TWO North-East businesses are starting the year with plans to make their operations greener and more sustainable.

Shipping insurer North P&I Club has announced it aims to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030, while Sunderland-based James Jones & Sons, one of the UK’s largest pallet manufacturing businesses, expanding and redeveloping its premises into a green facility that will include the installation of a biomass boiler.

Tyneside-headquartered North P&I – which operates globally – launched its 2030 Sustainability Strategy that includes a raft of pledges covering emissions, zero waste to landfill targets and supply chain standards.

North’s chief executive, Paul Jennings, said the 161-year-old insurer was looking forward to “doing more, and quicker” to address environmental and societal issues.

He explained: “Sustainability has been a driving principle of North for some time now – and we’ve achieved a lot in terms of protecting the marine environment and supporting the health and wellbeing of people, including our own team and the many thousands of seafarers working for our members.

“This strategy sets out seven ambitious targets for our own business, covering carbon emissions, waste, our supply chain, diversity and inclusion, corporate social responsibility, employee engagement and investments.

“Our role as part of the International Group of P&I Clubs – together insuring around 90 per cent of the world’s ocean-going shipping – means we’re a facilitator of change in the industry.

"We can also support our members to become more sustainable.”

North’s net zero pledge will be met by reductions in use of fossil fuels to power and heat its buildings, from its headquarters in Newcastle to its offices around the world, as well as a reduction in the use of company vehicles and a reduction in business travel.

The insurer also published an impact report of its sustainability work, including the industry-leading GlobeView platform that gives shipping operators real-time information about threats such as dangerous weather and piracy.

North’s claims team also advised and co-ordinated some of the world’s most significant clean-up operations following pollution incidents, including the use of environmental protection barriers connected to the seabed that contained debris and pollutants from an overturned car carrier off the coast of Brunswick, USA.

James Jones & Sons, which is one of the UK’s largest pallet manufacturing businesses, is expanding facilities at its Hetton site following approval for a 55,000 sq ft site redevelopment.

The Sunderland business will expand and redevelop its premises into a green facility that will include the installation of a biomass boiler.

The new space will support the pallet-making process where the new boiler will be fuelled by James Jones’s own recycled timber, enhancing the firm’s environmental credentials, reducing carbon emissions and further strengthening the company’s contribution to a circular supply chain.

Peter McKenzie, managing director of James Jones’s Pallets and Packaging, said: “Our business is fully committed to creating a sustainable supply chain and takes every step to ensure that any new developments carefully consider local wildlife and habitats, residents and the environment.

"This development will provide employment opportunities for residents whilst ensuring that the site and activities have little to no impact upon the environment”.


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