Ferrero wins environmental Gold for river protection

Confectionery firm Ferrero has become one of the first companies to achieve River-Friendly Business “Gold” status for its work to protect local watercourses close to its chocolate factory in Alfreton, Derbyshire, UK.

Run by charity Trent Rivers Trust (TRT) and backed by the Environment Agency and Severn Trent, the accreditation scheme awards businesses based within the Trent catchment Bronze, Silver and Gold status for helping to improve their local water environment.

This year some 10 companies which together employ more than 2,000 staff within former coalfield areas in parts of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire have officially become River-Friendly Businesses.

Having secured Bronze and Silver last year by demonstrating how pollution prevention is embedded in its systems and raising awareness among its 1,000-strong workforce, Ferrero is among the first three businesses to be awarded Gold accreditation for its work to prevent pollution and improve local brooks.

Ferrero gained Gold by showing strong leadership in promoting the scheme – recruiting fellow Alfreton-based business Diversey, a world-leading provider of cleaning and hygiene solutions – and hosting and arranging a meeting of participants from other businesses.

Fererro’s staff have also taken part enthusiastically in TRT’s action days, helping to improve habitats along local brooks that lead into the Rivers Amber, Derwent and Erewash.

Rebecca Dilks, environment and energy manager at Ferrero’s Alfreton base, said: “Working with the Trent Rivers Trust has not only given us a real drive, focus and motivation to improve our local environment for both people and wildlife alike, but it has also been a real pleasure to build new and lasting relationships with Julie Wozniczka and with other like-minded local businesses. The award is really a fantastic bonus giving us external recognition of all of the hard work that has gone into delivering some great results on site.”

Julie Wozniczka, senior project manager at TRT, said: “Staff at Ferrero have been champions for River-Friendly Business from the very start and have been integral to its success. They not only lead by example by setting a high environmental standard, but also work proactively to encourage others to take part – supporting fellow businesses through the accreditation process.”

To become a River-Friendly Business, participants follow six steps – from ensuring water drains that lead to brooks are clearly marked to storing oils and chemicals in bunds to contain spills.

Chloe Palmer, chief executive of Trent Rivers Trust, said: “At Gold level, not only are pollution prevention systems truly embedded, but businesses take the message out to other businesses and display signs promoting the scheme and celebrating their involvement in it. Together with TRT they have helped to build a culture which attracts and welcomes other businesses to look after their local watercourses.”

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