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NRAs 2017: Business Partnership of the Year

WINNER: Interface

Net-Works is an inclusive business partnership designed to tackle the growing environmental problem of discarded fishing nets in some of the world’s poorest coastal communities.

Formed by carpet tile manufacturer Interface in collaboration with Zoological Society London (ZSL) and 35 communities in the Philippines and Cameroon, Net-Works collects and processes discarded fishing nets.

net works

net works

The project enables local residents to sell the nets they collect back into the global supply chain, ensuring Interface receives fully recycled nylon for carpet tile production and communities receive long-term incentives to protect their natural environment.

The first large-scale model of its kind, it also reflects the impact that the right partners can have when creating collaborative and sustainable solutions.

JUDGES’ COMMENT: “We were impressed by this genuinely innovative project. A strong partnership between Interface and ZSL is recovering nylon, while also promoting opportunities for the development of local communities in the Philippines and Cameroon. The potential for expansion is considerable.”

 

Net-Works has provided a template for a sustainable future for manufacturing, as well as a sense of responsibility toward social and environmental issues that goes beyond the core business focuses of the partners.

There is a shared common aim between the carpet manufacturer, yarn producer and conservation charity to redesign the supply chain for positive community and ecological benefits.

ZSL has more than 150 years’ of scientific expertise of on-the-ground field research. Its role in Net-Works covers strategic and local implementation, including community organisation, supporting local finance, net collection and baling, and transportation.

Aquafil, the global producer of Nylon 6 yarn, is responsible for using its depolymerisation process, Econyl, to turn the waste fishing nets and other material into 100% regenerated yarn. Recycled yarn is now also re-entering the supply chain, providing a continuous source of materials for many businesses, including Interface flooring.

The three project leads have also built close relationships with community banking groups, which support residents whose income is not reliable and who may not work full-time, providing them with new financial opportunities.

FINALISTS

  • ACM Environmental and Brakes
  • Costa Coffee
  • Electrical Waste and City Electrical Factors
  • Hubbub
  • JWS Waste and intu Trafford Centre
  • Kiverco and Mick George
  • MSK and Keepmoat Regeneration
  • Re-Gen Waste and Mälarenergi
  • The Air Ambulance Service
  • William Tracey Group and ISG Construction (Scotland)

 

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