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Virgin Media scoops first place at the Sustainability Leaders Awards in London

Virgin Media scoops first place at the Sustainability Leaders Awards in London

Over the last 18 months we’ve been working hard to create a more sustainable supply chain by managing our waste in the most efficient and effective way possible. Last week our efforts were recognised in the 2013 Sustainability Leaders Awards for our entry into the Waste & Resource Management category. Read on to find out more…

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The Sustainability Leadership Awards is a prestigious event in the global sustainability calendar with this year’s event drawing entries from several big names including Coca Cola, Tesco, Samsung, Marks & Spencer, Siemens and many others. The awards are organised to recognise and reward organisations and individuals who are committed to driving sustainable business practice, and so we’re pleased to announce that on the night, Virgin Media won first place in the Waste & Resource Management category for our Little Red Shed recycling initiative.

Our supply chain recycling initiative was kicked off in June 2012 across our 53 Little Red Sheds (our satellite field sites) with the aim of significantly reducing the amount of waste we send to landfill. In collaboration with our outsourced logistics partner, Kuehne & Nagel, we introduced recycling receptacles at every site with clear labels for each item of waste generated in the field – from scrap cable to electrical waste, paper, polystyrene, plastics and even coffee cups.

To help drive the recycling message across our logistics network we had regular team meetings to discuss our progress and find ways to make the initiative even better. We also made the process fun and engaging through awarding a ‘Recycling Trophy’ to the best performing site on a monthly basis while encouraging our teams to use social media networks like Twitter to share what they were doing with colleagues.

By the end of 2012, just six months after we’d begun our recycling programme, we had reduced the amount of waste sent to landfill by a massive 84% while driving down costs to the business by 75%. We were thrilled with this progress but we knew we could do even better so in 2013 we set ourselves the target of becoming a zero waste to landfill logistics operation by the end of 2014.

So far this year we've sent just 3% of our supply chain waste to landfill, and we’re proud to announce that this month we’ve become a zero waste to landfill logistics operation, meeting our 2014 target well ahead of schedule. By working closely with Kuehne & Nagel and all of our downstream recycling partners we're now able to ensure that all of our supply chain waste is either recycled or incinerated to generate energy with 0% going to landfill.

We could not have done this without the on-going support from our logistics partners Kuehne & Nagel and the commitment of all our field engineers, technicians and supply chain team members. A very big thank you to everyone who has helped us transform our approach to waste in our supply chain in 2013. We’ll be building on our achievements and looking for evermore innovative ways to manage our environmental impacts in 2014 so watch this space!