The Portakabin Group’s commitment to sustainability has been recognised with another award. It has now been named Environmental Business of the Year in the Yorkshire Post Environment Awards 2015.

The award was presented by Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party at an event in Leeds which celebrated the achievements of organisations working to combat global warming and create truly sustainable communities. This follows the Group’s success in a number of national awards for recycling and zero waste.

Portakabin Group was honoured for its environmental commitments which cover every aspect of its business – from its achievement of generating zero waste to landfill in the manufacture of its market-leading modular buildings to its sustainable transport initiatives which encourage cycling, car sharing and the use of public transport to reduce carbon emissions.

Commenting on the award, Derek Carter, Chief Executive of the Portakabin Group said, “We are committed to achieving excellence in environmental management across all our manufacturing and commercial activities so this award is fantastic recognition for our colleagues. We are continually looking at new ways of minimising impact on the environment and would strongly urge all businesses to do the same. It simply makes sound environmental and economic sense to reduce consumption of the earth’s natural resources.”

“This award also gives our customers, colleagues and suppliers even greater confidence in the sustainability of our approach and our building solutions.”

The Portakabin Group’s sustainability successes have included:

  • Reducing business mileage CO2/£m turnover by 17 per cent in 2014/15. This was realised with the introduction of a new policy to encourage use of public transport and car sharing, and a cap on company cars for CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency.
  • The objective of zero waste to landfill was achieved at the Group’s international manufacturing centre in York a year ahead of target. Further improvements to waste management processes and new waste streams for recycling continue to be implemented.
  • A programme to replace all illuminated signage with energy-efficient LED lighting across the Group’s network of 50 Hire Centres.
  • Waste recycling for offices is being rolled out and the first block which includes the directors’ suite now segregates waste into paper, cardboard, glass, plastic and general waste for recycling.
  • The introduction of hot-air hand dryers to remove the need for waste-intensive paper towels.
  • The Group continues to purchase electricity only from renewable sources as part of its environmental commitment and despite increased cost.
  • Suppliers of high volume, low value materials deliver direct to the production line eliminating packaging.
  • Timber procured from EU-recognised certified sustainable sources (PEFC or FSC) has increased to 93 per cent.
  • Portakabin was awarded a Business in the Community Environment Index Gold Award for its commitment to sustainability, making it one of the UK’s highest-performing businesses for environmental management.
  • The Group has a three-week Cycle to Work Challenge for which it won a National Cycle Challenge Award with 41 per cent of employees cycling to work in that period. Around 20 per cent of the workforce in York regularly cycles to work.