phs Group supports Associated British Ports on its new sustainability drive

phs Group is working closely with Associated British Ports (ABP) to help the port group deliver its ambitious new sustainability strategy.

ABP launched its wide-ranging sustainability strategy, Ready for Tomorrow , in 2023, backed by a plan to invest £2 billion in decarbonising operations by 2040.

The innovative strategy promotes improved internal operations as well as building greater external partnerships and collaborations to meet the challenges set and maximise sustainable opportunities.

Ready for Tomorrow focuses on five key areas for change: Net zero, air quality, biodiversity, waste and water management.

With a wide range of sustainable solutions and innovations across its businesses, phs Group is the ideal partner to help ABP facilitate lasting and impactful change.

phs Group is the UK’s leading hygiene services provider, offering washroom, floorcare, healthcare and specialist services to over 120,000 customers in the UK, Ireland and Spain.

One of phs Group’s specialist divisions is phs Wastekit. Working with the ABP team at Millbay Docks in Plymouth, phs Wastekit introduced new waste management equipment and improved practices to help the port meet its waste management and sustainability objectives, which include diverting 90% of waste from landfill by 2030.

“Any sustainable waste management journey starts with the successful segregation of waste,” said Jason Smith, Managing Director at phs Wastekit. “We provided eight 1100 litre wheelie bins so that the team at Millbay Docks can easily separate general, cardboard and different types of plastic waste.

“We then installed a small baler for their plastic waste and a mill-size baler for cardboard waste. Each machine compacts the waste into neat, space-saving, bales, which can then be collected by a waste disposal provider in fewer trips - thus saving money - or sold to a recycling company for a financial rebate.”

Adrian Buss is Operations Manager for ABP in Millbay Docks. He said: “For many years we were paying too much for someone to remove our waste and missing the financial and sustainability opportunities of not selling valuable commodities like our waste cardboard.

phs Wastekit provided us with excellent support and advice that helped us to transform the way we manage our waste. We saw reduced costs and improved environmental performance in just a few weeks.

“Our team have really embraced the new measures and we are seeing cardboard being brought in from all areas of the port. Our plan is to sell waste cardboard in significant quantities to a recycling company, ensuring it can be reused in a sustainable way whilst providing the business with extra revenue.”

phs Greenleaf is another specialist division within the phs Group, offering expert planting and grounds services to organisations. The team at Greenleaf has been helping ABP to ‘green the grey infrastructure’ as part of the new strategy.

phs Greenleaf transformed the look of Millbay Docks by introducing real plants and greenery to its check-in and terminal areas for the first time. The new potted and hanging plants provided not only improve passengers’ experience and promote biodiversity, but they also provide valuable improvements in air quality.

The health benefits of plants have been widely reported since NASA conducted its Clean Air Study, studying the way plants could improve air quality through oxygen production and fine dust absorption. It revealed that plants can remove up to 87% of air toxins in 24 hours, creating healthier, cleaner air for those using the space.

Adrian Buss from ABP said: “Like many other maritime sites, the terminal areas at the port can seem very grey and uninviting. Our ‘greening of the grey infrastructure’ plan aims to tackle that and to bring nature and greenery into the port wherever we can. It’s amazing the difference plants from Greenleaf have made, instantly uplifting it and making it a more pleasant and healthy environment to be in.”

At Millbay Dock, phs Greenleaf used a mix of Blue Felt Tipped Sansevieria, Kentia Palms, Yucca, Epipremnum Aureum trail, Aspidistra, Monstera on moss poles and Sansevieria Laurentii. The team now conducts regular maintenance visits on site to tend to the plants to ensure they always look their best and are thriving in their new environment.

phs Greenleaf also supplied Millbay Docks with ten of its ‘Winter Frosty’ pre-decorated Christmas trees and matching wreaths for Christmas 2023. It supplies more than 2,500 decorated Christmas trees each year to organisations across the country, including gifted trees and decorations for chosen charities to spread festive goodwill to those in need.

phs ’ washroom division has been working ABP to supply a range of energy efficient hygiene products for staff and passengers, including energy efficient hand dryers and mats to prevent slips in the washrooms. phs also provide toilet rolls and holders, soap and holders, and its AIROMATIC fragrance diffuser which uses essential oils for 24 hour fragrance in large spaces.

To improve air quality, phs supplied its innovative AERA MAX PROFESSIONAL system, which removes up to 99.99% of harmful viruses, germs, allergens, odours and particulates from the air, safely and easily.

ABP also wanted an eco-friendly way to add a scent experience to the ports. phs supplied its AIR SCENT ECO – an aerosol-free, battery and liquid free unit with no harmful propellants. It’s 100% certified carbon neutral and recyclable and helps lower ABP’s carbon footprint.

As part of its overall corporate social responsibility, ABP takes a positive approach to equality which mirrors phs’ own ethos.

The port now offers a range of phs products that promote greater equality and accessibility to its staff and visitors, including free vending machines for period products, sanitary bins, nappy bins and phs ’ new male incontinence bins.

phs Floorcare also provides ABP with products that improve floor hygiene and keep staff and visitor areas clean, dry and safe for all, including fitted Forma mats and regular mats with the ABP logo and dust mats.  

Adrian Buss from ABP said: “I’d like to thank the phs teams for their continued support us as we deliver our new sustainability strategy and drive towards our goals. Their expert advice, passionate people and innovative, eco-friendly products and services have already made the journey faster and simpler.”

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