DEFRA: A joint consultation on ‘Best Available Techniques’

The UK Government, Scottish Government, Welsh Government and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland have today launched a joint consultation on ‘Best available techniques’– A future regime within the UK – Preventing or minimising impacts on the environment from industry.

The Consultation sets out the proposed approach for a regime for developing ‘Best Available Techniques’ which will be used in environmental permitting for certain industrial activities.

As we develop the detail of the new regime for ‘Best Available Techniques’ development within the UK, we particularly wish to hear views from stakeholders on key elements of policy design, including the organisation and governance process, public participation, scrutiny, related policies on implementing ‘Best Available Techniques’, and how the process will be evaluated.

For more information, and to access and reply to the consultation please visit:

We also want to take this opportunity to make you aware of work that is ongoing to develop a Common Framework for the development and setting of BAT within the UK. This is part of the UK Government and Devolved Governments Common Framework Programme. The Common Framework will consider the working arrangements between the UK Government and Devolved Administrations, including the working practices of the proposed governance arrangements that are set out in the consultation. We have an agreed provisional Common Framework for BAT, but there will be more work to do this year to finalise it.  We will keep you updated as work on the Common Framework progresses.

The Environment Agency continue to manage the operational impacts of Coronavirus and look to the opportunities ahead in 2021

Lee Rawlinson, Director of Regulated Industry, Environment Agency: As we move into 2021 we will continue to keep you up to date on what we are doing to adapt our regulation and support you during the ongoing Covid-19 situation. Whilst we are still in this difficult and ever changing situation, we want to help you to continue to operate and comply with all relevant environmental legislation. 

Our Coronavirus regulatory position remains in place, which you can access here: Environment Agency regulatory response to coronavirus – GOV.UK ( We also continue to have our Covid-19 Regulatory Position Statements, and they are being regularly reviewed. All the details can be found here: COVID-19 regulatory position statements – GOV.UK ( If you are using one of these positions, please ensure you keep checking for updates. 

For a general update on all our activities related to Coronavirus, please read our latest operational update: Coronavirus: Environment Agency update – GOV.UK ( If you have more specific queries please continue to speak to your normal Environment Agency contact.

An update letter from Chief Executive, Sir James Bevan, Environment Agency, on how the Environment Agency continue to manage the operational impacts of Coronavirus and look to the opportunities ahead in 2021. Read more: Environment Agency – Sir James Bevan – Working together in 2021


Powder coating specialist, Vertik-Al has appointed two new specialists to its business improvement and maintenance teams as part of its continuous investment and improvement strategy.

“We’re excited to bolster our team with a wide range of expertise,” says, John Park-Davies, managing director of Vertik-Al.  “Regular improvement plays a vital strategic role in developing the entire business and supporting our customer base.”

With Angus Mackie moving into the Allumette group managing director role, Park-Davies stepped up to Vertik-Al MD in 2020, taking the business into a new era of leadership.  Building on its 55 years lineage, Vertik-Al has built a reputation for delivering consistent high-quality finishes, fast, through a programme of strategic investment and technological advancement.

With quality and efficiency central to the Vertik-Al proposition, Darryl Thompson joins the planned and preventative maintenance team asVertik-Al New Recruits electrical engineering manager and is responsible for the electrical needs across the Birmingham site.  Darryl brings over 30 years of mechanical and electrical engineering expertise and experience to the role.

Kevin Driscoll will head the company’s business improvement team, focussed on building stronger partner alliances.  With 25 years’ experience in the aluminium fenestration industry, customers will benefit from Kevin’s knowledge, industry insight and client-centric approach.

“We’re experiencing tremendous momentum as more and more businesses and specifiers turn to powder coating as their finish of choice which is why we have focussed on strengthening our team with talented individuals who will support us in achieving excellence,” says Park-Davies.

About Vertik-Al

Vertik-Al was the first company in the UK to apply powder to aluminium back in the 1960s and is home to the country’s first ‘vertical’ powder coating line.  It is the only applicator in the UK and Ireland to hold the GSB International quality seal for Approved Coated Aluminium and is one of a handful of applicators to possess membership of the prominent product certification scheme, QUALICOAT. In addition to coating bodies, Vertik-Al is an active member of both CAB and ALFED.

The business operates from a purpose-built facility in Birmingham and employs over 180 people from the local area.  Vertik-Al is an Allumette limited company.

For more information on Vertik-Al and its services visit

Funding boost to get young people get into work

New £1000 cash support for businesses to help with the cost of providing a traineeship.

Employers can now apply for a £1000 cash boost to help them take on new trainees, Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, Gillian Keegan has announced today (27 January).

The new scheme will support young people to gain the skills and experience they need from the very start, helping them to get a job, an apprenticeship, or pursue further study. The cash boost – which is available until 31 July 2021 – will help businesses with the cost of providing a high-quality work placement for a trainee. This includes providing facilities, uniforms or helping with travel costs. Businesses offering new traineeship opportunities will receive the £1,000 bonus for every trainee they take on with up to a maximum of 10 trainees. Employers can claim the cash incentive for all work placements that have been completed since 1 September.

Read more: Funding boost

EMR reveals major sustainable investment for its Willesden site

  • Update to the power supply promises 20% increase in power efficiency for the only metal recycling shredder within London’s M25
  • Long-term investment follows switch to renewable power and reinstatement of rail access to site to allow low-carbon transport
  • Innovations linked to EMR’s Decade of Action sustainability strategy
EMR Willesden

EMR Willesden

European Metal Recycling (EMR) has taken another significant step in its transition towards a sustainable future with the arrival of a state-of the-art medium voltage/low voltage (LV/MV) inverter at its Willesden recycling facility. The innovative technology will increase the power efficiency of the only metal shredder in operation inside the M25.

The metal shredder recycles 250,000 tonnes of metal a year. Its inner-city location provides convenience and cost savings to London’s construction industry and avoids over 20,000 long distance lorry journeys which would be required to move waste metal to the next nearest metal shredder.

EMR’s £460,000 investment at Willesden will also help London’s businesses and local authorities cut their own indirect carbon emissions, ensuring that metal waste processed today becomes part of the circular economy. Meanwhile, the site’s easy access to the A404 and the city’s critical Westway dual carriageway provides a vital and sustainable benefit to the capital’s economy.

The metal recycling facility is part of a seven-acre EMR site, which also includes London’s only refrigerator recycling facility, processing end-of-life fridges locally while capturing ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

Commenting on the latest sustainable steps EMR is taking, the company’s Managing Director for Ferrous Metals, Bob Garwood, said: “We know how strategically important our Willesden site is to the customers large and small that use it each day. Our latest long-term sustainable investment at Willesden is an important step in helping EMR, and London as a whole, decarbonise in the years ahead.

“Major manufacturers and construction firms in the area can now demonstrate that they are disposing of the waste materials they produce in a responsible, lower carbon way that returns metal waste back into the circular economy. Thanks to the broad infrastructure available at our 60 facilities across the UK, EMR has an unrivalled capacity to recycle steel, aluminium, copper wires, plastics and more.”

Following the successful arrival of the new LV/MV inverter at Willesden, EMR will review its other major UK sites – including Tilbury, Liverpool and Birmingham – as it continues to invest in its Decade of Action sustainability strategy.

For more information on EMR: