Recycling Lives wins third Queen’s Award

A growing national business has won its third Queen’s Award, following 18 months of rapid expansion.

Recycling Lives has won the Queen’s Award for International Trade, held to be the highest accolade for UK businesses, following wins for Sustainable Development in 2010 and 2014.

The recycling and waste management company is enjoying sustained and significant growth – increasing sales by 47% and growing its staff team by 54% after national site expansion, business takeovers and major contract wins.

The Queen’s Award for International Trade recognises Recycling Lives’ work processing thousands of tonnes of metals and plastics ready for reuse and remanufacture. Operations at its industry-leading Recycling Park, in Lancashire, prevent 120,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year by returning recycled materials to markets across Europe, Asia and the US.

Recycling Lives managing director William Fletcher said: “We’re very proud to win our third Queen’s Award – it is a real measure of our success. We also measure our success and impact on the lives we are changing through our charitable programmes, and the major businesses choosing our services and aligning with our values.”

The Preston-headquartered business operates a unique model, using its commercial activities to support and sustain three charitable programmes. These support charities through food redistribution, reduce reoffending through offender rehabilitation, and support the homeless through residential facilities and work opportunities.

The programmes are sustained by the business’ activities – not reliant on public funding – and generate significant social value by creating savings for the taxpayer. In 2016/17, Recycling Lives delivered £5.2m social value by reducing reoffending rates, welfare dependency and charities’ running costs. The programmes also deliver tangible CSR for commercial clients, like John Lewis Group, BT and British Gas, who support the activities by using Recycling Lives services.

Mr Fletcher: “This third Queen’s Award win really cements our business credentials. We have already proven our unique model, combining commercial and charitable activities, works, in our home-county Lancashire. We’re now expanding to take our model national, delivering more environmental impact and social value. This Queen’s Award win will propel us even further, just as our two previous wins have.”

The organisation achieved its first Queen’s Award in 2010 for its television recycling facilities and processes in Preston. It remains the largest TV recycler in the country. Its second Queen’s Award was earned in 2014 for its work in HMP Kirkham, offering offenders opportunities to develop skills and secure jobs upon release, while working on recycling processes within the Category D men’s prison. The programme has since been rolled out in nine prisons nationally, reducing reoffending rates from the national average of around 67% to just 6%.

Recycling Lives is one of just 185 businesses have won three or more Queen’s Awards since the scheme was launched in 1966, placing it in the same league as household names Jaguar, Weetabix, Marks & Spencer and The Financial Times.


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