Sowing the seeds of change

Our client is one of the UK’s leading crop production and grain marketing businesses, recognised for its close customer relationships with farmers and grain consumers and its successful management of the arable supply chain. Operating from 44 locations throughout the UK our client has a turnover in excess of £1.5 billion per annum and they employ more than 900 colleagues. Our clients mission is to be the first choice partner for crop production and crop marketing for UK farmers, and the first choice employer in UK agriculture. Our clients commitment to the environment is demonstrated by the fact that all site managers have a professional qualification in “managing environmental responsibilities” through the Institute of Safety and Health.


At the outset of the relationship, our client had a variable pricing structure that made it difficult to budget for their national estate. They also had no records of the impact their operations had on the environment in terms of waste recovered versus waste sent to landfill. UKWSL have engaged with both the client and our service partners to consolidate a price matrix, identify recycling opportunities and minimise the amount of waste being sent to landfill each month across the entire estate.

What did we deliver?

UKWSL were able to improve the landfill diversion rate to 98.6% in the region being targeted by our account management team. Savings which equated to 11% of the total annual spend were identified and presented at site level as well as via the main stakeholders. Our success significantly improves our clients environmental credentials.

How did we deliver?

Due to the varying nature and waste streams at each site a regionalised audit action plan was devised; targeting the North East as the initial project.

Delivering Change

During each audit, opportunities for improvement were identified. These included changing segregation processes, optimising container volume to ensure the most economic solutions are in place and rationalising containers to reduce unnecessary waste spend. All audits were completed with the assistance of the Regional Operations Manager. The benefits of change was discussed with sites to highlight both the environment and economic impact of change. By engaging with sites and getting “buy-in” to change, UKWSL were able to deliver the targets being set at a corporate level.

Impact of Change

The rollout of change was extremely successful. For those sites involved in this project there were minimal issues and the locations adapted well. UKWSL are working with our client to utilise this best practice model across the entire estate and have committed to delivering a 95% landfill diversion solution by mid 2019 and 97% landfill diversion solution by mid 2020. The key challenges UKWSL will face will centre on the rural location of client sites cross referenced with UK landfill diversion infrastructure. Our Supply Chain team will continue to engage with service partners to identify disposal routes that minimise landfill and maximise recovery and recycling of waste materials.

By utilising UKWSL’s consolidated pricing matrix and best practice model across the estate we believe we will deliver a 14% spend reduction over the life of the partnership and exceed the 2020 landfill diversion target of 97%.

Monitoring Change

Once UKWSL has identified and agreed projects with the client our account management team determine “what” and “how” to achieve our goals using the Six Sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control) based approach. As part of the “improve” phase we created a league table showing environmental performance. The competition and friendly rivalry between sites creates a desire for sites to identify and implement their own improvements. UKWSL continues to monitor changes at sites for three months and regular feedback sessions are held with site managers to address issues as they arise.

Throughout the project, UKWSL have engaged with key stakeholders to ensure that the mobilisation of change is successful and that trends in landfill diversion rates are monitored and reported.

UKWSL are continually providing innovative solutions so our customer can strive for excellence and receive best value services.

Our partnership approach with our customers is one of the key factors that differentiates us from others in the market. The emphasis that we place upon the Waste Hierarchy means that UKWSL aims to continuously improve processes to support not only recycling and recovery options, but also solutions to reduce and reuse waste to give it a second life. UKWSL’s proven model for success can be replicated with other clients in the Logistics & Distribution sector. Our culture of engagement, education and innovation is what makes UKWSL stand out from other companies in the waste industry.