Local steel and cladding company, KR Group, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the sustainability category for the VIBES Scottish Environment Business Awards 2022.

Our environmental achievements have once again been recognised on a national level. Following a series of awards finals this year, including the CeeD Awards and Northern Star Business Awards, the team at KR Group are hopeful.

The VIBES Scottish Environment Business Awards are held each year to showcase organisations that have demonstrated significant business benefits from good environmental practices. It is a partnership between the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), The Scottish Government, the Energy Saving Trust, Highland & Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, Scottish Water, Zero Waste Scotland, and NatureScot.

The Awards are further supported by CBI Scotland, the Institute of Directors (IoD), Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Bright Green Business, Scottish Council for Development and Industry and the Scotch Whisky Association.

In 2021, we first announced our pilot scheme initiative, KR Bon Reduction, and our plans to repurpose waste composite panels that would otherwise go to landfill. Thanks to partial funding from ERDF and Zero Waste Scotland, we were able to plan for a new repurposing facility and equipment designed to strip the steel jackets from the panels and efficiently cut them to size.

The build of the new facility is set to commence later this year. In the meantime, our newly appointed Cladding Panel Separator, Trevor, is tasked with repurposing the panels manually.

Once the steel jackets are stripped, rigid PIR Board remains, which is perfect for insulating most spaces in domestic, commercial, and industrial structures. This is sold in a variety of sizes via our new website.

Director, Nicola Fraser, holding our repurposed PIR Insulation board in their effort to increase the sustainability of construction.
Project Manager, Ellen Delph, counting our repurposed PIR Insulation board stock in their effort to increase the sustainability of construction.

In an industrial city such as Aberdeen, the sheer amount of construction waste generated is something KR Group have long wanted to tackle. Aside from our primary environmental focus of cladding panels, we have also invested time into finding solutions for used safety netting and harnesses.

Over the next 5 years, KR Group’s circular economic solution to cladding waste is set to divert more than 2,650 tonnes of cladding waste from landfill and prevent 7,700 tonnes of carbon emissions, equal to removing 4,460 cars from the road.

Ellen Delph, KR Group’s Project Manager, has been at the forefront of our sustainability developments. She explains, “Following COP26, businesses are realising the time to take sustainability seriously is now. Not only are moves like this essential for our planet, but finding creative solutions and breaking away from bad habits can save you time and money. For us, launching KR Bon Reduction made a lot of business sense and naturally aligned with our growth.”

KR Group was founded in 2003 by husband-and-wife duo Kenny and Nicola. We have since grown to a team of 49, and service the construction industry nationally. Despite this, we remain rooted and loyal to the Northeast of Scotland. “We are still a small, family-run business,” explains Business Director, Nicola. “We’re proud of our team and how we’ve grown in the last few years, through what has been a tricky time to navigate for most businesses. Despite these challenges, we’ve continued to prioritise our social and economic efforts. So, being recognised for that means a lot to us. We appreciate the opportunity and look forward to coming together with like-minded organisations.”