Worcestershire company national finalist in Barclays green awards

An innovative company, based in Worcestershire and known for their jute bags has been selected as one of the Top 12 green business leaders in the 2008 Barclays Commercial Bank Green Leaders in Business Awards.

The Awards recognise those companies who are using pioneering processes or new sustainable technology, products or services to help beat climate change and, crucially, boost their own profits.

Green Leaders in Business was open to all UK and Irish companies, and has three separate categories – companies with a turnover below £1m; between £1m and £20m; and above £20m.

Jutexpo, competing in the medium business category, is now one of 4 companies in this group hoping to be selected as a Winner in the Green Leaders in Business Awards.

One of the companies leading us away from our dependency on plastic is Jutexpo, who manufacturer, market, sell and distribute jute bags.

Although similar products are available elsewhere, Jutexpo have been able to produce their bags in large quantities at low prices, taking a traditional raw material and turning it into an accessible must-have item.

In practical terms, the 12 million jute bags sold so far equate to some 1200 million plastic bags saved from landfill. On a broader scale, Jutexpo believe their real contribution is in helping educate consumers about the environmental impact of non-recyclable waste.

The company’s growth has been remarkable, starting with a turnover of barely £200,000 when they launched in 2004 to nearly £5 million in 2008, a figure forecast to double in the current 12 month period.

Now working on expanding their customer base to include some of the biggest multi-nationals, Jutexpo are also looking to expand production overseas, setting up joint ventures in Dubai and New Zealand.

Barclays Commercial Bank marketing director, Richard French, said:
“Jutexpo are not only protecting and preserving our natural world, but demonstrating how their ‘green’ credentials generate a competitive advantage that is confirmed through increasing profits.

We believe Jutexpo offers a fresh perspective in the way they use innovative solutions to do business in a financially successful and sustainable manner.”

The National Finalists will now be invited to present to an expert judging panel, chaired by leading environmentalist Tom Burke, including The Carbon Trust, Bloomberg, and the WWF, who will decide the winners of the three business categories.

Barclays marketing director for Local Business, John Davis, said: “Green Leaders has highlighted thriving businesses such as Jutexpo that are providing an environmentally friendly way to address momentous issues, such as the earth’s limited natural resources. It is a great achievement for Jutexpo to have reached the National Finalist phase and we wish them every success in the future”.

Winners will be revealed before an audience of 250 guests at a gala luncheon at the East Wintergarden in London on Tuesday 9th September.

The event will also mark the launch of a limited edition book, spotlighting the pioneering accomplishments of all the winners
and finalists.

Produced entirely from sustainable sources, it will be sent to government heads and influential figures around the world, showing how British business is leading the way in a new industrial revolution – one that promises to protect and preserve our planet.

More information about the Awards can be found at www.barclayscommercial.com/greenleaders .

Barclays Commercial Bank has teamed up with key partners to develop an exclusive environmental proposition for its customers:
• Through Barclays Capital’s award-winning expertise, we can help customers with carbon emissions trading.
• We work in partnership with the European Investment Bank to offer an exclusive cashback scheme to customers financing a wide range of capital expenditure projects, with a minimum project cost of £200,000 and a maximum value of £17 million. Limits subject to change but are based on Euro exchange rate of 1.45.
• Businesses can go to www.barclayscommercial.com/environment for further guidance on environmental issues.

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Jenny Stokes at Aspect Communications on 0208 673 2020 / 07966 612636

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Notes to editors
Barclays Commercial Bank provides relationship banking to 81,000 larger and medium business customers in the UK (£1m to £1bn turnover). Customers are served by a network of relationship and industry sector specialist managers who provide local access to an extensive range of products and services, as well as offering business information and support.
Barclays Local Business provides great value to their customers by offering services and a comprehensive range of tailored business banking products to more than 630,000 businesses typically with a turn over less than £1 million.
For further information about Barclays, please visit our website http://www.barclays.com .