Interfloor, Haslingden

ONE man’s trash is another man’s treasure – this certainly rings true for one environmentally-conscious Haslingden company.

Interfloor Limited is Europe’s largest manufacturer of carpet underlay and flooring accessories.

Each year it produces several million rolls of underlay and has committed significant resources to improving its environmental credentials - by turning waste tyres and foam into durable and comfortable underlay for both domestic and commercial customers.

Interfloor, created in 2002 following the merger of Duralay and Tredaire, has increased the proportion of underlay manufactured from recycled products from 16 per cent to 67 per cent since 2008. The Broadway company manufactures three types of underlay. Two of these - crumb rubber and PU foam - comprise approximately 80 per cent recycled materials. Crumb rubber underlay, suitable for areas of high traffic such as offices and stairways, is manufactured from recycled car tyres. Approximately three million waste tyres are used by the company each year - around seven per cent of the UK total.

PU foam, widely used in residential properties, is made from waste foam recycled from sofas, mattresses and car seats. The company has invested £1.5million in a new PU foam production line in Haslingden earlier this year.

In 2011 the company, which supplies flooring retailers, distributors and contractors in the UK and 70 countries around the world, launched FSC carpet gripper and is one of the biggest suppliers of the product to B&Q.

Low emission solvent free adhesives have also been launched by the company.

Steve Woodhead, marketing director, said: “Retailers like selling products that are environmentally friendly and we are responding to that demand. We are thinking longer term about the business and its sustainability.

“Our green credentials are very important to the company. We want to be seen as a responsible supplier and it is good business practice.”

The Haslingden site is the head office and primary manufacturing site. The company has two smaller manufacturing sites in Dumfries.

Not only does the company turn waste into new products, it has significantly invested in reducing its factory emissions.

Low Carbon Energy Company, Burnley

AT a time when fuel prices are rocketing, one East Lancashire company is leading the green revolution.

The Low Carbon Energy Company, based in Burnley, is a dynamic and innovative company that helps businesses and domestic customers to use energy in a more sustainable and cost-effective way.

Covering the north of England and north Wales region, the company audits its customers’ energy consumption before offering cost-saving advice on behaviour changes, green alternatives and installation of cutting-edge technology.

Popular renewable technologies include air source heat pumps, solar thermal systems, photovoltaic panels and wind turbines.

The company, based in Neptune Street, has also formed a partnership with an innovative German firm and is sole distributor of their portable solar panels in the UK. It also works with partners to address the government’s fuel poverty and carbon emissions initiatives.

The company was established in July 2008 as Ensign Energy. In April 2010 it rebranded as The Low Carbon Energy Company to better reflect its services.

The eight-strong workforce is working to expand its customer base and is engaging in partnership with like-minded architects and construction businesses to provide an enhanced delivery consortium. Richard Garth-Jones, managing director, said new government legislation will lead to new builds having to incorporate renewable technologies to meet the government’s severe carbon reduction targets.

The Printed Cup Company, Clitheroe

FROM humble beginnings, the Printed Cup Company has grown from strength to strength and now boasts a turnover of more than £1million and enviable green credentials.

The company sells paper cups for hot and cold liquids, as well as food containers and even popcorn buckets.

In its infancy, the company operated from a room in the home of founder Mark Woodward, who started the company in 2005. In November 2011, the company moved to its current Taylor Street premises in Clitheroe and business has flourished.

The company initially imported paper cups from its factory in China, but after securing funding to purchase specialist machinery the company has moved production of its printed cups back to the UK.

Because the paper cups are coated with plastic to enable them to hold water, recycling facilities are limited.

To offset this, the company has signed up to a scheme which offers customers the opportunity to pay an additional 99p for every 1,000 cups ordered. This will enable a fruit tree to be planted to replace the paper used, offset the carbon footprint, and provide a food source to Third World countries.

Since April last year the company has planted 2,100 trees in Haiti and last year the company received a coveted Green Apple Environmental Award for its participation within the scheme.

The company also recycles paper within its offices and monitors its electricity consumption.

Turnover had been boosted by 42 per cent after enabling customers to design their own products online using specialist software which allowed them to upload their own images and logos.

Short run prints enable customers to order smaller quantities of branded cups for exhibitions and specific events and clients include Nikon, UGG, McCain, BMW, HSBC, Levi Roots and Reebok.

And cups, printed with the Union Jack, were used to toast the Queen's Diamond Jubilee at the country's top street party outside Number 10 earlier this year. The nine-strong workforce has increased its customer base around the world, boasting clients throughout Britain, as well as Sweden, Greece, Poland and Saudi Arabia.