Waste minimisation pays off for flagship Scottish company

One of Scotland’s largest companies Allied Distillers (ADL) is extending waste minimisation procedures throughout its supply chain following savings of up to £2.6 million during the first year of operation.

Seven of the company’s key suppliers saved £1.2 million and the company made direct savings of £1.4 million through a programme developed with the aid of a £50,000 grant under the Department of Trade and Industry’s Environmental Technology Best Practice Programme (renamed Envirowise), and support from three Scottish agencies. Savings were made by adopting more efficient work practices, gaining control of consumables, reducing losses in production, improved energy management, water savings and reduced effluent charges.

ADL was awarded the grant to further develop its existing waste minimisation efforts. Modelled on experience from recent SEPA waste minimisation programmes, a programme for ADL was established by a steering group with clear targets and workshop sessions with suppliers. A private consultant ran the programme, and SEPA funded the production of a report to disseminate the experience entitled Environmental Best Practice Through Partnership.

“This project is an excellent example of how partnership between industry and the public sector can produce a real ‘win-win’ situation, with benefits for both the environment and the economy,” said Ken Collins, SEPA’s chairman. “SEPA sees waste minimisation as an essential part of Scotland’s National Waste Strategy and also a key method of reducing our impact on natural resources.”

SEPA’s waste minimisation programme (Resource Efficiency Action Programme, REAP), began in 1998 with the aim of raising awareness of the benefits to businesses and householders. In particular this involves stimulating “an effective business response to environmental developments by promoting cost-effective measures that improve environmental performance” and providing a focal point for the dissemination of best practice. Phase two of REAP began a year ago with the emphasis on establishing a workshop model and new initiatives include a focus on SMEs in the Lothians.

The other Scottish agencies involved were Scottish Energy Efficiency Office, Scottish Enterprise Dumbartonshire and the Scottish Executive.

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