Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub. Delivering Greater Manchester's transition to a low-carbon economy

Duo UK carbon negative mailing bag

Manufacturer proves ‘little changes make a huge difference’

The Manchester-based polythene packaging manufacturer, which employs more than 100 people, implemented a new environmental policy and carbon reduction statement after working with the Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub.

Having long been advocates of sustainable practices and technologies, the environmental policy demonstrates the company’s commitment to protecting the environment, preventing pollution and achieving ongoing energy efficiencies through investment in new equipment and low carbon technologies.

Sustainability milestones

The firm started its foray into sustainable products after noticing an increased interest in environmentally-friendly and sustainable packaging.

In 2014, it manufactured the UK’s first carbon negative mailing bag derived from sugarcane, and in 2015 it launched DuoGreen a platform designed to help inspire companies to adopt sustainable, low impact packaging. In 2017, the company produced the world’s first carbon negative mailing bags for parcel delivery company myHermes.

“We’re more aware than ever that we’re dealing with a finite resource - polyethylene derived from fossil fuel isn’t going to last forever and so it’s up to manufacturers like us to find alternatives that perform in exactly the same way but are sustainable for generations to come”, said Anthony Brimelow, commercial director at Duo UK.

To cement its sustainability credentials further, the company has made investments in new machinery and has committed to replacing all of its lighting with an LED equivalent.

In the war against waste going to landfill, Duo UK also operates a closed loop polythene recycling programme for its customers - collecting the waste themselves, recycling it and using the recycled material in new packaging products.

The company believes its progress has galvanised its whole workforce into action.

“The key with sustainability is understanding the ‘little changes make a huge difference’ mentality - we’ve spent a lot of time and effort into educating every single employee of the little things they can do”, Anthony added.

Business model

In June 2017, Duo UK showcased its progress to other Greater Manchester businesses as part of an event arranged by the Business Growth Hub.

Claire Scott, environmental business advisor at the Business Growth Hub, said: “Duo UK is keen to continually improve environmental performance as a key part of its business model; the company is clearly benefitting from investing in resource efficiency innovations and being able to offer customers low impact products.

“I look forward to continuing to work with the team at Duo to continue to embed resource efficiency and environmental growth strategies into their company culture.”

To find out more about the Hub’s support for Greater Manchester SMEs, or to read other success stories, click here.

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