Appeal. The exhibition will be open to the public from Friday 18th February to Sunday 27th February.

A grant of £122,165 from The Onyx Environmental Trust, through the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme, has helped Southampton Scrapstore become the successful community recycling facility it is today. “The award from The Onyx Environmental Trust has helped to provide Southampton Scrapstore with a firm foundation on which to build the future of the useful community service our small local charity provides,” explained Geoff Charnley, Chair of the Scrapstore Trustees. “Playgroups, schools, day care centres and many other community groups are able to make regular use of the scrap materials donated to us by local businesses for creative, educational and therapeutic work.” As well as providing an essential community service by recycling and re-using scrap materials, the Scrapstore directly helps the local environment by diverting 150 tonnes of waste from landfill each year. It also provides work skills for local long term unemployed people, training workshops and volunteering opportunities.

The second international CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year competition is now open for entries. The first prize is £250-worth of vouchers to be spent on photographic equipment. In addition, sponsor MWH will generously provide vouchers to the value of £100 for the best People in the Environment picture, and a similar prize for the best Engineering in the Environment picture. Last year Rod Armstrong, a retired civil engineer from West Sussex, won the award for his picture of a landscape with dry-stone walls and barns in Swaledale, Yorkshire. The winning image will be available as a limited edition framed print, will feature in Water and Environment Magazine, CIWEM’s international publication, and will be promoted by CIWEM to the national media. The closing date for entries is 30 April 2005, and the winner will be announced on June 5th, World Environment Day.

A new collaborative report between The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) UK technical office (UK-ITPO), and The Manchester Business School (MBS) will be launched at a series of free presentations at MBS in early March – aiming to give UK business a helping hand in the confusing arena of foreign trade. The global report, commissioned by UNIDO ITPO-UK, features invaluable comparative business data for companies seeking to invest, outsource or negotiate joint ventures in developing countries. The three presentations will be introduced by John Arnold Director of MBS and are divided into sector specific events focus on the findings of the MBS students who undertook the extensive research and will include an initial sector overview, future prediction of business trends within the sector, as well as key methods of doing business and cultural considerations that will enable the company to understand the size and potential developments for their sector within the various countries. The research has been undertaken by 92 students at Manchester Business School, across 31 nationalities – making the report a truly global investigation on several levels.

And finally, recycling company Eurosource is celebrating after being shortlisted for another prestigious business award. The mobile phone and printer cartridge recycling company is in the running for the Corporate Citizenship Award at Quality Scotland’s ‘Scottish Awards for Business Excellence’. Quality Scotland, an independent non-profit organisation, was established in 1991 with a mission to make business excellence a national characteristic of Scotland. Falkirk-based Eurosource, which runs recycling appeals in conjunction with major charities, schools, scouts, and businesses, was delighted to be put forward for the award by Scottish Business in the Community (SBC). Eurosource is a member of SBC, which is testament to the company’s commitment to best practice and corporate social responsibility. Jamie Rae, chief executive, said: “Corporate social responsibility, or CSR, is about helping the community and the environment whilst improving business performance, and this is at the very core of our company.”

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