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Green Business Network

Terrapin - greening the supply chain

Terrapin Ltd manufactures modular buildings for key public sector clients in the UK. Buildings are pre manufactured in their Milton Keynes factory and assembled and fitted on-site. The company also manufactures a panel based system for sale or hire.

Terrapin's modular buildingsLast year saw the company embark on an ambitious environmental improvement programme using the Green Business Network (GBN) as a mentor, trainer and service provider. Within the space of one year, the company has achieved ISO 14001 certification, won two environmental business awards, and saved more than £8800 by taking resource efficiency measures.

An audit carried out in 2006 identified a number of areas where Terrapin could make cost savings through environmental improvements. Over the past year, the company has worked to ensure some of these savings have been implemented. As waste was identified as one of the major environmental impacts, Terrapin decided to address this in earnest, which has resulted in extremely positive outcomes. Waste going to landfill went down from 600 tonnes to 350 tonnes, while recycling increased from 30 tonnes to 100 tonnes.

Paul Robinson, Quality Manager, says: “We knew waste was one of our major Environmental impacts and so we decided to tackle this as a priority. The results have been positive both in terms of environmental improvements, and by looking at what we were putting in the skip, we have found other areas we can focus on in future.”

Applying waste management principles to its supply chain has also become one of Terrapin’s priorities. The company wants to ensure that its suppliers are taking environmental improvements into consideration. Having achieved considerable success using GBN’s other programmes, Paul Robinson approached GBN under the MK Green Alert project to see if the Network could provide help in this area.

The result was an on-site course delivered by a GBN tutor, which provided CIWM Waste Awareness Certificate training for four businesses within the Milton Keynes and North Bucks area. The training was specific to the construction industry and covered waste generally, but construction Site Waste Management Plans – now a legal requirement – in particular.

This approach means that Terrapin has now ensured that those businesses it is using to carry out work, or supply goods are aware of their legal obligations, have sound training in what’s required from a Site Waste Management Plan, and are able to look at what they’re putting into their skips and see whether it can’t be eliminated, recovered, reused or recycled rather than going to landfill.

Paul is delighted with the help Terrapin has received over the past year from the Network.

“GBN has offered support and assistance at all levels within our business. This has helped us to achieve real cost savings, and raise awareness of environmental and legislative requirements throughout our supply chain.”

In fact, Terrapin is now looking to give something back in return for the help it has received and Paul has recently been given permission to sit on GBN’s Steering Group and offer time in kind to help the Network continue to provide environmental support to local businesses.