Latest News

Dual sites score top at BRCGS audit

A globally recognised certification, BRCGS Packaging Materials evaluates company practices and procedures to ensure they are operating at the required standards across all elements of the business, including quality and product safety, and associated legal requirements. Dominic Drew, Group Managing Director, Board24 commented; “This is a very pleasing achievement and shows the diligence of our team to ensure we follow the strict systems we have in place pertaining to site safety, manufacturing procedures and compliance.” “Considerable work has gone into establishing those procedures so that compliance is now second nature to all our team.” BRCGS is a requirement that many customers expect and that Board24 holds in high regard to ensure a high-quality manufacturing operation is operated, protecting the integrity of the product and keeping staff and visitors safe at work. BRCGS certification is used in over 130 countries across the globe and sets the benchmark for good manufacturing processes.

Read More

Apprenticeships bring added value to our team

National Apprenticeship Week takes place from 5th to 11th February in 2024. It’s theme for this year is ‘Skills for Life’. Created to highlight the importance of apprenticeships in the workplace, we felt it important to reinforce this message and demonstrate how they bring such value to our team. Currently, we have 13 apprentices across our three sites and they undertake roles in engineering, human resources, customer service, data analysis, health and safety and manufacturing. Their workplace activities and learning are supported by a variety of colleges and training providers, who consolidate the knowledge they are gaining with legislative and technical requirements necessary to achieve the qualifications they are working towards in their respective fields. “Apprenticeships play a vital role in bringing new talent into the business and developing skills for life and the future team of Board24,” said Judith Chadwick, Head of HR, Board24. “It is so pleasing to see more opportunities available ranging from 16+ apprenticeships up to degree level apprenticeships giving people a chance to learn whilst they earn and be passionate about the career they are embarking upon.  “Over ¾ million apprenticeships were underway during the 2022/23 academic year, and I would hope to see that rise as awareness grows and the range of opportunities widens. It’s also important to note that they are not just for school leavers and young people. There is no upper age limit on who can apply making them perfect for those wishing to retrain or find a new career path.” To find out more about National Apprenticeship Week or apprenticeship schemes visit https://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/influencers/national-apprenticeship-week#

Read More

Meet the Team – Elaine Wilson

Elaine said ‘We have a very small team working at Larkhall so I have a very varied role including being qualified first aider. It’s a great company to work for and I’m looking forward to developing my skills further by completing a Mental Health First Aid course.” Elaine is also part of the wellbeing group at Larkhall and plays a part in organising company social events and in house events such as MacMillan Coffee morning. From Larkhall to Eurocentral, Elaine is looking forward to the move into a new building and a new chapter in her career. When Elaine is not at work, she loves going for lunch, or a night out with family and friends. Most of Elaine’s Fridays are spent at the side of a football pitch somewhere, watching her son Aidan play football. Aidan plays for East Kilbride youth team, who Board24 is proud to have provided sponsorship funds for recently.

Read More

A look at the year ahead

In turn, we increased our market share and continue to support our valued customers with high quality board and cases for their own sheet feeding and manufacturing operations. Not without its challenges, we closed the door on 2023 proud of our achievements and looking forward to what 2024 had in store for us. Perhaps the biggest event that will occur in 2024 will happen within the first few weeks. The opening of our new Scotland manufacturing site, Eurocentral. Capable of producing c. 100 million metres squared per annum, its capabilities and capacity are huge. It can manufacture a wide range of flue types including B, C, M, E, BC, MB, and EB. It is expected that it will manufacture 10% of the overall Board24 production volume in its first operational year. Our values and the positive impact on our business Intrinsically woven into the business since the relaunch in the summer of 2023, are our company values. The BOARD values will undoubtedly shape 2024 and this is how. BRAVE – We will continue to challenge perceptions, be brave in seeking new opportunities and investment and encourage our people to be brave to ensure they benefit from being part of our team. OUR FUTURE – Our leadership team continue to place the strategic future of the business high on the agenda. Eurocentral is a significant step in shaping the future of our business and the corrugated board manufacturing industry in the UK, and we are proud to be playing a pivotal part in that. ACCOUNTABLE – We are all part of the team, and practising accountability means that those teams run much more smoothly. Each person has a clearly defined role and responsibility. RESPECT – Respecting each other and the contributions we make to the business ensures our day-to-day activities operate generally without conflict. Our teams also afford our customers the upmost respect, and are known for their knowledge, professionalism and determination to succeed. DRIVEN – Our team members are driven and determined to offer market leading service and product. Furthermore, they are also determined to succeed personally with many of our team ambitious for learning and career development opportunities. Our customers and the marketplace In addition to our people and our values, 2024 will also hold much positivity for our customers. Further investment is expected to upgrade production capabilities ultimately bringing benefits to our customer base. We expect the marketplace to mirror conditions in 2023, however, we do expect that corrugated will continue to be in high demand as a sustainable packaging material. Businesses are still making the switch and unlocking the benefits that it can bring to Environmental, Social and Governance policies, aims and goals. That said, the cost-of-living challenges we face, undoubtedly continue to have an impact on the sector. 2024 will also be General Election year and we hope whoever leads our nation, places UK manufacturing at the heart of their manifesto. As we go through the year, I shall look forward to our team sharing our news with you, news from across the industry, and to a prosperous 2024 for us all. With Best Wishes Dominic

Read More

Winners of outstanding recognition awards announced

Awarded across all three sites, Coalville, Preston and Larkhall, the winners were informed this week and presented with an engraved glass star trophy, a choice of gift vouchers, a certificate and a letter from Dominic Drew, Managing Director, who spoke to all the winners. Two awards were presented at Coalville one to Lisa Bradley-Hill, Finance Administrator/Receptionist, and Dean Mills, Corrugator Operator. Lisa received several nominations from her colleagues who cited her warm welcome, happy nature and how she always goes above and beyond to help colleagues. “We would not be able to function without a Lisa Bradley-Hill in our office” was just one of the comments made. Similarly, Dean had several lovely comments including recognition of his charity work, his work ethic, and his attitude towards colleagues. In Preston, Jonathan Blackburn, Corrugator Operator, received the award for his positive work attitude and how he supports others in his team. And finally, in Larkhall, Teri Paterson, Customer Service Administrator received the award from colleagues who acknowledged her high levels of customer service, consideration for colleagues and always delivering consistently high levels of customer service. In addition to our winners, six colleagues also received a Highly Commended award. These were Harry Bowyer and Phil Slater at Coalville, Elaine Wilson and Will Kirkwood at Larkhall and Jacqui Savage and Mick Hodkinson at Preston. Judith Chadwick, Head of HR, Board24 commented; “We had so much positive feedback about these awards and received over 75 nominations from across the business. “It was wonderful to read the comments and reasons given by our people about their colleagues and to better understand the mutual respect they have that makes Board24 such a great work culture to be part of.”

Read More

Beyond the Box- Unpacking the myths

In a year when we’ve addressed the importance of educating children and their families to choose cardboard and be more environmentally conscious, it is only fair that we also address one of the most common misconceptions around the paper packaging industry: ‘overpackaging’. Criticisms about overpackaging tend to pop online whenever an oversized delivery box is dropped off, or when the void fill packaging we often find inside them is theatrically displayed on social media. While these criticisms may seem justified, it’s important that we don’t jump to conclusions, as it’s essential we peel back the layers of these claims and examine their validity. THE MYTH OF WASTED RESOURCES One of the most prevalent arguments made by the paper industry’s detractors is that the excessive production of paper is squandering Earth’s natural resources. While the assumption that we lose hundreds of trees daily due to overpackaging is easy to make, what this view fails to do is take into account the sustainable practices employed in the paper industry. The paper sector in the UK is deeply committed to using responsibly sourced materials. Most of the paper and cardboard products are made from recycled materials or sourced from sustainably managed forests. Sustainable sourcing means that saplings are planted to replace the trees that are harvested, allowing forests to continue to grow despite being used as a source for producing paper. If we’re focusing on individual trees, it’s worth noting the paper industry primarily uses parts of trees that are offcuts or waste from other industries, or trees specifically grown for paper production. This practice does not contribute to deforestation. In fact, sustainably managed forests contribute to the overall growth of trees, as they are replanted and replenished. These forests are not only renewable but are also expanding in Europe, ensuring a continuous supply without depleting natural resources. As already reported in one of our previous blog posts, European forests grew by an area bigger than Switzerland between 2005 and 2020, roughly the equivalent to over 1,500 football pitches every day. CARDBOARD VS. PLASTIC Oftentimes the debate around the environmental impact of packaging materials ends up becoming a stand-off between paper and plastic. This debate is far from straightforward and involves a complex interplay of factors. While plastic is lauded for its lightweight and durability, it poses significant challenges in terms of recycling and biodegradability, not to mention the use of limited fossil fuels. On the other hand, paper and cardboard present a different set of environmental benefits and challenges. To truly understand the environmental implications of these materials, we need to look beyond the surface and examine their entire lifecycle, from production to disposal. For example, there has been a move towards ‘re-use at any cost’, but this has significant drawbacks. In fact, the focus of the argument should be less on reusability, and more on the lifecycle impact of packaging materials. Cardboard, being biodegradable and recyclable, has a significantly lower environmental impact compared to plastic, which can take hundreds of years to decompose and is a major pollutant. CARBON FOOTPRINT CONCERNS The view that paper and cardboard result in unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions is another area of contention, one that’s exacerbated further when overpackaging concerns get thrown into the mix. While it’s true that all manufacturing processes emit some level of greenhouse gases, the paper industry has been a frontrunner in reducing its carbon footprint (between 1990 and 2019, emissions of fossil CO2 from UK paper mills fell from 6.6 million to 1.8 million tonnes – a decrease of 72%). In fact, one of the most compelling advancements in the paper industry is the transformation of modern mills into models of energy efficiency. These facilities have undergone significant upgrades to reduce their energy consumption, maximising efficiency in every step of the production process. By incorporating state-of-the-art technologies, mills can now do more with less, therefore reducing their carbon footprint. Many mills have also transitioned to using renewable energy sources. This shift is crucial, as it means a substantial portion of the energy used in the production of paper and cardboard comes from sources like biomass, hydro, wind, or solar power. These renewable sources are not only cleaner but also allow us to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. THE IMPORTANCE OF INFORMED AND RESPONSIBLE CRITICISM The criticisms of the paper and cardboard industry regarding overpackaging often lack a holistic understanding of the industry’s practices and its commitment to sustainability. This narrative can sometimes overshadow the significant strides made towards environmental responsibility. It’s essential to base our opinions and decisions on informed facts and comprehensive environmental assessments. Consumers have the power to influence change and demand sustainable practices, but their actions need to be grounded in facts, not misconceptions. A degree of scrutiny will always be essential for improving packaging solutions, but it’s equally important to recognise and support the sustainable practices that are already in place.

Read More

Meet the Team – Jonny Monkhouse

Jonny Monkhouse is a newly promoted production team leader from Preston who is celebrating ten years with us this month! Jonny joined the Board24 team in November 2013, where he started as a corrugator 3 stacker operator before moving into the role of control room stacker operator for corrugator 4. Now, in his role as Production Team Leader, he is drawing on the operator experience he has gained to guide his colleagues, maximise output, ensure safe systems of work (SSOW) are carried out, provide direction and feedback to workers during shifts, and foster and maintain a positive work environment for everybody.     Jonny is also one of our driven team leaders undertaking leadership development training with external training company, Beyond Theory. The Leadership Development Program is made up of an initial 4 modules: Leadership Styles, Managing Self, Team Building and Communication and has been incredibly well received by those who have benefitted from it so far. Jonny commented; “The course has been very helpful, and I’ve learned a lot on how to approach people, how to delegate specific tasks, and how to manage myself more effectively.” Judith Chadwick, Head of HR commented; “It’s great to see colleagues benefitting from the training we are providing and that it not only helps them to do their roles but also empowers them as people.”   When Jonny is not making corrugated board for customers across the North and Midlands, he likes to go to the gym, spend time with this friends and family and is a Preston North End supporter.

Read More

Charity begins where corrugated is made!

Our Coalville site will be donating toys to Marlene Reid Centre in Coalville.  This was suggested by a wellbeing group member to ensure donations were kept in the heart of the community where they work. The Marlene Reid Centre supports local families each Christmas with its Toy Appeal to collect brand new books, games, toys and gifts for local children, receiving support at the centre, who may not otherwise receive presents at Christmas. Our Larkhall colleagues will donating to St Ninian’s Food Bank, Larkhall, for the vulnerable and less fortunate. Donations can include tinned dinners, stewing steak, minced beef, curry, chilli, hot dogs, meatballs, and tinned vegetables which can be accessed by those struggling to pay for food. And finally, our Preston colleagues are supporting Cash for Kids Mission Christmas, Lancashire, which helps to distribute Christmas gifts to children who may not otherwise receive a present.   Once again, the charity asks that donations are unwrapped, brand new and can include selection boxes, sweets, board games, books, and toys. Dominic Drew, Managing Director, Board24 commented; “It’s fantastic to see our teams pulling together to support those less fortunate in communities where our sites are located, and we thank them sincerely for their generosity and hard work in planning and executing these campaigns. “In addition, should any of our visitors or suppliers wish to make donations, or other local businesses wish to use our facilities as drop off points, the donations would be gratefully and warmly received by our teams, and the charities that they have chosen to support.” Closing date for all donations at each site is 8th December.

Read More

Corrugated and the circular economy

This definition shows that corrugated as a packaging material supports this and is playing a pivotal part in helping the UK, Europe and beyond to be more sustainable and provide choices that support the circular economy principles. Recycling success The success of how corrugated is pushing forward the recycling element of the industry is evident. In a statistic provided by FEFCO the amount of recycled material found in corrugated has steadily risen from 73% to 89% in the last 20 years. This makes it one of the greenest packaging materials available and perfect for supporting businesses who wish to elevate their sustainability credentials and support the wider circular economy wherever possible. So, if you’re wondering what else makes it part of the circular economy here are a few facts (Source: FEFCO) Reasons why corrugated is circular 1. Bio-based and renewable: Paper used for corrugated packaging is almost exclusively made from natural resources, and any new fibres are obtained from sustainably managed forests. 2. Easy to recycle: Packaging manufacturers are increasingly using recycled fibres, which now account for 88% of raw material. 3. Prevents food waste: Production processes that kill microbes give corrugated packaging unique hygiene levels that prevent the cross-contamination and spoilage of fresh produce. 4. Adding value after use: Recycling paper as a secondary raw material today benefits every stakeholder along the supply chain. 5. Eco-design built in: In addition to saving time, energy, and money, corrugated packaging can be easily shaped for cost-efficient logistics and storage. 6. The real Circular Economy champion: As a circular packaging material, corrugated packaging is recyclable, biodegradable and based on renewable resources. Building sustainable communities Looking at the wider picture and how the corrugated industry integrates into the wider UK economy, not just it’s circular one, there is much to be proud of. Perhaps one of the most appealing elements of the UK corrugated sector is that it is not just dominated by global multinationals. It’s a representation of over 660 member businesses (Source: FEFCO) many of which provide employment, growth, and prosperity for people in the local communities where their manufacturing operations are located. This means that its people are often brand advocates and work hard to foster strong relationships with businesses as they look for new ways to package products that are sustainable and easily recyclable for end users whether that is in a corporate or domestic setting. Coupled with the skills of sheet plant design teams who are adept at creating packaging solutions that are material efficient, remove the need for single use packaging materials and deliver unrivalled performance, it’s easy to see why corrugated not only supports the circular economy principles but is also shaping it for many businesses. Dominic Drew, Group Managing Director, Board24 commented; “Corrugated has always been a hugely popular packaging material however there has been a definite shift in demand as more businesses seek sustainable, recyclable options. “With a variety of board grades available that supports all elements of the market from luxury gift packaging to heavy duty supply chain solutions, the team at Board24 is on hand to advise on the most suitable board grade for all our customer’s needs.” To read more about the circular economy of cardboard click here: https://www.fefco.org/benefits-corrugated

Read More

A brief history of Board24

It all began in 1985 when Larkhall had a corrugator installed – at that time it was owned and operated by another corrugated producer. This site then changed hands a further two times before it was finally acquired by well known name Mondi Board in 2001. Prior to that in 1999 Mondi had acquired both the Preston and Coalville sites. Preston had been established since 1995 and Coalville first opened its doors in 1987. Between 2001 and 2008 all three sites operated under the Mondi Board group until Logson purchased them on 21st April 2008. Just a year later, the first Casemaker was installed in Coalville, heralding the start of a new business division, Cases24. Further casemakers were installed in 2010 and 2012 with Casemaker 4 being the latest addition in 2017. Since April 2008 considerable investment has been made with a further corrugator being installed at Preston alongside other with other machinery installations and upgrades across the group. Dominic Drew, Group Managing Director, Board24 commented; “I was delighted to assume responsibility for the group when Richard McBride, a well-regarded industry professional retired, and since then the business has continued to prosper and retain its position as one of the leading sheet feeders in the UK supporting some of the UK’s best known and most well-respected sheet plants. “Investment in our future continues and in November 2022 build began on a new site, Eurocentral, in Motherwell to which our Scottish operations will transfer to in their entirety early in 2024. “We have also invested heavily in our people, with a new senior leadership team now established and several training and apprenticeship opportunities created to ensure the business continues to thrive and has a clear succession plan for generations to come.”

Read More