Ideal's act is even cleaner thanks to Green Growth from Made in Britain

IDEAL Manufacturing is a laundry, textile care, hygiene and cleaning product manufacturer that has recently embarked on the Made in Britain Green Growth Programme. Phillip Kalli (left), managing director of Ideal tells us how it’s gone so far.

What did the Green Growth assessment tell you about your business? 

The Green Growth assessment has helped shine a light on the need to measure, monitor and assess our impacts more rigorously. We’re pretty good at making things, doing things and we’re not afraid to make changes – after all, we’ve got the phrase “nothing changes if nothing changes” written on the factory wall.

However, we’ve been so focused on the doing for so long - we’d neglected to make efforts to gather all the data necessary to measure the improvements we’d been making OR to use that data to understand more clearly how and where else we can improve. For example, we now know that we have washed more than 25,000 bottles and 2,000 drums since May 2021 through the use of our closed-loop washing facilities. Unbelievably, we hadn’t been counting before then!

Has the Green Growth assessment changed the way you work? 

We’re a few years deep into a process of deep introspection and positive change, that we hope will see our business emerge as a radical and progressive model. I’m very excited about that. The desire to be the most responsible manufacturer we can be should be evident in everything we do… but always having the support of Made in Britain – particularly John (and his close interest following our journey) – has helped us to focus on key areas of improvement and sharpened our resolve to be a better business way over and above thinking about being a bigger one.

Beginning to measure and monitor readily available data has allowed us to record progress internally and demonstrate our impacts outwardly. However, it has also forced us to recognise that we have a long way to go in some important areas and that we require external support to measure certain impacts.

Over the last few years, we've devised a unique closed-loop (return-for-refill) system of household and personal care products that we formulate and manufacture ourselves. Now that we understand the need to document the impact we have recorded that in 2021 alone, we've saved the equivalent of 1,577,314 x 500ml single-use plastic bottles through a circular method of supply.

How easy was it to gather the data? How long did it take you to fill it in? 

We’re already tracking a few key metrics for our own sustainability reporting as part of ISO 14001 and other initiatives and standards we are working towards, so wherever relevant data was required we were able to fill it in quickly. However, the Green Growth survey identified a few sets of data that we hadn’t been tracking hitherto and that we definitely would like to. There’s always room for improvement!
Did the Green Growth assessment tell you anything you didn't know? 

It clearly identified what the seven key pillars of a responsible modern business should look like. Understanding these helps to provide direction and focus for our sustainability journey. It also forced us to pay more attention to the SDG12 as a method of measuring improvement.

What has been the biggest benefit, having completed the Green Growth assessment? 

The process has provided us with some ideas as to how we can measure, monitor and improve. It’s forced us to benchmark our progress against the SDGs and we’ve been able to get some insight into what real progress needs to look like. The questions are well researched, relevant and searching which helps to create a self-certification process that is valuable for any business looking to challenge themselves to strive towards a better way of doing business.

Having been a part of the working group that witnessed the creation of the Green Growth accreditation throughout 2020, I recognise that the assessment represents a meaningful way of determining progress or performing gap analysis against some well-considered and pertinent criteria.

If you would like your business to join the Green Growth Programme, the journey starts here:

For more information about Ideal Manufacturing, see the company’s member profile page here.

By Made in Britain 2 years ago | Environmental & Social Value

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