International Synergies NI reached a landmark 7th Birthday this month and Trevor Knipe, Director shares his review and assessment of growth and progress over that time.
“It doesn’t seem like 7 years since I established an office for International Synergies in Northern Ireland and started to deliver the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP) for Invest NI. But seven interesting and challenging years it has been.
As International Synergies we have had our ups and downs; thankfully more ups than downs. Indeed in each of the past 7 years we have exceeded all of our output targets. I take considerable pride in being able to say that in this time we have been able to help Northern Ireland businesses save over £10m in operating costs and generate additional sales of £15m. The environmental and social benefits have been significant; 250,000 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill, carbon dioxide emissions reduced by 250,000 tonnes and 65 jobs created or secured.
I could not have done this alone and must pay tribute to the team that have helped me, Elaine, Patrick and Liam who have been part of the team for most of this journey and others who helped along the way.
Just to reflect for a moment on a few of the milestones.
There was our 1000th company, Nampak Plastics, back in 2010. We are now working with over 1700 companies from all industrial sectors.
In 2011 we started to provide commercial consultancy using the skills and expertise of our team to help businesses improve their environmental performance and save money.
In 2011 we also delved into the public sector when we won a contract to deliver a pilot industrial symbiosis programme under the Department of the Environment Rethink Waste programme.
2013 saw us registered as an approved centre for the delivery of Waste Smart training for the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management and Elaine has already trained over 70 people who have achieved Foundation or Advanced certificates.
In November 2013 we were a founder member of the European Industrial Symbiosis Association EUR-ISA. The association, which has member organisations such as ours from across Europe, was launched by the EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik at a prodigious ceremony in Brussels. The aim of EUR-ISA is to promote best practice in the delivery of industrial symbiosis across Europe and we want to contribute to the development and delivery of Industrial Symbiosis programmes.
If you are not familiar with Industrial Symbiosis then have a look at our case study booklet here.
This year we launched International Synergies Northern Ireland as a separate Northern Ireland registered company. Simply put we want to build on the success we have already seen, grow our commercial consultancy services, develop our training provision into areas such as water and environmental legislation and grow International Synergies Northern Ireland to become the leading industrial ecology consultancy business in Northern Ireland and Ireland.
The last few years has seen “Circular Economy”, “Resource Efficiency” and “Greenhouse Gas Emissions” rising up the Boardroom agenda but we have been delivering solutions for all three and more for the past seven years.
We know that we have skills and expertise that are transferrable to the public sector. With this in mind we plan to provide a range of products that will attract clients across all private, public and social economy sectors.
Many reading this have helped us in our journey to this point and I am extremely grateful for that. I hope that we can be assured of your continuing help and support and that when you think of procuring services or need to make a recommendation to someone else that you will immediately think of International Synergies Northern Ireland.”