Chesterfield sustainability

Growth for Chesterfield packaging firm as more brands move to sustainable options

Chesterfield packaging manufacturer, Robinson is becoming a number one choice amongst UK brands as a trusted local paperboard packaging supplier to meet sustainability commitments.

The UK based supplier has seen more brands over the last year move their supply chain locally to meet environmental and supply chain pressures. The paperboard market is expected to grow at a year-on-year rate of 3.5% creating a significant opportunity for UK suppliers.

Dr Helene Roberts, CEO at Robinson, said: “Brands are demanding for more locally sourced packaging; in parallel consumer expectations are rising as they become more environmentally savvy. We are seeing a reduction in paperboard being procured from Asia and a higher demand from the UK market. This will have a significant benefit to reduce environmental impact while supporting UK businesses and making the supply chain stronger and more flexible.”

Robinson partners with some of the world’s most luxurious brands, from concept to commercialisation, creating sustainable packaging made from 100% post-consumer recycled material, which is widely recyclable.

A long-standing customer, Holdsworth Chocolates, sees great value in partnering with Robinson. David Sharples, Managing Director said:

“The breadth of the Holdsworth chocolate range of products means we have a requirement for a wide spectrum of packaging solutions, whether that be rigid boxes and lids, folding cartons or our unique clam shell gift boxes. With Robinson, we have found a partner in whom we can place an absolute trust; not only in reacting quickly to demand but also in helping us to create beautiful, sustainable packaging that perfectly complements our core values as a British business of excellence and quality.”

Robinson’s paperboard factory is in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, UK, strategically located centrally to remain competitively agile while reducing transportation times and associated carbon emissions. With extensive storage facilities of 13,000 sq ft, it allows customers to take advantage of the competitive price whilst having a highly responsive supply chain that can meet customer demands.

It is estimated that Robinson, on average, save customers 12 weeks of lead time by sourcing in the UK in comparison to the Far East.

Dr Roberts continues: “We are leading the way and continually investing in technology to keep us at the forefront of the market. Robinson has been in production for over 150 years. From this we have a breadth and depth of unmatched knowledge and expertise; that’s why we work with some of the world’s leading brands to create their most impactful and appealing packaging.”

Robinson supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Residents encouraged to get involved in Derbyshire Community Orchard project

Just as the Queen’s Green Canopy is asking people to ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’ and pin their tree to the UK map, Derbyshire Community Orchard Network are asking people to pin their fruit trees and orchards to the map of Derbyshire.

The group began mapping fruit trees and orchards last year and are on the lookout for more. Simon Redding, a group member said “We haven’t found it difficult to do the actual technical mapping but we are struggling to know where fruit trees are located.

“Many groups have come forward to tell us about their plantations, such as orchards in Tideswell, Buxton, Ashover, Hayfield, New Mills, Overseal and Belper but we know there are more out there and would love people to get in touch.”

Derbyshire Community Orchard Network was set up in July last year with the aim of connecting people interested in starting or sustaining a community orchard, so that skills can be shared and knowledge maintained. The group meets about once every two months and has members who own or manage orchards, others who volunteer to help occasionally or people just interested in wildlife, the environment and sustainable food production.

Group organiser Anne Thoday said “We discovered there was an appetite for people to get together and talk about all things fruit tree related. Our meetings are well attended and we have already had speakers from Transition, Abundance Chesterfield, the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust (DWT), and many people who manage orchards.

“Community orchards are a great space for old and young to mix and play a part in sustainable food production.

“We know how important trees can be in helping to prevent climate change, they remove carbon dioxide from the air and store it in their wood, roots and leaves. It’s a further bonus to plant fruit trees which can also provide food.”

Derbyshire County Councillor Barry Lewis initiated the convening of a group to bring interested parties together. He owns Amber Valley Vineyards in Wessington where he has planted many traditional apple varieties in a cider orchard such as Newton Wonder, Beeley Pippin and New Bess Pool. He manages the wildflower meadow around the orchards to maximise biodiversity, and has seen a considerable increase in species over the years. The group have had a talk from Kieron Huston from DWT on growing wildflower meadows and have also recently visited Amber Valley to see the meadow at Wessington.

Barry said: “When we first planted the vines and trees the surrounding field was fairly poor quality meadow grassland with low species diversity. Over the years we have managed to introduce, by green-haying from another wildlife site we look after, many new locally native species and we now have lots of red fescue, ox eye daisy, vetch, yellow rattle, cowslips, blue bells and each year we are seeing increasing diversity of plants.”

The group is putting this call out for more people to come forward and tell them where they are and what’s happening in their area with fruit trees. Anyone interested in planting an orchard or getting involved with orchards are also welcome to attend the meetings. The next evening will have a talk from Kevin Thomas at ‘One Planet Matters’ who has been working on encouraging community orchards across the country, and is already helping to plan plantings in Renishaw, Unstone and Eckington. Many community groups and schools have made use of free trees from the Queen’s Green Canopy partner the Woodland Trust, and it would be great for younger people interested in tree growing to get in touch, as planting is only the first step in creating a productive orchard.

The group can be contacted by mailing Anne on and found on Facebook at Derbyshire Community Orchard Network.

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Robinson produce sustainable packaging for Holdsworth’s iconic limited edition Platinum Jubilee chocolates

In celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Holdsworth Chocolates and custom packaging supplier, Robinson, have collaborated to create a beautifully crafted limited edition Jubilee chocolate box.

This stunning box has been embellished with silver and gold foil blocking creating an intricate and unique design. Made from 100% recycled paperboard fibres and recyclable once used, this makes the perfect sustainable gift to take to any Jubilee party. Designed with usability in mind the box and sleeve store the chocolates safely and can be continually used until recycled.

David Sharples, Managing Director at Holdsworth Chocolates, said: “Holdsworth is a British owned family run business, we are proud to have produced an iconic box in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The box contains a selection of our exquisite assortment of creams, truffles, pralines and caramels packaged in high-quality sustainable packaging. We are proud to be working with another local British brand to produce this fantastic product.”

To complement the foil blocking the box has a deep royal purple colour, adding to the sophistication and on-shelf appeal. With Robinson being a strategically located supplier, it only took 3 weeks to produce from design to delivery.

Jon Walker, NPD Director at Robinson, said: “These beautiful boxes showcase the fantastic designs that can be created using foil blocking. Sometimes when you think of sustainability you think the design must be basic, but we pride ourselves on brands being able to still have the WOW factor and be kind to the environment at the same time. Holdsworth is a great example of a UK brand that is luxurious and sustainable.”

If you are interested in sustainable boxes for your brand, please email

Robinson supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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‘Leaving the door open’ – Chesterfield’s Property & Construction forum continues to highlight sustainability

Jillian Mitchell, Vice Chair of the Chesterfield Property and Construction Group and Director of Lomas and Mitchell Architects has penned this month’s blog on how the group is coming together to highlight the importance of sustainability across the town.

I was asked recently to deliver a 15-minute talk on ‘how to make your home more sustainable’.  It’s a pretty tall order, given the magnitude of the subject.  The first question was ‘how on earth do I cover the subject in only 15 minutes?’  Definition of the word ‘sustainable’ is wide-ranging, covering anything from saving the planet to reducing energy bills, and everything in between.

It can be overwhelming and we often feel powerless to think that anything we do can make a difference, so it is tempting to do nothing.  It doesn’t help that there is a bewildering array of measures and targets out there, quoted in impenetrable units which are hard to put into any sort of context.  Take the example of your fridge.  If you regularly leave the door of the fridge open whilst trying to decide what to make for dinner, for example, you can be wasting 50 – 120kWh/yr.  These numbers don’t mean a lot on their own, but if you understand that 50kWh/yr could run your dishwasher twenty times or 100kWh/yr the washing machine for fifty cycles, the scale and context become much more tangible.

At the heart of the issue, however, is a simple message – we must all do something to contribute to reducing our energy consumption and our dependence upon finite planet resources.  It really doesn’t matter which sector you work in – everyone can do something to make a difference.  The current energy crisis has brought all these themes into sharp focus, and now is the time to capitalise on the opportunities to look at our consumption and behaviours and commit to making a difference.

The Construction and Property Forum have identified key themes, one of which is ‘Sustainability and Quality’, because we want to highlight the need for more ambitious targets across the region.  The challenge is to shift from historical drivers, such as shareholders and regulations, and move towards the over-arching target of net-zero carbon by 2050 whilst still demonstrating profitability and compliance.  The shift needed is seismic and not to be underestimated – but we all have to do something, and we need to do it now.

The Forum seeks to support and challenge our local authorities as they strive towards these ambitious goals whilst providing exemplars of best practice for our colleagues in the sector to learn from and share.  We are keen to explore who is working on these themes in our area and welcome input from colleagues across the sector.  You can get in touch by emailing

In the meantime, maybe it’s time to not leave the fridge door open.

Jillian Mitchell is a Chartered Architect and Director at Lomas and Mitchell Architects.  Jillian is a member of the steering group of the Chesterfield Property and Construction Group and heads up the themes of  Sustainability and Quality.

Find out more at:

Chesterfield Property and Construction Group


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Robert Woodhead Ltd sustainability initiative scoops prestigious award

Robert Woodhead Ltd have won the Environmental or Community Initiative of the Year 2022 at the National Federation of Builder’s Construction of Excellence awards.

The company’s ‘Going Beyond Green’  initiative detailed efforts including:

  • The company’s 10 year Climate Action Framework which will lead them to their goal of becoming a climate positive contractor with zero single use plastic on site by December 2029.
  • The ‘Future Home‘ product which has been developed to meet 2025 building regulations today and can achieve NET Zero carbon. The results will be accelerated delivery, up to an 80% reduction in carbon emissions and up to £175 in tenant bill savings.
  • On-site carbon monitoring.
  • Launching an EV scheme for employees and progressing a vision towards an all-electric Fleet.

The event took place at the Chelsea Harbour Hotel in London on Thursday 8th April, with attendance from Business Services Director, Tom Woodhead, and Janine Broderick, People Development Director. The company also invited Estimator Scott Wilkinson and Assistant Project Manager Liam Thorpe in recognition for their great work they have done for the environmental efforts of the company.

Scott was instrumental in Woodhead’s support for the community woodland, securing 1,000 trees to be planted as part of the national pathfinding project in Bolsover. You can read more about this initiative here.

Liam completed his dissertation on embodied carbon and collaborated with Woodhead Group client, Nottingham City Homes, to undertake a focus group/presentation with their new build team. He encouraged Nottingham City Homes to consider the impact of embodied carbon in their projects and how to reduce it. Liam’s learning was applied to Woodhead’s Eastglade site, which consists of 106 homes, where the team prevented 116 Tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. Subsequently, the carbon footprint of the foundations was reduced by 76%.

Robert Woodhead Ltd supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Robinson celebrates first successful year of sustainability pledge

Robinson, the manufacturer specialising in value-added custom packaging – is celebrating the successful first anniversary of its Sustainability Pledge.

Helene Roberts, CEO, says: “Our sustainability pledge helps bring our purpose to life – going above and beyond to create a sustainable future for our people and our planet. This underpins our business strategy and is focused on five pillars and 15 ambitious commitments which are woven into the fabric of our business. We have achieved many of our goals ahead of time and we are proud to celebrate a very successful first year”.

People successes included the introduction of aPeople development plan’, Zero accidents and proactively championing employee health and wellbeing. An organisational culture survey for the entire workforce compared Robinson to some of the world’s most successful businesses identifying strengths which led to more teamwork and empowerment.

Other activities included enhanced employee communication, a diversity plan to ensure Robinson benefits from a variety of perspectives, skills and backgrounds, and investment in people development and training.

Valuable feedback came from ‘Big Picture’ workshops run by employee volunteers – ‘Big Picture champions’. Strongly linked to the business strategy the aim was for all employees to understand how the business will develop and how sustainability and people are at the heart of everything Robinson does.

Helene says: “We want all our employees to go home safely and that is our top priority, applying a safety-first culture across all workplaces by implementing formalised, behaviour-based safety programmes, reporting near misses and carrying out on-the-job checks through 30 second risk assessments”.

The Regeneration pledge aims to extract maximum value from the resources used in all operations, recovering and restoring materials at the end of their life. Goals included:

  • Zero waste to landfill by 2021
  • Net carbon positive by 2030
  • Sustainable buildings by 2025

Robinson UK, Polish and Denmark sites have already met the zero waste to landfill goal ensuring all waste streams are sustainably managed. All sites are signatories to Operation Clean Sweep – an international initiative to reduce pellet loss from manufacturing operations.

Robinson is committed to the decarbonisation of its operations and is dynamically developing a roadmap to become net carbon positive by 2030; meaning it will eliminate more carbon emissions than generated.

An energy management team has been formed with engineering representatives from the leadership team and all sites. Energy and carbon maps have been developed for each site and so far more than 30 carbon reduction projects have been identified to include capacity and asset utilisation, compressors and water cooling. Implementation of 6 priority projects continues such as installation of new energy-efficient injection moulding machines and production cells within sites, aligning investments for sustainable growth.

Energy and carbon reduction measures for Robinson buildings are integrated into the carbon management programme, along with machinery or equipment replacement programmes.

The Intelligence pillar says Robinson will enable its customers to contribute to building a circular economy by applying purposeful design, using recycled content and making its products recyclable.

Goals included:

  • 10% virgin plastic reduction by 2025
  • Maximum recycled content by 2022: Minimum 30% in plastic / Maintain 100% in paperboard
  • All products fully recyclable

Robinson has had many customer successes reducing the amount of virgin plastic, increasing the use of PCR while maintaining product protection and functionality.

‘My Fabulosa’ identified a gap in the disinfectant market for a greater variety of high performing disinfectant products and partnered with Robinson to meet their rapid growth requirements while providing a sustainable solution – a PET bottle that is widely recyclable.

Robinson joined forces with NEXTLOOPP to deliver, for the first time, a supply chain model to close the loop on food-grade rPP. NEXTLOOPP is managed by leading environmental consultants Nextek, a consortium including a team of expert organisations across the PP and food supply chain, including Robinson.

All Robinson paperboard packaging is made with 100% recycled material and is widely recyclable. A great example of this is the beautifully crafted boxes for luxury chocolate manufacturer Holdsworth, meeting both companies’ sustainability goals for circular packaging solutions.

The Community pillar aims to deliver tangible social and environmental benefits, educating the next generation of change-makers and bringing more sustainable initiatives to the areas where Robinson operates.

Goals included:

  • Offering career-enhancing work experience and opportunities
  • Engaging schools on the benefits of packaging and recycling
  • Giving back to communities every year.

Robinson has appointed Community Champions to help inspire colleagues and coordinate projects, leveraging the efforts of all individuals to generate greater impact.

Robinson offers internships, apprenticeships and takes part in local career fairs in partnership with colleges and universities in the three countries in which it operates.

From Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths Ambassadors (STEM), volunteering at schools and colleges to partnering with the IOM3 Starpack Students competition, Robinson is supporting the packaging technologists of the future and guiding them to become environmental advocates.

Giving back to local communities is important. In Poland one inspirational team raised money for a heart-warming campaign called ‘Overcoming yourself’. Funds raised are used to support the rehabilitation of people who are suffering from life-changing accidents.

The team in Poland have been collecting recycled cans for the ‘Balls for Cans’ project. For every 15kg of cans collected, the project donates a football to support a local team, Tęcza Soccer Club in Stanisławów.

Throughout the year teams at Stanton Hill and Kirkby sites have been raising money for charities including Great Ormond Street Hospital through a daily tuck shop and cake sales.

A continued partnership in Poland with the local volunteer fire brigade means employees receive regular fire safety training and in turn donations are allocated to fire service equipment for the local fire stations.

The Denmark team continue to support a local orphanage through donations, as well as participation in local fundraising events. The team also employ local people who have fallen out of employment due to physical or mental constraints, supporting and mentoring them in their careers.

The Transformation Pillar means Robinson will drive shared commercial value and income streams beyond current business models, collaborating with customers and partners to regenerate local economies.

Recent history shows the ever-increasing critical nature of resilient supply chains to future-proof the business for sustainable growth; for impact that endures.

Robinson’s Danish business has been working in local partnership to create its own supply chain of recycled materials, delivering circular packaging solutions through intelligent yet simple systems thinking. The consortium of four organisations: waste management company Dansk Affald, plastics recyclers Aage Vestergaard Larsen, Robinson (Schela Plast), and customer – Danish leading home and personal care private label manufacturer Nopa Nordic – is a perfect partnership working across the supply and value chain to create a localised circular economy for plastics.

Traditionally PCR material is imported within Denmark however this unique collaboration has delivered significant strides to make closed loop packaging within this country a reality. This has resulted in the launch of new plastic packaging made from 100% of Danish household-sorted plastic waste; a true local circular loop driving increased recycling of household plastic waste, using it as valuable raw material for new protective plastic packaging.

Helene concluded: “This initiative is contributing to the green transition and we are proud to be part of a scheme where millions of plastic bottles in the coming years will be made from plastic waste from local households. It is just one of the many successes we are proud to report after twelve months of our sustainability pledge – just imagine what we can achieve in the next twelve months!

Robinson supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Custom Solar begins innovative project at Portsmouth International Port

Chesterfield-based Custom Solar has announced its latest major sustainable project at Portsmouth International Port.

The team has started to develop the installation of a ground-breaking solar and battery system at the port, managed by Portsmouth City Council’s in-house energy services team. The project began in February 2022 and will incorporate roof-mounted solar panels across a number of buildings, a large battery, and solar canopies.

When completed, the power produced by the 2,660 solar panels will contribute around 35% of the site’s power; a significant step in Portsmouth International Port’s ambition to be the UK’s first net-zero carbon port. The installation is due to complete in summer 2022.

Portsmouth is the first UK port to have solar canopies and a mega-watt sized battery installed as part of a renewable installation. When completed, the 1.2 megawatt peak system, will be the largest solar and battery installation to date across the council’s portfolio of renewable generation.

As well as generating carbon-free power, the solar canopies will provide shade for cars waiting to board ferries; allowing them to stay cooler for longer, without having to run their engines.

Image by Portsmouth International Port

The battery, with a capacity of 1.5 megawatt hours (enough to run a typical home for 4 months), will capture green power that would otherwise be exported from the site and using it in the port’s buildings when it is needed.

The new battery will work in tandem with an upcoming battery storage pilot announced in the summer; supplying balancing services to the national grid and storing power during lower pricing periods. When complete, it is estimated that 98% of the electricity consumed by the port will come from the solar and battery, combined.

Gary Sucharewycz, CEO of Custom Solar, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Portsmouth City Council in the delivery of this special project, utilising our experience in developing and delivering solar at another established British port.

“We have already broken ground and we are excited to showcase a solar rooftop, solar carport canopy, and battery storage system. We are proud to have been selected to work towards the environmental ambitions of Portsmouth International Port and look forward to delivering another major on-site project in a busy operational environment that will aid in carbon reduction goals.”

Jerry Clarke, pilot and senior project manager at Portsmouth International Port added: “The port is owned by the people of Portsmouth, so we have a duty to control and reduce the impact of port operations on the local environment.

“We’re delighted to work with the wider council and Custom Solar on this exciting project. It will significantly expand our solar generating capability, and is part of an integrated approach that will help us to offer shore power for smaller ships, without having to take extra power from the local electricity grid.

“Combined with other sustainability initiatives, it will help us achieve our ambition of becoming one of the UK’s first zero emission ports by 2050”.

Custom Solar Ltd. supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

From L-R: Gary Sucharewycz, CEO of Custom Solar: Tony Denney, Site Manager for Custom Solar; Cabinet Member for Climate Change and the Green Recovery, Cllr Kimberly Barrett; Owen Hughes, Project Manager at Portsmouth City Council’s Energy Services Team; Andrew Waggott; Energy Services Team Manager at Portsmouth City Council.

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Latest Robinson sustainable packaging is a perfect match for Valentines’ Day

A Chesterfield manufacturer specialising in value-added custom packaging has partnered up with luxury chocolate manufacturer Holdsworth, to produce sustainably packaged chocolates in time for Valentine’s Day.

A range of 160g chocolate boxes have been produced: Dark Heaven, Milk Heaven and Assorted Heaven. The packaging has been carefully crafted using 100% post-consumer recycled material and is fully recyclable. The clear viewing window is produced from recycled UK water bottles adding to the sustainable appeal.

David Sharples, Managing Director at Holdsworth Chocolates said: “Valentine’s Day is always a busy time for us. A lot of consumers buy chocolates for their loved ones and it’s so important that the packaging is recyclable and made from recycled material. We pride ourselves on delivering the experience of luxury, handmade chocolates using premium packaging with sustainable credentials; there’s no compromise.”

David continues: “Robinson is a key partner; a local, reliable supplier who produce high quality sustainable packaging that meets all our brand requirements. Being UK based helps us to reduce our carbon emissions and keep our supply chain agile and efficient.”

The boxes have been beautifully printed using six colours including intricate foil blocking, adding a striking element to the finished box making it a perfect gift for a loved one this Valentine.

Jon Walker, New Product Development Director at Robinson said: “It’s always a pleasure to work with Holdsworth. Being a local company we can be responsive and flexible to their needs, turning around their packaging from design to delivering the finished product in 2- 3 weeks.”

In 2021, Robinson launched a new sustainability pledge outlining a range of commitments underpinned by their strategic priorities, focused on putting the customer first, sustainable growth and thriving people. Find out more here.

Robinson supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Chesterfield’s Bridge Help goes carbon neutral

Chesterfield-based Bridge Help has started 2022 as a carbon neutral organisation, offsetting the entire carbon footprint of its workforce – from their flights and car journeys to lunches and energy usage both at work and home.

In just two months the commercial bridging finance company has directly funded the planting of 508 trees across Madagascar, Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique as well as achieving a reduction in 34.44 tonnes of CO2.

Becoming carbon neutral has been made possible by Ecologi – an organisation which helps companies and individuals fund impactful climate solutions, plant trees, analyse carbon footprint, become climate positive, achieve carbon neutrality and much more.

Every member of the Bridge Help team has been registered with Ecologi and carbon credits aligned according to their lifestyle.

By signing up to Ecologi, the Bridge Help team is directly funding high-impact climate solutions and supporting the town’s ambition to become a carbon neutral borough by 2050.

Companies and organisations that have signed up to Ecologi to date have, together, funded the planting of an amazing 31,450,527 trees reducing 1,239,380 tonnes of CO2 to date in a drive to bring greenhouse gas emissions in the UK to net zero by 2050.

With its team members, brokers and borrowers based throughout England and Wales, the company was an early adopter of Zoom video conferencing technology in order to minimising travel. A number of staff members also drive electric cars.

Chris Sellars, Chief Executive of Bridge Help commented: “Prior to signing up to Ecologi, we made small steps in becoming a carbon neutral business however this has now been accelerated. What myself and the team particularly like about Ecologi, is that we are all offsetting our personal carbon output 24/7 whether we are working or not. It is something the whole team is passionate about and we’ll be taking further steps throughout 2022 and beyond to reduce our impact on the environment.

He added: “We’re a growing business and it’s important to us all that our impact on the environment does not also increase. As we welcome new members to the team, they’ll also be automatically be signed up to Ecologi.”

Despite the economic slowdown due to the pandemic, the highest ever atmospheric CO2 concentration (419 parts per million) was recorded in June 2021. With seven of the warmest years on record all occurring since 2014, the issue of climate change is increasingly pressing.

To find out more about Ecologi and how you can get involved, visit

Bridge Help supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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SDE Electrical & CCG join forces to offer a one stop shop for all EV requirements

Chesterfield-based SDE Electrical has agreed a nationwide partnership with Car Charge Go to support domestic and commercial customers converting to electric vehicles.

The number of EV vehicles in the last 12 months has increased by 67%, whereas sales in petrol and diesel vehicles have fallen significantly. Battery EV uptake has doubled, but the new car market remains well adrift of pre-pandemic levels.

SDE Group says that while the demand for Electric Vehicles is at an all time high, the EV charging and infrastructure network does not currently support the uptake. The announcement of this strategic partnership will help support the gap by offering customers a complete end-to-end solution for all EV needs.

Both SDE & CCG have both secured nationwide contracts in their own fields with global companies, with SDE being a commercial EV specialist and CCG specialising in the domestic market.

Furthermore, SDE has successfully secured a contract with Gridserve for the rollout of new rapid chargers. The contract is for both installation and maintenance across the electrical highway (motor services, Ikea stores etc.) from Lands End to John o’ Groats.

This contract is set to help increase the EV infrastructure across the UK. Car Charge Go will support SDE by providing administration & technical support.

Jonathan Bennett, Managing Director of SDE Group commented: “The change in behaviors in consumers and businesses looking to convert to electric is phenomenal when you look at the numbers.

“Along with the environmental benefits and financial savings attached, key policy changes set by government and events such as COP 26 have helped create this uptake, therefore this partnership is critical to support all our customers and aid the transformation for consumer and businesses. We are looking forward to working with Kate and the team at CCG.”

SDE Group supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.


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COP26 Roundup: How Chesterfield businesses are working towards a greener future

Many Chesterfield businesses, organisations and developments are working hard to build a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly future for the town.

The big climate summit which took place in Glasgow recently, COP26 provided a big reminder to everyone of the need to become greener and reduce our carbon emissions.

Chesterfield Champion, Emma Knight-Strong of specialist sustainability coaching firm, Green Arch Consulting attended the summit, and has provided us with a round-up of all the big talking points from the event:

4 areas of interest, 1 big message

  • Governments – the US and China are now collaborating to work on climate change! While there are concerns about the speed with which governments are moving this announcement (plus a lot of others) is an indicator that the political world is taking climate change seriously.
  • Finance – investors with trillions of dollars are announcing more and more commitments to sustainable and green investments. This is driven by a range of factors including:

– Risk: investors are seeing the impacts of climate change in their portfolios and…

– Standards and regulation: for example COP26 has seen the launch of the International Sustainability Standards Board, which will ultimately require the entire accounting profession to develop their skills in this area.

  • Business – is under increasing pressure to report information and to manage their supply chains. In the UK, large corporates will be legally required to report climate information from April 2022. Importantly, this will impact their entire supply chain as suppliers will need to help their customers collect and report data. Equally, some organisations may find themselves struggling to win new customers (or keep existing customers) if they fail to step up.
  • Communication, engagement and public opinion – is changing rapidly, leading to a huge shift in how people see the climate crisis. This, of course, has an impact on politics, finance and business. A couple of examples are:
  1. The UK Broadcasting associations have committed to embedding climate content in their programmes – helping to spread messaging around climate and carbon.
  2. Education is focusing more on climate and sustainability, helping our younger generations to understand more about their options and about the climate crisis – so when your kids start talking about it you should probably listen – the chances are they know more about it than you do!
  3. Activism is now firmly on the agenda – whether it’s marching on the streets or people actively working to ‘green’ their jobs or companies, people are working together to drive change. 100,000 people marched in Glasgow on 6th November to call attention to the huge public interest in creating a positive outcome for the climate.

How big is the challenge?

The fact that almost every aspect of society is paying attention to this now indicates that this is a major challenge but if you need more proof: scientists, nations, indigenous communities and many others have provided overwhelming evidence that our world is warming. The problem with this is that a warming world is leading to increased extreme weather events, sea level rise and loss of biodiversity.

That, in turn, leads to changes in agricultural productivity, threatens towns, cities and businesses, and even influences things like where some diseases are found. Ultimately, it risks lives and livelihoods across the globe. No business sector, country or even town will be immune to this, albeit some will suffer the effects faster, and more severely, than others.

The message COP26 is the 26th annual conference which seeks to address some of these issues. The announcements and noise surrounding this conference can be overwhelming and it is almost impossible to keep track of everything that has happened. Instead, look above it all and see the overarching message: This issue is not going away. We have a feedback loop of investors influencing business who influence government, who are all influenced by communication (you can rearrange those words into almost any combination, and it will still be true).

That means that at some point, if it hasn’t already, your organisation will be impacted by one or more of these areas. In fact, you may already have been indirectly impacted but just haven’t realised the cause.

Where to start

So how can organisations get on top of this? A good place to start is to understand your carbon footprint. It is by no means the only issue related to climate change and sustainability, but it’s a good foundation for understanding how your organisation operates beyond the financials.

The good news is that there is a LOT of help out there – some of it free, some of it not.

Do an internet search for ‘calculate the carbon footprint of my business’ and see what comes up.

If you already know your carbon footprint then the next step is to think seriously about cutting it by at least 50% by 2030. How will you achieve this? What investment will be needed? How can you plan this into your business year to spread the cost? Equally, how might this help your business, for example will you be in a position to win more customers?

Sustainability success stories in Chesterfield

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Here are just a few great examples of how the Chesterfield community is helping to reduce carbon emissions in our town, including businesses, organisations and local developers.

Custom Solar

Custom Solar is a renewable energy company specialising in solar PV. The business works nationally to design, install and maintain high quality solar systems for businesses, homes and the education sector.

Find out more about a huge solar installation carried out by the company at the Port of Southampion, fitting the Horizon Cruise Terminal with 2,000 solar modules!

Superior Wellness

Superior Wellness won the Sustainability Award, sponsored by Chesterfield Borough Council at the town’s annual Love Chesterfield Awards  organised by Destination Chesterfield.

In their award-winning submission Superior Wellness demonstrated that they measure and report their progress, as well as demonstrating that that have committed to sustainability during the past five years.

Mark Needham, Head of Operations said: “Within the last few months, we have reviewed our waste strategy, purchased electric forklift trucks, installed solar panels and have electric charging points.

“This is just the start as we seek to become more sustainable as a business.  Our ten-year vision is to become carbon neutral.”

Don’t Do a Dodo

Don’t Do A Dodo Ltd is a Chesterfield business that aims to help local people ‘go green’ easily and at low cost. It does this by enabling the community to club together to buy green products like solar panels and smart thermostats, securing valuable discounts for householders, whilst reducing their energy bills and their carbon emissions.

Director Nigel Timperley said: “Don’t Do A Dodo is a community business. As well as helping local people group-buy low carbon products like solar panels and renewable energy, we use local suppliers to install things, creating jobs and opportunity in the town’s emerging green
economy. So the town gets greener and local businesses prosper.”

The Gateway @Peak

The exciting Gateway @PEAK development on the northern edge of Chesterfield has been showcasing its sustainability credentials at the East Midlands COP26 Regional Roadshow, as part of its strategic partnership with the University of Derby.

Milligan and landowner Birchall Properties have formed a working group with the University of Derby to bring the latest applied thinking in sustainable tourism, circular economies, data collection and monitoring, geosciences and biodiversity planning to the project.

At the heart of the development is a Zero Carbon transport hub. Hydrogen powered vehicles will connect to a travel network that has the potential to remove over 500,000 car journeys from the park each year, drastically reducing carbon emissions and improving the visitor experience for everyone.

Robinson Plc

Chesterfield manufacturer Robinson, which specialises in packaging launched its ambitious sustainability pledge earlier this year.

The pledge by Robinson outlines a range of commitments underpinned by their strategic priorities focused on putting the customer first, sustainable growth and thriving people.

CEO Dr Helene Roberts says this the blueprint for Robinson’s future-fit business. She says: “We have a role to contribute to sustainability and regenerative growth, which we view as key drivers with great opportunities for our business and the industry.

Chesterfield FC’s Planet Super League success

Chesterfield Football Club may be flying high on the pitch in the National League at the moment, but the club also topped the table earlier this year in a sustainability league table which involved supporters and the local community.

The unique football tournament ‘Planet Super League’ saw fans score goals for their club by completing planet-protecting activities like having a meat-free meal, using the car less and even taking cold showers.

Chesterfield FC fans put in an incredible effort over the 11-week tournament, racking up 33 points and beating 23 other clubs to the title. Fans have a perfect record for the season, winning all 11 matches including victories against West Bromwich Albion, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and MK Dons.

Chesterfield Property & Construction Group

The annual Celebrate Chesterfield campaign provided plenty of cause for celebration once again this year, with the announcement of the town’s Property & Construction Group being launched.

The new group brings together leaders from the area’s property and construction sectors to shape and drive forward collaboration, investment, sustainability and skills within Chesterfield.

Delegates attending the Chesterfield Investment Summit 2021 will be updated on the progress of the group over the last few months.

SDE Group

Chesterfield-based SDE Group is pushing forward with ambitions to be greener and reduce the carbon footprint of the UK, with the installation of multiple rapid charging points for electronic vehicles.

The company has set out a long-term goal of having a better impact on the environment, with the growth of electric charging stations being something the firm is very passionate about.

Ian Buckton, Contracts Director at SDE Group said: “SDE have been looking at the carbon footprint of the business for the last few years, so when we were approached by our clients to work alongside Gridserve on the renewable energy scheme, it is something that excited us as this falls into our business plan.”

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