Bernard Amos, chairman of Helistrat, M&S’s innovative waste management consultancy, has been on a mission to help his client upcycle waste for seven years. After some impressive initial successes, the M&S Plan A sustainability programme had reached a level of relative maturity and new initiatives were needed to maintain momentum towards the company’s goals of reducing waste, sourcing responsibly and helping communities.
“We became aware of Flute and we invited Rod Fountain to come in for a chat. We wanted to know what Flute’s mission was and what kind of passion, skills and resources lay behind the elegant concept they were promoting,” he said. “We were sufficiently encouraged to begin a careful programme of integrating the Flute solution into the M&S Plan A upcycling programme.”
That was in 2013. Since then Helistrat has helped Flute develop a close working relationship with key influencers within M&S, including waste management, facilities management, store design, procurement and of course the Plan A communications team.
Now Flute works with Helistrat to transport large volumes of M&S waste fibre material, mainly cardboard, to Flute’s reprocessing partners throughout the UK, from which Flute engineers new products and structures for use throughout the company’s 900 stores. Working to the direction and requirements of the M&S design team, Flute’s designers and engineers work out how to turn low value waste into high value items that meet the exacting M&S quality standards.
It is a partnership that is delighting Darryl Van Eeden, waste and recycling project manager at M&S. “It is a genuine partnership approach,” he says, “where both parties recognise their unique market positions and work to create something special for the benefit of all.”
For Bernard Amos this is just the beginning. “We have huge challenges to meet and the task to getting to zero landfill and beyond can only be met by the kind of innovation and determination we see at Flute. We now include the Flute solution as part of our core offering to other customers.”
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