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Premier Contract Supplies win praise as part of innovative business based learning scheme PLATO

Premier Contract Supplies based in Farnborough have won praise as part of an innovative business based learning scheme; PLATO: Sustain currently running across the South East to help business become more environmentally friendly.

PLATO: Sustain, a programme funded by the South East England Development Agency and the European Regional Development Fund aims to develop local businesses through improving their ‘Green Credentials’ over a two year period.

One member company, Premier Contracts Supplies (PCS) based in Farnborough, Hampshire sell bathrooms to house builders and commercial developers across the UK. As part of the programme, the PCS team learnt how to cut their waste to landfill by separating cardboard and plastic waste into saleable products which could then offset the cost of waste disposal of non-recyclables. In just one year they have reduced waste from 30 tonnes to just three, and turned a business overhead into a cost saving of £7,000 as the recyclables can be sold back at market value.

Vincent Caldicott, Managing Director of PCS said, "The last nine months have really been enlightening for our business – I wouldn’t recommend PLATO: Sustain to my competitors as it’s definitely given us a competitive advantage in our marketplace!

"We were concerned about the amount of waste we produced and we have now changed our whole policy to send less to landfill and we make money on selling cardboard and plastic back to a recycling company. From this early pilot we have started talking to a major UK house builder about a joint initiative which will change the way suppliers in the construction industry manage waste through the supplier chain. A pilot is currently underway and we hope to make an announcement shortly."

Commenting on the first nine months, Rachel Cheetham PLATO’s Programme Director said, "Since PLATO: Sustain launched, we’ve been really encouraged by the response from businesses across the South East Region. Companies taking part in this initiative have already been reporting tangible cost savings from improved environmental practices. Not only are they changing the way they work but many like Vince are changing a cost into profit. We look forward to passing on their success stories to others over the coming year."

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