A recycling group is celebrating reaching a carbon neutral milestone amid a £1 million investment for a greener future.
The Appliance Recycling Group in Tipton, West Midlands, which reclaims around 100,000 household items a year, has achieved carbon neutral status.
Director James Farmer said he considered the move a duty as a provider of environmental services whose vehicles cover around 100,000 miles a year collecting and transferring waste.
He added: “We are delighted our operation is now carbon neutral, in accordance with internationally required criteria, known as PAS2060 Certification from the British Standard Institute.
“We have agreed a 12-month plan and targets to lower emissions by at least 7%. We are offsetting our remaining emissions to go carbon neutral, recognising that it is best practice to lower our own emissions as much as possible before considering offsetting.
“Longer term our aspiration is to have a net zero carbon business which does not require offsets to be carbon neutral. “This achievement covers all aspects of our operation; from the guys starting their engines early in the morning, to moment that our vehicles arrive on site, at our recycling partners.
“Over the past year we have invested in our logistics operation, to ensure that the most efficient vehicles are used. This has enabled us to get a handle on our emissions with newer, smarter vehicles.”
The Appliance Recycling Group operates from a 20,000 sq ft base in George Henry Road and is also renowned for community programmes, encouraging recycling and against fly-tipping.
James said: “While there are some fantastic recycling plants in the UK, the recycling and processing of appliances only tells half of the story. Research suggests that almost twice the emissions are produced from the logistics element of recycling.
“The waste management sector should be leading the way with a carbon neutral agenda. As an organisation that provides environmental services and has its own fleet, carbon neutrality is incredibly important for both the waste and logistics industry. Organisations have realised for some time that consumers are more environmentally aware of their decisions and by cleaning up supply chains and working with like-minded and sustainable partners, this can only grow as an ongoing theme.”
The company has been supported in the final stage of its carbon neutral status by experts from Worcester-based Go Green Experts Ltd.
They carried out research and agreed a plan for carbon management.
Dominic Lavelle from Go Green Experts Ltd said: “I’d like to congratulate The Appliance Recycling Group for becoming carbon neutral and committing to a robust plan to manage their carbon footprint over time. As we move towards a greener economy it is vital that we make use of our products for longer, and companies like ARG play a key part in this by fixing as many white good as they can so that their useful life is extended. As an organisation they are committed to minimising their impact the planet which is fantastic to see.”
James added: “We are immensely proud, while our reuse operation has always been great for the environment, we can now demonstrate that this does not mask a carbon heavy logistics operation. Our reuse appliances save emissions, but the operation that it now stands behind is equally sharp and environmentally efficient.”
The Appliance Recycling Group’s carbon neutral mission has also been welcomed by customers where they are a key provider — including REPIC – the UK’s leading not-for-profit producer compliance scheme.
Image credit: Photo of James Farmer by Carol Bailey Photography