January 24, 2020

East Yorkshire waste oil recycling business recognised in Technology category of the National Family Business Awards 2019

North Cave-based family business Brocklesby Ltd has been recognised as one of the UK’s leading family businesses, chosen as a finalist in the Technology and Innovation category of the 10th National Family Business Awards 2019 held at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

A leading edible oils and food fats recycling company, Brocklesby transforms used cooking oils and food waste into feedstock for biofuel and renewable energy for the biogas industries.

Managing Director Robert Brocklesby (8th from left) with the Brocklesby team outside the company’s office in North Cave. Image credit: M&G Photographic

The awards honour and celebrate the extraordinary 4.8m family-owned businesses in the UK, which form the engine room of the British economy. The company was selected from hundreds of entries of family businesses all over the UK and Ireland after the panel were ‘blown away’ by the company’s dedication, commitment and pride at being a family business. In being selected as a finalist, Brocklesby has been recognised for its contribution to the environment, local community and the national economy.

As one of the leading companies in its industry, Brocklesby plays a significant role in reducing carbon emissions and fully supports the worldwide commitment to renewables and sustainability. Established in Hull in 1987 by Paul Brocklesby, he was later joined by his son Robert, who now heads the company.

Brocklesby Managing Director, Robert Brocklesby, said: “Being selected as a finalist is a great achievement for us. The National Family Business Awards are a great example of how companies built on values, integrity and trust like ours are excelling in today’s world. We’ve come a long way since my father started the company and our growth has been down to not only our unwavering appetite to innovate and finding solutions for waste issues, but the team’s hard work and commitment to making our business a success.”

By 1996 the company’s turnover had increased by 500%, outgrowing its Hull-based site, prompting the move to the 10-acre site in North Cave it currently occupies. Over the next 10 years the company continued to grow, eventually developing its technology to move into blending used cooking oils for biodiesel.

Robert added: “Brocklesby is built on a foundation of family values. Our team’s commitment to the company, to the environment, to our community and to each other also runs deep. We are, in the truest sense, a team and our growth, engagement and team morale are testament to this. We believe that going beyond our duties is fundamentally the right blend to our success. We proactively seek to support our local community and ensure our working practices are environmentally sustainable.”

Working with customers across the UK and Ireland, Brocklesby not only takes away used oil and fatty food waste, it provides a unique service solving water contamination issues using its specialist oil recovery systems, reducing customer’s cost and preventing environmental risk. Brocklesby’s experienced in-house team are able to make systems bespoke to customer needs, providing a service unique to each customer.

In 2017, at an investment of £14m, Brocklesby built an anaerobic digestion plant with the capability to convert over 60,000 tonnes of food waste into renewable energy, which could power over 11,000 homes. It also provides Brocklesby with heat to run its own recycling ovens and provides the energy to run part of its factory.

Robert Brocklesby said: “We don’t believe in landfill. We are committed to recycling 100% of all collected waste, including food waste. We’ve come a long way since we started and our growth has been down to our unwavering appetite to innovate, finding solutions for all waste issues, not only reducing what goes to landfill but creating a new energy and therefore widening our scope as a business.

“We are constantly innovating and developing products suitable for different markets. If we don’t know what the solution is now, we’ll innovate to try and find one. When we recycle, our process allows us to create renewable energy, green electricity and biofuel. By replacing fossil fuels with biofuels, every litre of biofuel produced from waste saves approximately 2.8kg of carbon. Our renewable energy delivers a carbon reduction in excess of 84% – we are committed to continually cutting our carbon emissions and improving the environment.”

Through innovation and expert knowledge, 2018 saw the launch of Brocklesby’s High Erucic Rapeseed Oil (HERO) pre-treatment processing plant, growing the business into one of the only UK refiners of HERO. The plant takes a raw non-food vegetable oil and purifies it so it is suitable for use as a technical slip oil, used for products such as cling film. Brocklesby now exports over 5,000 tonnes of refined oil to manufacturers in France.

The company is now getting ready to further expand its renewable energy plant. Plans have been submitted to extend the facility to enable an increase in energy production from waste products.

Robert Brocklesby added: “I’m incredibly proud of Brocklesby and the progress we have made since it was established and over the course of the last 15 years since I took over the reins of the business. It’s a good feeling knowing that I’ve been able to continue to grow the business my father worked so hard to create.”

For more information visit www.brocklesby.org