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Moving forward: Eco Sustainable Solutions

We speak to Justin Dampney, Eco Sustainable Solutions’ (Eco) operations director, to find out more about the company’s mission and how it is moving further towards a more sustainable future.

Formed just fewer than 30 years ago, Eco is a pioneering organic recycling company and founding member of the REA, The Association of Renewable Energy & Clean Technology.

Working as a “one stop shop for horticultural needs”, Eco recycles more than 250,000t of organic material into a range of high quality and sustainably produced landscape products each year.

Every week, hundreds of landscapers visit Eco to drop off their garden cuttings and pick up more soils, compost, or turfs – where customers are, essentially, buying back their own waste. Justin explained that by buying from Eco, “we are able to play a great part in helping our customers make a contribution in their approach to sustainability.”

Whilst customers are still concerned about the “typical triangle” of quality, service, and price, Justin has noticed the element of sustainability has become more meaningful and important to many over the past few years. “When we first started producing our products, recycling didn’t have a great stigma.” Now, as technology and acceptance for recycled products has grown, Justin explained Eco has been able to meet architects’ and landscapers’ product standards.

Eco’s mission is to preserve the planet through effective waste and resource management. For four years now, the company has been carbon negative due to all its heat and energy being sourced from its own multiple renewable operations. However, Justin stressed the importance of everyone needing to move forward together towards a more sustainable future.

“It is vitally important people choose the sustainably sourced and produced product where they can help to reduce their carbon impact. We need to be living more sustainably in everything we do. As an industry, and a company, our carbon footprint can still be quite large due to heavy machinery operating through diesel.”

As Eco continues to look for ways to reduce its emissions, the company has been able to move closer to reducing its carbon footprint. “We’ve been successfully trailing hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), a biofuel, for the past six months.” Now Eco will be converting what machinery is left running on diesel to HVO.

However, though Eco is a carbon negative business, Justin said: “We still emit carbon. We’re open to feedback and hope to share ideas with other companies about what we can do next as we can certainly make further improvements.”

He continued: “We are relentlessly moving forward and reflecting. We have a sustainability report we publish each year to ensure we hold ourselves to account and demonstrate we are a credible and sustainable source.”

Over the next three years, Eco has set a target of reducing its emissions by half and is aiming to develop further as a business. As it continues on with its priority of providing fantastic service and high quality recycled products, the next few years are said to be challenging for Eco, but Justin is certain it will be running even more sustainably by 2025.

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