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Somerset Business Awards announce less waste and carbon cuts winners

Food and drink firms were clear winners at the Somerset Business Awards, taking the Waste Minimisation Award and the Carbon Reduction Award, Somerset Waste Partnership announced.

Framptons Ltd, a Shepton Mallet-based family-run food manufacturer and contract packer founded in 1898, won the Somerset Waste Partnership-sponsored Waste Minimisation Award.

Bridgwater-based Gerber Juice Company, one of the largest producers and distributors of juice and juice drinks, claimed the Carbon Reduction Award, sponsored by Somerset County Council.

Each year, Framptons Ltd processes and packs more than one million litres of fruit juices, smoothies and milks for brand owners, as well as manufacturing 500,000 omelettes and around 120-150 tonnes of chilled and frozen liquid egg for the food service market.

It successfully halved its carbon footprint in 2009 and in the past year has cut water use by 32%, plus it is nearing its target of sending zero waste to landfill by the end of 2010. Framptons Ltd has donated more than £5,000 from waste minimisation and recycling to local charities since 2008.

Managing Director Ian Harvey said: "It’s absolutely great to win the Waste Minimisation Award, especially for the wider team of Framptons, who have worked so hard to reduce our waste to landfill. This is the second time we’ve won an award here – last year was for sustainability.

"We’ve made significant progress again this year in the reduction of waste to landfill and we’re hopeful that we will achieve our target of zero waste to landfill by the end of this year."

Somerset Waste Partnership business recycling advisor Helen Ridler said: "Framptons Ltd was an exemplary entry. Apart from the obvious environmental benefits that come from minimising waste, it showed there are also significant
financial rewards for businesses that have the foresight to review their operational processes and waste management practices. Not only have they reduced their waste but they have also addressed water and fuel consumption within their operation. They are on course to achieve zero waste to landfill before the end of the year, turning a 2009 waste bill of £27,000 into a 2010 waste profit of £7,000."

Waste Minimisation Award second place went to Clarks Village, the retail outlet consisting of nearly 100 stores in Street. Ms Ridler said: "This is a superb example of a how to get a diverse range of tenants to all take part in a single waste management scheme. They all now segregate their waste as part of their daily operations. It shows that good communication is vital to ensuring that recycling is maximised and waste sent to landfill is kept to a minimum. The range of materials being recycled is truly impressive and the savings made equally so."

Third placed in the Waste Minimisation Award was construction company ROK. Ms Ridler said: "Construction and demolition wastes account for almost a third of the UK’s waste but this firm are an inspiration as their operation here in Somerset is now recycling over 80% of its waste. ROK also donates waste paint to community and school projects. They have an innovative approach to the way that they communicate with their workforce to embed more sustainable practices."

In the Carbon Reduction Award sponsored by Somerset County Council, the Gerber Juice Company has the lowest carbon footprint per litre produced in the juice market, and has invested in state-of-the-art manufacturing and distribution that meets the highest environmental standards, lowering the company’s carbon footprint. Annual food miles have been cut by 260,000, saving 400 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Managing Director David Saint said: "Winning this award is an acknowledgement of the work undertaken by each of our 700 employees in making our facility at Express Park so successful.

"Together we have turned the site into the most advanced juice manufacturing facility in Europe, if not the world, with a total reorganisation of the company’s business within five years and at the same time achieving a low carbon footprint. We have, in fact, attracted new customers by adopting a low carbon strategy and Gerber Juice now leads the juice industry in this very important area. I would recommend that everyone takes similar action within their own business."

Runner-up in the Carbon Reduction Award was The Albemarle Centre, Taunton.

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