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Whatever your size or industry, if you’re a business, organisation or local authority in the north of England, The GBN is your one-stop-shop for all things environmental. More specifically, we’ve made it our mission to help you save money, stay compliant, go green and boost your reputation, all at the same time.

  • We make it simple for you to save money, by helping you to reduce your energy, water, paper and waste bills by up to 45%.
  • We make it simple to stay legal, by helping you comply with regulations and avoid hefty fines.
  • We make it simple to add value to your brand, by helping you gain accreditations.
  • We make it simple to meet your CSR targets, by improving your efficiency, shrinking your waste and helping you recycle.

If you do manage to find something we can’t help you with, we almost certainly know someone who can. So call in for a chat – the first hour is always free.

20 Years

Is your business legally compliant?

We’ll give you the answer, and the solution if it’s a ‘no’.

The Producer Responsibility Regulations (Packaging Waste) 2007 mean lots of businesses have clear legal obligations when it comes to their packaging waste.

You’ll need to take action if you meet these two criteria:

  • Turnover of £2m per year
  • Handle over 50 tonnes of packaging per year

Not sure what 50 tonnes looks like?

  • 5 pallets of packed goods per day
  • 1 articulated lorry load of goods per week

Want to learn more? Get in touch

Save money, protect the planet, safeguard your reputation…

Investors in the Environment (iiE) is a well-established national environmental accreditation and membership scheme that helps small and medium sized business in three ways. Firstly, it helps businesses save money by reducing their energy bills. Secondly, it helps them reduce the impact of their everyday work on the environment. Last but not least, it helps them build their brand and safeguard their reputation by earning official recognition for their environmental achievements. 

Want to learn more? Get in touch

What about other environmental questions?

We can help your business with pretty much any environmental question.

We offer support to

  • write and maintain your environmental management system
  • create and maintain your environmental Legal Register
  • work out your Carbon Footprint
  • achieve ISO14001 accreditation

We also offer advice on energy supply, waste disposal and environmental permitting and an independent audit service if you need it.

Our first hour is always free.

Get in touch

Pennine Pack

Pennine Pack

Whats the difference between degradable, compostable or bio-plastics?

There is a lot of confusion between a few plastics terms that define how easily they ‘return to nature’. Below, we try to explain the difference between some of them:

Degradable – means it can be degraded, broken down. Cutting plastic with scissors, grinding into dust is degrading it. You may have seen flexible plastics that become brittle and break down in the sun and crumbles. Degradable plastics just become smaller and smaller pieces of plastic. It is small pieces of plastic like this that fish can feed on, filling their intestines, but giving them no nutrition.

Biodegradable – Biodegradable plastics are degradable AND can be broken down by micro-organisms into other organic molecules that can become part of a living organism.

Compostable – Compostable plastics are biodegradable AND they will degrade relatively quickly.

Bioplastics – are made from natural materials like vegetable oils, not fossil fuels. Depending on how they are processed bio plastics may be compostable, biodegradable or just degradable.

Oxo-degradable plastics - are plastics that will break up into small pieces more quickly than regular plastics, still leaving small pieces of plastic behind.

Take note that the majority of tests for bio-degradability specify how to test and not a pass / fail criteria, so watch out for claims that a plastic passes one test or another!

Community Foundation for Calderdale recognises Pennine-Pack at their 25th anniversary dinner

We were delighted to receive this unique plaque recognising our contributions to Community Foundation for Calderdale at their 25th anniversary presentations last night. Thank you.

Pennine-Pack Ltd has donated over £12,000 to the Community Foundation over the last seven years. The kerbside Fund that supports employment and environmental causes has been the main recipient, but following the 2015 Boxing Day Floods Pennine-Pack made a donation through the Community Foundation to Project Colt to help them to replace their vehicles and this year we have supported the Watermark fund with 1% of our management fees from 2016.

After the 2015 Boxing Day floods, the Community Foundation raised over £1.5 million from businesses and the community. This has been match funded by the Government to give a pot of over £3million to help Calderdale residents and businesses to get back on their feet. It is unlikely that this could be matched again, so the Community Foundation’s Watermark Fund will be particularly to Calderdale as it is collecting funds in preparation for any future floods.

Investors in the Environment – Our latest service

From 1st September 2016 the operation of Investors in the Environment (iiE) Yorkshire and Humber region has been taken over by our sister brand, The Green Business Network.

The Green Business Network is an Environmental Consultancy based in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire. Our parent company, Pennine-Pack Ltd, was the first businesses accredited to iiE in Yorkshire. From the start we have believed iiE to be a fantastic option for businesses seeking to improve their environmental performance and gain recognition and accreditation at a reasonable cost. All the other alternatives that we considered were simply too expensive or too time consuming to support for a small business like ours. iiE gave us everything we were looking for in an Environmental accreditation scheme.

While working towards the iiE accreditation Pennine-Pack realised that there were huge third party emissions associated with recycling waste packaging in China. This prompted us to set up a ‘low carbon’ option for our customers known as Ethical Compliance. This initiative was recognised in the Supply Chain category of the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2016 for our work to promote British recycling and reducing our third party carbon emissions.

When the Yorkshire and Humber franchise became available we decided to step into the breach so that this excellent scheme can continue to grow and to give our fellow businesses in Yorkshire the chance to benefit as we have.

iiE Yorkshire and Humber will be run by Becky Taylor and John Mooney, two skilled and competent Environmental professionals with extensive experience in a range of industries, spanning over 50 years between them.

Becky has worked as a Quality and Environment Engineer and Lead Auditor and Systems Audit Manager for companies in the electrical and textiles industries where her practical ‘can-do’ approach ensures key objectives can be consistently met. Becky is also an accomplished Uilleann piper & multi-instrumentalist who has played to some amazing audiences in amazing settings!

John began his career as a metallurgist and has worked as a Quality and Health and Safety Engineer in manufacturing businesses making products ranging from car parts to carpets. While working for Interface UK he made the move into the Environmental arena, setting up the UK’s first commercial carpet reuse project as a partnership with local charity Pennine Magpie. John has also worked for a local authority providing environmental support for SMEs before setting up Pennine-Pack Ltd, which provides environmental expertise to businesses, specialising in ‘packaging tax’.

We will be introducing ourselves to members over the next couple of months, and are busy setting up events to assist new members working towards their first accreditation as well as providing help, support and recognition to the efforts of those already accredited and more established within the scheme.

We look forward to meeting you all soon!

Becky and John

The Green Business Network

15 Hebden Bridge Town Hall

St Georges Street

Hebden Bridge, HX7 7BY

T 01422 417 371

E This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Why Do Pennine-Pack want to buy their PRNs from British Recyclers?

Do you ever hear stories about businesses that say that small changes have bigger effects than you can imagine?

When Pennine-Pack were looking at how we could reduce our carbon footprint in 2012, we were almost blown out of our chairs when we realised that while our scope 1 & 2 co2 emissions only came to about 4 tonnes, there was a HUGE 4,000t elephant hiding in our scope 3 emissions.

Cutting through the maths, we produced 4t worth of CO2 to run the business but caused almost 4,000t of emissions with our share of recycling certificates (known as PRNs) that were recycled in China. Clearly we would see much bigger rewards if we could shave a couple of percent off the emissions from recycling in China than by scrimping on the heating and lighting in the office, or walking to meetings with customers.

We decided to try to buy more certificates from British recyclers and this video explains why:

Thank you to @HVcartoons for the video.

Pennine-Pack runners up in Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2016

Press Release 27 May 2016

Pennine Pack are delighted to have been awarded runner up in the Supply Chain category in the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2016. TheYorkshire based company was chosen for its approach in offering customers a low carbon option whilst actively supporting the UK recycling industry.

John Mooney, Director of Pennine Pack, commented that “we are not only thrilled and extremely honoured to have been runner up in this award, but are also slightly surprised due to scale of some of the other organisations.” He went onto say “we’re a micro business based in Hebden Bridge and set out through Ethical Compliance to implement small changes in the way we could reduce our environmental impact. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that every business can find at least one similar opportunity to reduce their carbon impact.”

The Ethical Compliance packaging compliance scheme is committed to sourcing all PRNs (recycling certificates) from British recyclers. This reduces the impact of the supply chain for our customers by reducing CO2 from transport, and ensures best practice employment conditions. By encouraging UK recycling, as opposed to exporting packaging waste, Pennine Pack hope to give their customers a more predictable and stable cost base, as well as doing the right thing for the environment.

When organisations are faced with dealing with packaging, and other, forms of waste, it’s often the easier and cheaper to send it overseas. However, the Ethical Compliance scheme encourages demand for PRN’s from UK recyclers thereby making them more competitive. John added ‘It is only by increasing awareness of the options available and supporting the UK recycling industry that demand will increase, costs and carbon footprint to end of life will reduce, and therefore businesses will do the right thing’

About Pennine Pack

Pennine Pack Ltd operates the ‘Ethical Compliance’ packaging compliance scheme and is committed to provide a more responsible packaging compliance to its members by sourcing all PRNs (Recycling certificates known as packaging recovery notes) from British recyclers. This promotes British recycling, ensures that those employed to recycle our share of packaging waste enjoy satisfactory standards of employment, and minimises the ‘Carbon Footprint’ of recycling because the waste does not need to be transported long distances to be recycled. Pennine Pack has been operating packaging compliance schemes since 1997.

For more information and photos please contact:

Karen Hall

Marketing and PR

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

07506 000338

Amendments to packaging regulations published February 2016

Changes to the packaging regulations passed through parliament on 23rd February 2016. The main changes are:

  • removal and replacement of regulations relating to the approval of schemes,
  • passing responsibility for approval of schemes from DEFRA to the relevant agency, including NI,
  • a new regulation permitting authority to sign for an approved person to someone else.

We are keeping a close eye on this last point as the published regulations are not what the Environment Agency were expecting. We will update you on changes / clarifications as they are published.

Stop Press – 2016 Budget Update
The 2016 budget includes a note of new packaging targets as follows:
2.182 Packaging recycling targets – The government will legislate later in 2016 to reduce statutory plastic packaging recycling targets for 2016 and 2017, to reduce the burden on business. The government will also set new recycling targets for glass and plastic packaging for 2018, 2019 and 2020. For plastic, the existing target will be reduced to 49% for 2016 and then increased by 2% each year to 2020, to 57%. For glass, the existing target of 77% will be maintained until 2017 and then increased by 1% each year to 2020, to 80%. (59)

Update May 2016.

Since the budget, DEFRA have announced a review / update to consolidate the changes to the packaging regulations since 2007. Until this happens and the new regulations are published, the EA is accepting the changes announced in the budget as if they were actual regulations.

This link gives you a summary of the changes that we have seen over the last 12 months.

Pennine-Pack shortlisted for Guardian Sustainable Business Award

Pennine Pack are delighted to have been shortlisted in the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2016. The Yorkshire based company has been shortlisted in the Supply Chain category for its approach in offering customers a low carbon option which actively supports the UK recycling industry.

The Ethical Compliance packaging scheme reduces the supply chain for third party waste producers, reduces CO2 from transport and processing, and ensures best practice employment conditions.

John Mooney, Director of Pennine Pack, said “we’re obviously thrilled that the project has been recognized as part of the shortlist. We know that by encouraging UK recycling, as opposed to exporting packaging waste, we are able to give our clients a more predictable and stable cost base, as well as doing the right thing for the environment.”

The final winners will be announced in London on the 26 May 2016.

If you would like to know more, please contact John directly: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or please click here to find out more about our Ethical Compliance Option.

Pennine-Pack supports the Watermark Fund

Pennine-Pack was lucky enough to escape the December floods but I consider it a privilege to have seen the way the community has pulled together to help each other and to be part of it. Now that the water has subsided and some businesses have reopened it is easy to forget that many people are still living ‘upstairs’ until their homes are refurbished. Behind closed doors, they are working away to get things back to ‘normal’. For some people, normal will never be the same because homeowners with houses built after 2009 and all businesses are not entitled to use the Government FloodRE insurance scheme.

In Calderdale, a small group has worked together to create Floodsave a self insurance scheme where a business that can not get insurance, or homeowner with a house built after 2009 can make payments via the Calderdale Credit Union where the first £1,000 of savings are being match funded by the Community Foundation for Calderdale against the unthinkable happening again. If we are flooded again, the savings plus match funding and any interest will be waiting for the business / homeowner to spend to put things right.

The ‘Watermark’ campaign was invented in Australia, by Bunderberg Rum. In 2010/2011, 75% of the Australian state of Queensland was flooded. Bunderberg were also flooded, but as soon as they got back on their feet, they launched a special edition watermark branded rum where some of the prodeeds from the sale of each bottle were donated to flood victims. The brand was a success and the first batch sold out within one week.

If the floods were to come again , it is unlikely that we, the people of Calderdale, could match the £3million raised after the December 2015 floods.

Watermark Calderdale is a free branding toolkit that businesses can use to highlight the flooding and offer ‘watermark’ associated products where a proportion of the sales of watermark branded products will be donated to a future floods fund. Businesses can offer to donate any amount from the sale of a product or service. The donation can be fixed or discretionary. The point is to maintain awareness of flooding in Calderdale and raise some money so that if the unthinkable does happen, there is some money in place to help those affected.

If all the businesses hit by the 2015 floods raised just £10 per week from their sales of Watermark goods (a low estimate), the fund would hit over £700,000 in 1 year. Multiply that by a few years of no floods, and a bit more input from other businesses, or some adding more than £10 per week, and the fund could easily hit £2 million. And that money would be there for our communities to access straight away in case of another flood. Literally saving for a rainy day! It’s all about businesses and community working together to look after each other.

One of the worst hit social enterprises in Calderdale was Project Colt who lost both their vans, as well as being flooded. Without transport, they could not deliver refurbished and second hand furniture to other people affected by the floods. Every year, Pennine-Pack has made donations to support environmental causes and employment in the local community. We decided that our annual donation could be best placed by donating it to Project Colt. By making this donation via the Community Foundation it could be match funded by the Government. Our £2,200 became a £4,400 donation towards replacement vans for Project Colt.

That is what we did while the pressure was on. We have now had time to think about how we can help in the longer term and Pennine-Pack has decided to donate 1% of our membership fees to the fund.

Let''s hope that we do not need either fund for a very long time!



Very approachable, knowledgeable and helpful. Cant reccommend highly enough. Makes a daunting topic easy.
Laura Griffiths
Even though the subject was not the most exciting, John managed to spark interest and animated discussion on the topics. And I still think a mascara brush is not packaging....
Excellent service, quick, friendly, helpful - makes the whole process much easier.
Dean Hartley
In general terms we have absolutely no problems in dealing with our Ethical Compliance obligations, and we are always relaxed in knowing that help and advice is only a phone call away if required. We have no suggestions for improved service.
John Richardson
Great Company to deal with , very helpful and quick responses to all our questions.
John Handley
I am confident in completing my waste packaging forms aware that the information I forget on a yearly basis, I can readily be reminded by John on an annual basis.
Martin Core
Excellent communication, straight forward process and very informative training session.
Sally Sykes
The event was well-organised and managed. The speaker was excellent. Really worth attending!
Chris Cole
The speaker was very knowledgeable regarding the Packaging Regulations. I would recommend Pennine-Pack Ltd to anyone looking for guidance and support in packaging compliance.
Julia Orley
Really excellent company service from Penninepack!
Sue Earl
John was fantastic though the entire process and the journey of [our company] in becoming legally compliant. Communication was always open and two way and the level and content of response was easy to understand and make sense of what can sometime appear to be a data nightmare!!
Ian Lloyd
Our current system for packaging waste compliance has become very streamlined with good communication between both [our company] & Pennine Pack - so a very professional service all round! Would definitely recommend Pennine Pack to other companies.
Anne McLaughlin
John made me feel at ease, his delivery was excellent, he made time for questions and answers throughout, he gave good examples of the subjects he covered again throughout.
Mr. Grovener Mackey
I have worked with Pennine Pack for a number of years now. I have always found them vey approachable and able to provide me with the information needed.
Roy Smith
Pennine-Pack have provided [our company] with all the necessary information and excellent help to support packaging compliance in our complex UK business.
Peter Mitchell
Joining the Pennine Pack compliance scheme has made the management of waste packaging almost enjoyable. John's knowledge and realistic approach takes the fear and complexity out of this task.
Colin Wheatley
Always provide a patient and understanding response to clients questions and problems
Robert Stead
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