Business in Brief – 24/07/19

Amur and NRM join forces

Anaerobic digestion (AD) operator and consultancy firm Amur is partnering with NRM, the UK’s largest provider of AD laboratory services.

Allowing for greater access to more accurate testing, NRM will be offering Amur’s Bullet biomethane potential (BMP) test, which uses near-infra red (NIR) technology to assess the components in a feedstock sample, providing results in just five days.

Christine Parry, Technical Manager at Amur, said: “NRM is one of the most tried and tested players in the business – they were the first to receive PAS110 accreditation – and we are really excited to be working with them. Through this new agreement, we will be able to help a greater number of customers to be more responsive.

“Sourcing reliable feedstocks is a major challenge for plant operators, so any tools that help them to make decisions faster will have a big impact on productivity and income.

“Bullet BMP is an important part of our wider business offering, so we are looking forward to helping the AD market to be more responsive, while feedstocks are in short supply.”

Eco2 turns to anaerobic digestion with appointment of new Biomass Portfolio Manager

Welsh renewable energy company Eco2 has appointed Robert Richards as Biomass Portfolio Manager focusing on AD.

Richards’ new role will focus on acquiring new business in the AD sector, as Eco2 aims to develop new AD plants, whilst also overseeing the management, feedstock sourcing and digestate offtake for existing plants.

Commenting on his new role, Richards said: “I am very excited to embark on this new position focusing on the expansion of Eco2’s credentials to include anaerobic digestion.

There is no doubt that Eco2 has significant and wide-ranging expertise that can bring real value to the AD sector, which is a key piece of the puzzle towards the UK achieving its climate change goals.”

Darren Williams, Managing Director at Eco2 said: “We have been very impressed by Robert’s work managing one of Eco2’s largest biomass projects and we are pleased to appoint him in this new role, demonstrating clearly our commitment to expanding out portfolio to include AD.

“Our view is that AD projects can collectively be part of a thriving industry if developed and managed in a way that is socially responsible, sustainable, forward-thinking and efficient. With Robert’s help, we want to use the expertise that we have built developing and managing renewable energy assets over the last 17 years to do just that.”

DS Smith appoints new Finance Director for Paper Division

Sustainable packaging company DS Smith has appointed Emma Ciechan as Finance Director for its Paper Division.

Emma Ciechan has been appointed as DS Smith's Finance Director for Paper Division
Image: DS Smith

Ciechan first joined DS Smith in 2016 as Director of Planning and Performance Management, and has been successful in developing and rolling out the company’s nine long-term sustainability targets, which include manufacturing 100 per cent reusable or recyclable packaging by 2025 and sending zero waste to landfill by 2030.

Commenting on her success at DS Smith and her new post, Ciechan said: “A year after joining DS Smith, I was delighted when I was offered the opportunity to lead the Sustainability team, in addition to retaining my core Financial Planning and Performance Management role.

“The Sustainability team are a group of passionate sustainability experts who, I hope, benefitted from my team leadership, experience and drive to deliver positive change.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead and the opportunity to work with the senior management team within our Paper division. DS Smith’s recent initiatives around paper making, such as our work on coffee cup recycling and our insights around plastic replacement in the supermarkets, could have a significant impact on some of the biggest challenges in our society.”

Partnership between Valpak and RECOUP to deliver schools programme

Plastics recycling charity RECOUP has joined forces with environmental compliance firm Valpak to deliver a plastics recycling programme in schools.

Valpak and RECOUP are delivering recycling workshops in schools
Image: Valpak

The #sortitout programme aims to encourage schools and pupils to improve their plastics recycling, with pupils from Diss High School in Norfolk taking part in recycling games to help them understand what they can recycle locally.

Steve Gough, CEO of Valpak, said: “Plastics are on everyone’s mind at the moment, and these workshops do an amazing job at helping the children to understand how plastics are made, how to identify the different types, and to give them ideas on how to keep plastic packaging out of the natural environment by recycling. We have supplied a dedicated bin to collect plastic bottles, so the pupils can recycle easily at school.”

Anne Hitch, Citizen and Stakeholder Engagement Manager at RECOUP, who led the workshops, added: “It was encouraging to have so many questions and so much input from the students – they were really keen to learn what happens to plastic packaging when recycled.

“We are delighted to be able to work with Valpak to deliver this message direct to young consumers and are looking forward to seeing the results of the ongoing input by the student recycling ambassadors.”

Andusia partners with Mid UK Recycling for SRF export

Refuse-derived fuel (RDF) exporter Andusia has teamed up with solid recovered fuel (SRF) supplier Mid UK Recycling, a partnership that it is hoped will allow for the export of an excess of 20,000 tonnes a year of SRF, to be recovered at two cement plants in the Mediterranean.

SRF ready for export
Image: Andusia

SRF is produced mainly from industrial and commercial residual waste, and has gone through additional processing to improve the quality. With a higher calorific value than RDF, SRF is used in cement kiln facilities, replacing fossil fuels such as Petcoke and coal.

Eamonn Hanley, Group Operations Director at Mid UK Recycling, which is part of the Beauparc Group, commented: “The significant investment in multiple SRF production lines has allowed the company to produce bespoke alternative fuels that can be tailored to a customer’s exacting requirements.

“This proactive approach permits a higher utilisation of alternative fuels that supports the groups approach to reducing the reliance of traditional energy sources.”

Stewart Brackenbury, Director and founder of Andusia, said: “We have been assisting Mid UK Recycling with their RDF offtake in recent years and are delighted to now be able to take their SRF as an alternative fuel.

“They are such a like-minded company, passionate about the future of waste management and diverting from UK landfill and we look forward to working with them going forward.”