Setting the bar


Marston’s PLC are a leading FTSE 250 Brewery, Pub and Bar Chain providing food and drink services across the UK. With over 13,000 employees positioned across some 1,024 sites and 5 breweries, they had already simplified their supply chain for waste by having a single provider to deliver their services nationally. In 2016, we successfully secured their national “total waste management” contract. Marston’s were ready to move beyond the regular and routine waste management service in favour of something different.

UKWSL contractually committed to delivering a minimum 5% reduction in the first contract year with a further 3% reduction to be delivered in the second year. From day one, the account management team sat with the customer’s management team to discuss project opportunities, environmental and financial impacts and to agree a delivery roadmap. All stakeholders were then able to review project progress and successes along the way. This Strategic Business Plan spans the life of the contract and looks even further into the future in order to ensure we create long term sustainable solutions rather than focusing solely on short term gains.

The proposition we delivered incorporated our signature ‘holistic’ approach. This required us to engage with all elements of their waste management operation to deliver significant and sustainable efficiencies. In so doing, we demonstrated a significant capacity to identify and deliver smarter optimisation with an overall better class of service handled through our ‘Premium’ Customer Services Team. We also factored in special project working to find and instigate circular economies for significant and difficult-to-treat waste streams. In so doing, we were able to help transform their waste management profile while delivering a better standard of service for both scheduled and reactive collections.

The Cost Saving Process & Engagement

Most people would assume that when it comes to waste management, “what works for one will work for all”. This means that most client staff and consumers barely stop to think about the ‘right’ thing to do with waste, after all, throwing waste away is rarely something that people expend conscious effort on. We have recognised this fundamental obstacle to increasing on-site segregation early on and we develop bespoke engagement solutions most fitting to the various site user groups across an estate. Our approach to engaging people is based upon the understanding that “Where there are people, there is personality…”.

As a result of this, UKWSL committed to sending trained hospitality sector auditors to review the services at every site in the UK. Sites span the length and breadth of the UK from Dundee to Plymouth and Norwich to Anglesey. The project followed a six sigma based DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control) approach to ensure that changes delivered a long term cultural change in the business. At each location the auditors engaged with the General Manager to discuss current waste handling procedures.

This included phone based audits for identified archetypes, however where significant deviation was encountered, a site visit was planned in and a new sub-archetype formed. This gave us a firm understanding of the “as is” situation. Our auditors also reviewed food sales trends to determine the optimum food waste service needs. A similar review was conducted for ‘wet sales’ to ensure an optimal glass bottle collection service was implemented. With all information being measured and analysed, our team were able to offer recommendations to improve service through improved segregation and container optimisation.

Following site reviews, Marston’s PLC estates team reviewed the recommendations for change. Together a timeline to mobilise change was agreed and implemented. Following the changes, sites were closely monitored for a period of 3 months. This control phase ensured that changes were successfully adopted by the sites. This control monitoring came in the form of financial reviews, regular site feedback and service partner feedback. Savings were then tracked on a monthly base against a baseline cost to demonstrate success.

As part of the recommendations for change, UKWSL not only focused on the technical specification for change, but we also identified ways to change the working culture of sites. New internal containers, signage, posters and a bespoke e-learning video were created to ensure new and existing staff were made aware of the system and business objective to segregate. These tools also highlighted the efficiency impact each site was having on both the business and the environment. A key part of the ongoing process has been to demonstrate to General Managers how the changes reduce costs and improve the P&L of their business.

The Effect On Operational Delivery

Since commencing the contract, we have achieved a significant improvement to service level. Since mobilising, we have delivered 98.22% service success rate across our supply chain. This encompasses 104 of our partners delivering some 478,500 scheduled collections per annum.

Before contracting with UKWSL, Marston’s PLC had also reported an average recycling rate of just 50% with all remaining waste being sent to landfill. Within the first 18 months of working with UKWSL this had increased to 73% recycling with a further 26% of waste being sent for recovery. As a result, less than 1% of all waste arisings are presently sent to landfill and we have rolled out 100% of the changes to the UK estate. Further to this, we are also working to expand strategic relationships to create new bespoke bulk waste handling routes to achieve ‘real-world’ zero-waste-to-landfill in 2019.

The Savings

To date these projects have delivered a 6% reduction in the customers budget. This has exceeded our projections and was reached in just 7 months despite savings rolling in over a staggered optimisation programme which is still ongoing. We achieved the year two target within 14 months and the cost saving benefit is enjoyed directly by the customer as we create sustainable efficiencies influencing waste minimisation and segregation. The benefit has therefore been felt by every General Manager and has fuelled further engagement ahead of our move to address more difficult wins requiring superior engagement and commitment from client staff and service users.

Ultimately, our commitment does not stop once we achieve targets. UKWSL are a trusted partner to our clients and can be relied upon to exceed expectation. Through our innovative “Gain Share” scheme we look for continuous improvements that will deliver further cost reductions. Our model is aligned with our commitment to clients so that the more we save the customer, the more we can earn. To this end, we ensure that our agreed percentage from “Gain Share” exceeds the profits we would have earned continuing with an “as is” solution. This incentivisation drives forwards investment allowing us to achieve more for clients while sharing efficiencies for true mutual benefit.