Recycling Lives handed Sunday Times’ One To Watch award

Recycling Lives’ impressive growth and unique business model has seen it named by The Sunday Times as the One to Watch.

The recycling and waste management business was handed the One to Watch award by the newspaper at a celebration of fast-growing firms in London on June 7.

It had been highlighted as one of 10 national businesses considered ones to watch back in April, alongside The Sunday Times’ annual Profit Track 100 league table, ranking the 100 British businesses with fast-growing profits. It was also ranked #98 in the newspaper’s International Track 200, ranking the 200 mid-market businesses with fast-growing international sales last week.

Headquartered in Preston with nine sites nationwide, Recycling Lives recorded 47% growth in sales in 2016/17, to £46.5m. Contributing to this sales growth was a 49% growth in international sales, to £20.5m – seeing the business winning a Queen’s Award for International Trade earlier this year.

It is unique in using its commercial operations to support and sustain social programmes, working to redistribute food to charities and community groups, rehabilitate offenders through training and employment, and support the homeless through accommodation, training and employment.

William Fletcher, managing director of Recycling Lives, said: “We’re changing the way business is done by showing a company can deliver real social impact without compromising on the commercials – in fact, our unique social programmes have helped to accelerate our growth. We’re proud to be recognised for the way we do business – where both commercial success and social impact are considered in equal measure.”

Other winners on the night included e-commerce company The Hut Group, awarded for value creation, bed retailer Dreams, named fastest-growing company, and restaurant chain Turtle Bay, named best emerging brand.

Previous winners at the Profit Track awards include The White Company, Skyscanner, The Hut Group and PureGym.

Attendees of the event, held at The Savoy in London, heard from The Hut Group’s CEO Matt Moulding on its rapid growth, having enjoyed 57% profit growth in recent years. After dinner speaker James Timpson OBE, CEO of retailer Timpson, which runs its own programmes offering opportunities to ex-offenders, talked about developing a “culture of kindness” in his business.

The Sunday Times’ annual league tables rank Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing profits and international sales, highlighting both leading and upcoming businesses. Companies ranked in the tables are profiled in a special supplement in The Sunday Times and celebrated at events in London.

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