Green Business Awards 2008: Best Industrial or Manufacturing Company - Winner HJ Berry & Sons

Furniture-maker HJ Berry is hardly in the manufacturing big league.

Yet it processes nearly 2,000 cubic metres of hardwoods annually and faces the same issues as larger industrial firms with materials, processes, waste and energy. The company has well-developed policies and systems to minimise its operational impact. It also works hard to improve the environmental profile of its products. HJ Berry believes its thoroughgoing commitment to green issues in all aspects is feeding through to increased awareness and customer interest - the acid test for a firm that wants to be sustainable economically, environmentally and socially.

HJ Berry can trace its roots directly back to the industrial revolution. The company, still based where it started in 1840, in Chipping, Lancashire, once drew power from a waterwheel once used by Richard Arkwright. It now uses more modern production methods, but strives to build sustainability into each of its processes.

The company's electricity is procured from renewable sources. It is looking at installing its own renewable electricity production capacity on site, and aims to be self-sufficient in green electricity. It already generates virtually all its own heating needs by burning off-cuts and shavings in a low-pollution boiler. This supplies space heating in the factory and process heat for kilns and drying tunnels.

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