Recycling Lives and EM Highway Services win CIHT Environmental / Sustainability Project of the Year 2014

Preston-based social business Recycling Lives is celebrating after a collaborative project with its corporate partner EM Highway Services (EM) was named as the North West Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) Environmental / Sustainability Project of the Year 2014.

The companies were championed at the CIHT Awards Ceremony on the 9th May, held at Warrington’s Park Royal Hotel and described by the CIHT as “an opportunity to reward the remarkable achievements of those working in the sector”.

Recycling Lives and EM were recognised for their joint work on EM’s new Sustainability Strategy and associated One Planet Action Plan, launched at the start of this year.

The Strategy outlines EM’s commitment to keeping sustainability at the centre of its operations, while the Action Plan focuses effort on 10 areas covering the environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainability, including targets and actions for reducing waste, the ultimate aim being to send zero waste to landfill.

In a bid to bring these targets within reach, EM looked to its supply chain on its Area 13 Managing Agent Contractor (MAC) contract, on which it works closely with Recycling Lives.

EM has worked with Recycling Lives, a two-time winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development, for a number of years, having been impressed by the company’s competitive recycling services and ongoing commitment to working only on projects with a positive social outcome.

The two organisations now focus their collective energy on delivering environmentally, economically and socially sustainable outcomes to customers and communities around the UK. EM also supports Recycling Lives UK, a registered social welfare charity run and funded by Recycling Lives Limited that offers accommodation, work experience, training and employment to homeless and long-term unemployed men.

EM has arranged work opportunities for the charity’s Residents in the past, helping to provide lasting security to individuals who may otherwise have found it difficult to find and access employment.

Andy Burns, Area 13 general manager at EM Highway Services, commented:

“I am absolutely delighted that we were awarded Environmental and Sustainability Project of the Year at the recent North West CIHT Awards. The award is for our collaborative work with Recycling Lives to both reduce the amount of waste materials sent to landfill, and to work with the Recycling Lives charity on its mission to support vulnerable members of society.

“Both of these aspects of our partnership align with the EM’s Sustainability objectives and reward the emphasis we place on developing and sustaining collaborative business relationships.”

Steve Jackson OBE, founder and chief executive of Recycling Lives added:

“We are thrilled that our collaboration with EM Highway Services has been recognised by the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation for its contribution to environmental sustainability in the sector.

“Too often, meaningful and lasting engagement with Corporate Social Responsibility is eschewed by businesses that fail to understand its true value, not only in itself but as a platform from which to reach out to new customers and markets.

“As one of Recycling Lives’ long-term corporate partners, EM Highway Services has made a sustained effort to improve its own CSR agenda, engaging our commercial services in a bid to minimise its own environmental impact and supporting our charity and the vulnerable people we help.

“This award goes to show that ethical organisations are beginning to receive the recognition they deserve. We look forward to a continuing our mutually beneficial relationship with EM Highway Services.”

In addition to its charitable ventures in the North West, Recycling Lives has rolled out a number of nationwide, charity-led “Community Dotcom” schemes, including ScrapCarNetwork.org, SkipHireNetwork.org, BulkyWaste.org, FurnitureDonationNetwork.org and OfficeClearanceNetwork.org, allowing householders and businesses across the UK to book a range of environmentally-friendly collection and recycling services from charities, social enterprises and ethical businesses.

Profits from the scheme help to sustain UK charities, extending the benefits of Recycling Lives’ social business ethos even further.