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A Stockport manufacturer is among 80 businesses developing low carbon innovation in partnership with leading universities through the Eco-I North West programme.
Fibrestar Drums, based in Hazel Grove, manufacture fibre drums and products for the chemical, pharmaceutical, food, and automotive industries, and through the programme is partnering with Lancaster University to research and develop new materials and solutions which will have a lasting impact on the environment.
Eco-I North West, a £14 million research and development programme to enable a transition to a low carbon economy in all sectors. The project offers hundreds of North West businesses the opportunity to access the extensive knowledge base, cutting-edge research facilities, and skills of six of the region’s leading universities – Lancaster, Central Lancashire, Cumbria, Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores and Manchester Metropolitan.
Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Eco-I North West will work with more than 300 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across the region and in all sectors over the next two years, supporting the development of 135 new innovative solutions which will save 3,850 tonnes of CO2.
Commenting on Fibrestar Drums’ involvement, Colin Pardoe, Managing Director (pictured), said:
“For the last two years we have been innovating to produce Europe’s first conical and nestable 100% fibre (kraft) container primarily for the agricultural sector which is edible by livestock with no waste, as well as having 66% less CO2 than a plastic pail and helping soil enrichment which also acts as a carbon sink.
“Working with Lancaster University through the Eco-I NW programme we are driving that innovation forward to explore how we can apply our product to other materials for applications in other sectors. It is an exciting opportunity to access world-class academic expertise and facilities for innovation and develop solutions which will have a lasting impact on the environment, while supporting the growth of the business.”
As part of the Eco-I North West programme, a two hour online summit will showcase some of the other collaborations being supported by the scheme. The free webinar, Disruption, Innovation, Transformation. Climate Change: It’s Now or Never will take place on Wednesday, October 20th from 10am-12pm.
Keynote speaker at the summit, Duncan Pollard, former VP for Sustainability at Nestle and Director of Conservation Practice & Policy at WWF said:
“The business community has the power to influence the effects of climate change, through its operations, supply chains, and offering more sustainable choices to customers. But for positive change we must disrupt and challenge the ‘business as usual’ mind set.
“Sustainability must be at the heart of the post-Covid recovery, not just an add-on. Any business that doesn’t heed the sustainability concerns of staff, customers and investors risks being left behind.
“SMEs are the lifeblood of our economy and offer something very special to help deliver solutions to tackle the massive challenge of climate change. Without the scale or complexity of large corporations they can move quickly to try new things and are efficient in the way in which they use resources.”
“With more than 560,000* SMEs operating in the North West, now is the time for this crucial collective to rise up and embrace the opportunity.”