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Twelve sustainable companies brightening up the South East

By Matthew Dunne-Miles
11 August 2021
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With the recent report from the United Nations’ pointing towards a ‘code red’ when it comes to climate change, there couldn’t be a better time to spotlight sustainable companies in the South East, who are practising what they preach when it comes to carbon neutrality, eco-friendliness, and actively tackling waste.

The Big Lemon, Brighton (thebiglemon.com/)

Credit: The Big Lemon CIC

A Community Interest Company looking to change public transport through the use of electric buses. Founded in 2006, The Big Lemon now runs a number of bus services around the city of Brighton, as well as coach services across the UK.

Brighton Apparel Co, Brighton (btnapparel.co.uk/)

An independent fashion brand reflecting the spirit of Brighton in its t-shirt designs (from ice cream cones to deckchairs, to seagulls) while also looking to provide a sustainable model for the apparel industry, from using organic materials, auditing the working condition of their textile suppliers, and only printing t-shirts when ordered.

Chimney Fire Coffee, Dorking (chimneyfirecoffee.com)

A Surrey-based speciality coffee roaster aiming to create a fully sustainable coffee experience, from transparent sourcing, direct dealings with bean farmers, and biodegradable packaging.

The Compostable Cup Company, Ashford (thecompostablecupcompany.co.uk)

A supplier of compostable packaging to businesses across Kent, from branded coffee cups, to sandwich packaging, to beer mats.

Green Mop, Hove (www.greenmop.co.uk)

Award-winning specialist commercial and contract cleaners who are committed to using eco-friendly products as well providing fair pay and working conditions for their employees, Green Mop is looking to change the culture around cleaning services for both the people and the planet.

Hill House Farm, Surrey (hill-house-farm.com/)

Credit: Hill House Farm

A family-run farm offering next day delivery of meat and groceries, Hill House Farm has thought a lot about their ‘Farm 2 Fork’ packaging, with recyclable boxes, plastic packaging, insulation, and even the recyclable tape sealing the box.

LC Energy, Surrey (lcenergy.co.uk

Operating sustainably in the energy sector is no easy feat, but LC Energy is committed to offering low carbon energy services and wood fuel supply while keeping to targets of responsible and sustainable sourcing of raw materials. 

Portsmouth Port, Portsmouth (portsmouth-port.co.uk

Proving that businesses in all shapes and sizes can adapt, Portsmouth’s cruise ferry and cargo terminal was named ‘Sustainable Business of the Year’ by The News Business Excellence Awards 2021 for their efforts in going carbon neutral; having introduced air quality sensors, solar panels, and electric vehicles in recent years.

Recycle & Sew, Southampton (recycleandsew.com/)

Drawing on 30 years stitching experience, Recycle & Sew offers group courses and specialist classes in everything from pattern cutting to tailoring to help encourage people to recycle and reuse clothes previously considered worn out.

Seacourt Planet Positive Printing, Oxford (seacourt.net)

The printing industry remains a sector with an uncomfortably big carbon footprint, but Seacourt shows that even those with heritage can look to adapt and change. 

The Oxford-based printing company has been running for over 70 years and now uses a waterless offset LED drying technique for printing materials. Coupled with other business practices, including a zero-waste policy and 100% renewable energy,  Planet Positive Printing now operates a Net Positive effect on the environment.

Shepherd Neame, Faversham (shepherdneame.co.uk

A brewery founded in 1698 and responsible for well-known draughts including Spitfire and Orchard Brew, 97% of the grain and hops used are recycled as animal feed on local farms. Shepherd Neame also invested £3milion in a Water Recovery Plant to recycle wastewater from the brewing process. 

Waste 2 Taste, Oxford (waste2taste.co.uk)

Credit: Waste 2 Taste

Part-community cafe and part-catering service, Waste 2 Taste is the brainchild of Marie Lehri and Sandra Ruge – who combined their culinary and volunteering experience into founding two businesses operating on the same philosophy of using food surplus as their main source of ingredients and operating a ‘never waste anything’ policy.