Why the environment matters to me…

The climate change agenda took something of a back seat, while the world battled against Covid-19. But that doesn’t mean the environment didn’t continue to matter a great deal, to many people. So, to celebrate all things sustainability, help share tips for smarter environmental thinking and remind each other just how much our carbon impact matters, we’re inviting colleagues, friends of the business and our peers in the wider industry to take part in our quickfire environmental Q&A.

Next up, it’s Liam Given, regional sales manager at Close Brothers Asset Finance.

Where do you fit into the environmental sector? Tell us a little bit about your role at Close Brothers Asset Finance.

Close Brothers is a leading UK merchant banking group providing lending, deposit taking, wealth management services and securities trading.

I work within the Asset Finance division of Close Brothers, which involves visiting customers and supporting them to buy assets such as shredders, MRF facilities and waste vehicles, and providing a solution to help their business reach the next level! 

We’re split up into various industry specific teams including Transport, Manufacturing, Print & Aviation and Marine – with my team specialising in Recycling assets.

Complete the sentence – The UK is great at recycling

…paper and cardboard – these are our most recycled materials. Corrugated cardboard has seen an enormous increase in recycle rates, reaching highs of 84%! This is a trend that needs to continue and can be used as a benchmark for other areas of the industry.

Which sector do you think could achieve significant environmental progress this year?

We’re starting to see a large amount of tyre recyclers coming to the fore. Since tyres were banned from landfill sites, there has been no other option but to recycle this bulky waste. It is expected that 1 billion tyres will reach the end of their usable life within a one-year period –definitely not something to be ignored!

As recycling machinery continues to improve and demand for recycled products increases, it’s encouraging to think that over the next year we will be able to take further steps towards a ‘zero waste economy’. This essentially means that we will reduce, reuse and recycle all waste tyres wherever possible, with residual materials able to be utilised for energy recovery.

What’s the single biggest threat to the environment, in your opinion?

It seems to be an obvious answer, but I’d have to say climate change. To this day, scientists and politicians are still debating whether it’s actually a major problem! To really make an impact and tackle the issue, we all need to act as one and be pulling in the same direction. And quickly!

Share 1 tip to help people be ‘greener’, at work or at home:

There are many ways we can all look to be ‘greener’. Most recently we’ve installed energy saving lights, which may seem like a small improvement – but just think of the impact we could have if more households/workplaces in the UK were to follow suit. We could make a big difference. 

Tell us an environmental statistic that you think people need to know:

More than 700 million people in the world don’t have access to clean water and more than 2 billion have sanitation problems. With only 3% of the world’s water being drinkable, this shows why there is such a need to conserve it where possible!

Complete the sentence – in 100 years’ time, I hope…

…we live in a fully circular economy with zero waste. This would mean that all products and packaging are in use for as long as possible and materials are prevented from ever becoming rubbish!

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