Northwest Business Environment Awards 2010

2010 Case Study - The Printroom UK

Combating Climate Change

The Printroom UK in Liverpool won the Combating Climate Change Award 2010 for basing its whole business model around a strong commitment to the environment.

This innovative firm, which supplies print products to the private and public sectors, is reaping the rewards of its commitment to environmental best practice, in healthy profits and growth. Its goal is to become the most environmentally conscious printing firm in the UK. It uses solvent free printing, vegetable-oil based inks and is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified for its use of sustainably sourced paper and board.

The Printroom UK is also a member of the African Energy Efficiency Scheme, a carbon offset programme that funds the provision of energy efficient stoves for rural communities in Africa. As part of its ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standard programme, the firm recycles all of its waste plastics, amounting to five tonnes per year, and all staff and directors are encouraged to car share or join the cycle to work scheme to minimise their carbon emissions from travel.


  • - ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standard.
  • - Carbon footprint reduced from 120 tonnes of CO2 in 2008 to 19 tonnes in 2010.
  • - Runner Up for the Green Award at the Liverpool Daily Post Regional Business Awards 2010.
  • - Green Ambassador status, awarded by Liverpool City Council in 2009.
  • - Best Environmental Company Award at the Muslim Enterprise Development Service's Al-Nahl Awards 2009.
  • - Drive to use 100% renewable energy is due to complete later this year.
  • - 95% of waste re-used or recycled each year.

The Printroom UK is a member of the Carbon Zero Federation and is working towards the EU’s Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) standard, for going beyond legal compliance and continually improving its environmental performance.

What the judges said:

  • "Environmental pride has been embedded into every aspect of the business."
  • "A real green champion - holding open days for school children and spreading best practice amongst its business park neighbours and competitors. A clear example of how a small business can re-define the image of a traditional, polluting printing sector."
  • "While businesses often pick and choose initiatives to combat climate change for marketing advantage, the Printroom UK proudly puts the environment first, in its internal and external actions."


Runner Up

The Palace Hotel, Manchester

This 275-room, four-star hotel, located in a historic, Grade II building at the heart of Manchester’s retail centre and night life scene, has transformed itself through a range of initiatives designed to combat climate change.

The Palace Hotel has successfully implemented a wide-ranging Green Policy which reaches into every aspect of the business and which has helped to increase its profitability and raise its profile and reputation. The hotel is only the second in Manchester to hold Gold membership of the Green Business Tourism Scheme and it is now working towards the BSI 8901 British Standard for Sustainability. Its policies and outreach programmes have inspired staff, customers and businesses in the tourism industry to tackle environmental issues.

Environmental initiatives have included a staff awareness campaign, in-house sustainability champions, and a green marketing plan, green procurement policy, green travel plan and green visitor charter. Staff are involved in fundraising for local environmental projects such as the Trees for Cities campaign and recycling facilities have been installed along with energy efficient lighting, a new boiler and water saving devices. Car sharing and cycling to work is encouraged and restaurant menus feature sustainably sourced, seasonal ingredients and local produce to reduce the hotel’s carbon footprint from food air miles.


  • Gold Award status in the Green Business Tourism Scheme (2010).
  • Significant reduction in the hotel’s carbon footprint, alongside increased profits and improved customer feedback.
  • 49% reduction in utility costs from 2009 to 2010, despite increased guest numbers.
  • Glass bottle waste reduced by 500 bottles per week.
  • Significant reduction in water and energy usage.
  • Preferred supplier to Manchester City Council.
  • Recognised as a best practice case study for the Principal Hayley Hotels group and Manchester Hotel Association.


Highly Commended United Utilities

This year United Utilities, the water company responsible for serving over seven million people across the North West, is highly commended for its ongoing work to achieve sustainable success through good business practice and tackling the climate change challenges facing the utilities sector. In 2008/09, United Utilities was directly responsible for 550,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions but considerable progress is being made to reduce that figure, as part of a 25 year corporate responsibility strategy.

The company is working with organisations across its industry to promote best practice and promote the water related climate change agenda. Renewable energy initiatives such as a Combined Heat and Power programme, which uses methane captured from waste water treatment to generate energy, are cutting costs and reducing the company’s carbon footprint and a pump efficiency programme has already saved 40 million kilowatt hours of electricity, worth £1.4 million.

United Utilities is Business in the Community’s Company of the Year for 2010 and is recognised for its continuing influence on measures to combat climate change, at a local and national level.