River-friendly businesses honoured

Local, regional, national and global companies have won ‘River-Friendly Business’ status through an initiative that is helping companies work together to tackle water pollution.

Run by charity Trent Rivers Trust (TRT) and backed by the Environment Agency and Severn Trent, the accreditation scheme, which was launched in 2018, awards businesses based within the Trent catchment Bronze, Silver and Gold status for helping to improve their local water environment.

To become a River-Friendly Business, companies must follow six steps – from ensuring water drains that lead to brooks are clearly marked to storing oils and chemicals in bunds to contain spills.

Bronze award winners make staff aware of the campaign and identify steps they can take. Silver winners carry out actions. Gold winners embed a river-friendly ethos in their business and support other organisations.

This year 10 companies which together employ more than 2,000 staff within former coalfield areas in parts of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire have officially become River-Friendly Businesses.

They include the first firms to secure Gold status – chemicals giant BASF plc Alfreton, internationally famous confectioner Ferrero and explosives specialist EPC-UK – along with companies of all shapes and sizes, from world-leading skincare and hand hygiene firm SC Johnson Ltd to Shepherd Hydraulics & Pneumatics Ltd, a small local firm which has become a market leader within its industry.

Representatives from the firms accepted their accolade – and a River-Friendly Business plaque – at a ceremony held today (Nov 28) at The Post Mill Centre in South Normanton, Derbyshire.

Julie Wozniczka, who runs River-Friendly Business and is Senior Project Manager at TRT, said: ‘One of the most exciting and satisfying aspects of River-Friendly Business is the way in which it has quickly nurtured a business-led network in which companies support each other to prevent water pollution, for example by hosting visits to share learning and practical steps they can implement.

‘It’s also vital that businesses of all sizes take part and so we’re delighted that we now have companies taking part that range in size from nine staff to more than 1,000. Together they are not only making a real difference to the local environment but are inspiring others to get involved.’

Thomas Barrett

Thomas Barrett

Journalist. Follow him on Twitter

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