Earlier this month, Recycling Lives’ Commercial Director Daniel Jackson and Operations Director, Alasdair Jackson, represented the company at Buckingham Palace, where they collected our second Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development.
The pair visited London on the 14th July, attending Buckingham Palace for a celebratory reception with other award-winners and a personal meeting with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Recycling Lives was awarded its first Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development in 2010, in recognition of its pioneering social business framework. Our commitment to funding the Recycling Lives social welfare charity through the success of our commercial recycling operations won considerable praise from the Queen’s Award judging panel, who remarked that the organisation was a model of good practice in terms of both its environmental and social sustainability.
This year, we were delighted to win the coveted award for a second time. The Queen’s Award is an honour granted to only a handful of UK businesses each year (12 in 2010; 10 in 2014), with each award being personally endorsed by the Queen. We’re proud to have not only continued our good work, but to have been recognised for demonstrably improving on it.
Recycling the “unrecyclable”
Recycling Lives’ second Queen’s Award comes in recognition of our ground-breaking flat panel display (FPD) unit processing centre – the first of its kind in England, and a vital part of our social sustainability strategy.
Previously, FPD units were widely considered as non-recyclable in many areas due to the fact that most waste management service providers are unable to safely dispose of the hazardous mercury backlights contained within them.
Recycling Lives developed a dedicated FPD recycling centre, which allows for the safe manual deconstruction and recycling of FPD units. Units are carefully dismantled on our operative line before entering a sealed mercury cabin, where specially trained recycling operatives in full bodysuits remove the hazardous components and toxic vapours are removed and stored externally in preparation for external recycling.
Winning social strategy: FPD recycling with a difference
Crucially, our FPD recycling line not only helps to reduce the number of flat screen televisions and computer monitors being sent to landfill; it makes a huge difference to the lives of those in need. As with all of our commercial services, revenues from the line help to fund our social welfare charity and Community Dotcom schemes, which benefit other great causes across the UK.
And the most ground-breaking part? Recycling Lives won significant applause from the Queen’s Award panel for our satellite FPD recycling department at nearby HMP Kirkham, where we train prisoners to take part in recycling activities and offer them the chance to build up vocational qualifications and work experience before re-entering society.
We’ve integrated this ground-breaking project into the Recycling Lives charity, so that prisoners who would otherwise be homeless and unemployed upon release have another option: to join us at Recycling Lives, complete our charity process and get back into full-time work and independent living.
Commenting on his visit to Buckingham Palace, operations director Alasdair Jackson said:
“Both Daniel and I were proud to represent Recycling Lives at the Queen’s Award ceremony at Buckingham Palace. To be part of an organisation that’s won not one, but two Queen’s Awards in just four years is really something special, and a testament to the success of Recycling Lives’ unique social business model.
“The hard work we’ve carried out over the last few years, setting up the FPD recycling facility and developing our Community Dotcom schemes, which also got a mention from the panel, has been rewarded now, and we’re looking forward to a further four years as a Queen’s Award-winning organisation.”