Portakabin, the UK’s leading modular building specialist, has been awarded a 4 Star rating by the zero waste recognition scheme Investors in Zero Waste.

The awards ceremony in London, hosted by the BBC’s Political Correspondent Ben Wright, celebrated the winning organisations from across the UK that have been recognised for their achievements in Zero Waste to Landfill.

Established in 2010 and with over 500 members, Investors in Zero Waste rewards the innovation and commitment of businesses, public authorities and third sector organisations, which are making significant efforts to eliminate waste.

The accolade of ‘4 Star Investor in Zero Waste’ awarded to Portakabin follows the Group’s success in achieving a Zero Waste Platinum Award in 2013 and Yorkshire’s Environmental Business of the Year in 2015.

Portakabin has generated zero waste to landfill at its international manufacturing centre in York for a number of years and is continually implementing new processes and initiatives to further improve waste management and introduce new streams for recycling.

Derek Carter, Chief Executive of Portakabin said, “Our teams continue to make huge, industry-leading progress in the area of recycling and waste management. We are proud to have received another independent, national accolade for our environmental achievements.

“As a Group, we are genuinely committed to sustainability and environmental excellence through the design and manufacture of all of our buildings; in every operation across the business, and in our community programmes. Our modular building solutions already help our customers to reduce energy and minimise the use of natural resources and carbon emissions. We believe these unrivalled environmental credentials give our customers the reassurance that choosing Portakabin as a business partner and building supplier will support their own sustainable sourcing aspirations.”

Portakabin has recently restructured its waste management and collection systems at its 250,000m2 international manufacturing centre in York. A dedicated team is now responsible for managing waste collection which has already doubled recycling rates of some materials through the sharing of best practice and achieving a higher degree of awareness and ownership of the importance of recycling.

The Group has also invested £50,000 in new waste management facilities and equipment at its York site:

A new compactor has cut vehicle movements for cardboard and general waste from four to just one collection per week
New waste bins for the site access road to separate out plastic bottles, cardboard and aluminium cans
New wheelie bins of varying sizes which are more manoeuvrable than skips to facilitate recycling in the production areas
Two hazardous waste containers – a more robust storage solution before collection for recycling.

Other waste management initiatives introduced by Portakabin have included:

The introduction of office waste recycling across the Group’s network of more than 50 UK Hire and Visitor Centres
The extension of a programme to segregate and recycle six streams of office waste. This has been rolled out across the whole of the York headquarters site, following successful trials
Portakabin has invested in specially-designed containers to hold and protect components for the modular manufacturing process. These ‘stillages’ are then sent back to suppliers for re-filling, removing the need for packaging
A new reporting structure has been introduced to achieve further reductions in energy consumption and waste, and demonstrating the importance Portakabin places on leadership in this area
Increased use of internal education programmes to continually raise awareness of waste management best practice among staff at every level
An active Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme which instigates and promotes community recycling initiatives across the Group – such as collections for local clothes banks and for the distribution of spectacles to developing countries, and the donation of timber to local schools to support their Design and Technology curriculum
Portakabin now has compactors for general waste and bailers at its York manufacturing centre to put cardboard, soft plastics, plastic bottles and plastic strapping into bails. This reduces transportation and carbon emissions by achieving higher tonnage with each truck movement.
Portakabin designs and manufactures modular buildings and advanced off-site construction solutions for organisations of every size and in any sector. It has delivered more than 50 million square feet of building space in the last 50 years and employs over 1,750 people in seven countries across Europe.

Picture: Ed Ward, Production Manager at Portakabin with the Investors in Zero Waste four star award.