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Green Business Network

Hain Celestial - a BETI+ success story

Hain Celestial is an American owned business whose Luton operation makes premium brand sandwiches for Marks and Spencer. It also owns the Linda McCartney brand in the UK.

Hain has been working with the Green Business Network’s Resource Efficiency Club since 2005 and has made significant inroads on some areas of its operations, but joining the Business Environmental Training Initiative Plus (BETI+) proved to be the foundation for moving its environmental activities forward.

Two members of staff have attended the CIWM Waste Awareness Certificate course, and Maureen Raphael, health, safety and environmental manager, took the CIEH Level 3 course in environmental management. Having undergone the training, Maureen felt that she was more in control of what she was doing and where the business was headed in terms of identifying, monitoring and measuring its environmental impacts. “The course has focused us much more on targets and planning – we’re far more proactive rather than being reactive,” says Maureen.

In addition, she found that attending the course and the workshops that followed enabled delegates from a variety of companies to share best practice, ideas, problems and solutions. In fact, in was during discussions with a fellow delegate that Maureen happened on the idea of buying a can crusher for her waste tins, which has proved to be a huge money spinner – more than £800 per month.Chris Sheldon presents Maureen Raphael with best large company in Bedfordshire BETI+ Award

Hain had already done a lot of work on reducing and recycling its waste streams and this led to the company winning the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) national award for recycling in 2007. This was as a result of the business setting itself stringent targets – in 2006 Hain said it would reduce its waste going to landfill by 85% in just one year. At the time, only 9% of waste was being recycled. By December 2007, the site achieved 93% recycling of its waste. It achieved this by sending waste food products to a biomass generator, and recycling cans, plastic and cardboard separately.

This Award, coupled with cost savings through reducing waste and addressing energy and gas usage in excess of £85,00 a year, was the final factor needed to gain full and absolute management commitment to environmental initiatives. Maureen says: “Initially management were fairly sceptical, but then we started to see costs go down and we won a national award. It was then that they started to take notice and now they’re quite hyper about it.”

“BETI+ has helped us to achieve all of this. The training and the other schemes on offer are marvellous and there should be more of this kind of help available.” Maureen Raphael, health, safety and environmental manager

Hain Celestial will be having its final audit for ISO 14001 registration in June 2008, and there currently seems no reason to suppose that they won’t achieve this.

The company’s operations department are now gaining credit and recognition for the work they’re doing to reduce cost savings, and management is keen to pay for others to be trained as they can now see the benefits.