Download PDF version Contact company
Cordant Security to review the company’s supply chain and help find a sustainable solution to eliminate the unrecyclable uniforms

Cordant strives to adopt sustainability principles throughout its supply chain

Founded in 1957, Cordant remains a leader in recruitment and integrated facility services. Offering integrated services including recruitment, security, cleaning and technical electrical services, Cordant blend experience with industry knowledge and digital capabilities to create seamless processes which boost performance and profitability.

Cordant strives to adopt sustainability principles

Cordant Security is a specialist provider of security solutions, working with a national client base of high profile blue chip organisations with complex risk profiles, delivering a comprehensive and customer focused service, tailored to their needs. As the 8th largest security company within the UK, Cordant Security employs more than 4,000 personnel and works across a wide spectrum of industry sectors.

As an organisation, Cordant strives to adopt sustainability principles throughout its supply chain. Earlier this year, they approached GPT with a requirement to sustainably dispose of 20,000 obsolete uniforms. The challenge was exacerbated by the fact that uniforms designed for security and other FM related duties are not suitable for general wear and were therefore unsuitable for standard recycling methods.

To eliminate unrecyclable uniforms

The UK’s largest independent provider of waste management solutions and sustainable waste services, GPT Waste was commissioned by Cordant Security to review the company’s supply chain and help find a sustainable solution to eliminate the unrecyclable uniforms.

In order to meet the clients’ sustainability objectives, it was essential for GPT Waste to arrive at a solution which had minimal environmental impact. GPT Waste recommended the implementation of an innovative project that would turn the garments into Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF). This process uses new technology to capture the energy in non-recyclable waste and transform it into bricks or pellets that can be used to replace fossil fuels like coal or oil.

This solution was the most sustainable option for Cordant as every tonne of waste diverted from landfill eliminates 0.54 tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to that being emitted in landfill gas. This is a significant saving in greenhouse gas emissions.


GPT processed a total weight of 1,846 kilogrammes to 1.846 tonnes of RDF (based on industry averages). The 1.846 tonne would produce an approximate 6120kWh. which is roughly how much energy is needed to power three small houses for a year or generate enough energy to power 55,000 kettles for an hour – that could make a lot of cups of tea! This is a significant output in exchange for discarded uniforms. By adopting this strategy, the recovery rate is also 100% or a 100% diversion from landfill, so the landfill rate is 0% which is fantastic.

Edward Macfarlane, Managing Director, Cordant Security, said:

“We worked in partnership with GPT waste to analyse the most efficient and practical solutions. We learnt lessons from across the multiple sectors in which we operate. However, we found that the RDF method would be of most use to our own business by supporting our commitment to sustainability. As this solution is also saving us money, it is an all-round win for the business!”

Mike Callaghan, Head of Business at GPT Waste, said:

“We are delighted to have been involved in this project working with such a prestigious organisation. The output was fantastic and it is great to see practical and efficient solutions put into action and to work with such a forward thinking company that are keen and enthusiastic about adopting sustainability principles throughout its supply chain.”

As the costs of landfill continue to rise, RDF technology is seen as an innovative solution to alleviate the environmental footprint of general waste. Cordant Security is looking at incorporating this process into its general uniform life-cycle programme and believes that other service providers might want to follow suit.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

What are the challenges and benefits of mobile access control?
What are the challenges and benefits of mobile access control?

There is a broad appeal to the idea of using a smartphone or wearable device as a credential for physical access control systems. Smartphones already perform a range of tasks that extend beyond making a phone call. Shouldn’t opening the door at a workplace be among them? It’s a simple idea, but there are obstacles for the industry to get there from here. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the challenges and benefits of mobile access control solutions? 

Securing a sustainable future
Securing a sustainable future

The UK Government has set out an ambitious ten-point plan, known as the green industrial revolution, with an aim “to forge ahead with eradicating its contribution to climate change by 2050.” This makes our government the first major economy to embrace such a legal obligation. Green recovery Acknowledging climate change and meeting net-zero is a demanding challenge especially for those affected by the pandemic. But the UK Government, with the launch of its aspiring strategy, is investing everything in its power to promote a ‘green recovery.’ Here, Reece Paprotny, Commercial Manager and Sustainability Champion at Amthal, highlights how the fire and security industry has an opportunity to use the current recovery period to explore its own sustainable journey and embrace the significance of environment, economic and social collaboration, transparency, and accountability. Employing sustainable technologies Pressure is mounting on construction to find ways to reduce emissions and help meet net-zero targets The perception is that COVID-19 presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to re-write the existing rulebook. This is riding on the significance of changing public support for more environmentally friendly living opportunities, with associated cost savings, efficiencies, and cleaner industries. Innovative sustainable technologies are the key to kickstart this route to success.  Nowhere can this be seen more than in the built environment, which currently contributes to 40% of the UK's carbon footprint. Pressure is mounting on construction to find ways to reduce emissions and help meet net-zero targets. This is through the entire life cycle of a building, to reduce their impact on the environment from planning stages, through build and demolition. Building the right environment By creating the right policy environment, incentives for innovation and infrastructure, the Government can encourage companies to seize the sustainable opportunities of new technologies and value chains linked to green sectors. They can accelerate the shift of current carbon-intensive economic and industrial structures onto greener trajectories, enabling the UK to meet global climate and development goals under the Paris Agreement on climate change and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Transparent working practices Each industry sector is expected to engage and pledge its support to achieve the significant deadlines. Every company can make a difference, even with small steps towards a sustainable future. So whilst elements such as safety and security represent just one component of building the right sustainable environment, it paves the way to opening up our sector to greater efficiencies, transparent working practices, and encourages collaborative use of resources. Sustainability in security The security sector has a significant opportunity to incorporate ‘going green’ into its practices In fact, the security sector has a significant opportunity to incorporate ‘going green’ into their processes, and practices. This is right from product lifecycles to more environmentally friendly work practices when it comes to maintenance and monitoring services. When integrating environmentally friendly practices, starts with the manufacturing and production of the wide variety of systems in operation for the security sector. And some certifications and guidelines can be achieved, such as the ISO 14000 which looks into eliminating hazardous materials being used which in turn will reduce carbon footprint.  Upgrading supply chain process Observing the complete supply chain and working with partners to reduce unnecessary travel, shipments, and transportation of products, can all contribute and create sustainable processes.  In the maintenance and monitoring of products, it is essential installers and security specialists consider their own environmental impacts. Simple changes such as switching company vehicles to electric options for site visits can make a significant difference to climate change and improving air quality. Presenting sustainable ways of disposing of products at the end of their natural lifecycle is key to change in our sector. This is especially in the security industry where many customers will need a complete overhaul of outdated solutions or need systems upgrading due to changing threat levels. Sustainable evolution Progress is being made, specifically in the fire and security industry, in its sustainable evolution. Businesses are trying to develop a reputation for “sustainability” or “good corporate citizenship.” And it has gone well beyond the theory to the practical, where companies recognise activities have an impact on the environment and are also reviewing the social and economic influences. Three pillars of sustainability In a recent interview, Inge Huijbrechts, the Global Senior Vice President for safety and security and Responsible Business at Radisson Hotel Groups sees her vision to combine safety, security, and sustainability. Inge focuses on three pillars, namely, Think People, Think Community, and Think Planet. Think People means that we “always care for the people in our hotels and our supply chain.” So, in outwards communications, safety and security were always part of the Think People focus area. Think Community is caring and contributing in a meaningful way to communities where we operate. Finally, Think Planet makes sure that “our footprint on the environment is as light as it can be in terms of energy, water, waste, and carbon, and making sure that we incorporate sustainability into our value proposition.” Moving forward Apprenticeship schemes are integral to ‘think people’ and have a role to play in the social impact on the security industry There are immediate actions that can be taken by companies in the security industry to support sustainable development, working right from within a company to supporting industry-wide initiatives. From a social perspective, at a foundation level, “Think People’ can see the Living Wage Foundation as an example of a commitment to a team.  This is for businesses that choose to go further and pay a real Living wage based on the cost of living, not just the Government minimum. Apprenticeship schemes are also integral to ‘think people’ and have a pivotal role to play on the social impact on the security industry.  It addresses the sector-wide issue of finding employees with the right mix of skills to collaborate and meet discerning consumer demands for increasingly smart security solutions for homes and businesses. Impact of the full lifecycle of products From an environmental view, or ‘think planet,’ we need to collectively look at all elements of our industry, with a desire to analyse the impact of ingredients used, supply chain, or manufacturing alone, and also consider the full lifecycle of our selected products from creation to end of life. As Jamie Allam, CEO Amthal summarises, “This is a long-term, sustainable investment in our people, our products, and our business based on our values.” “When put together, a social team which feels empowers and operates in environmental optimum working conditions is in a position to provide a great experience to our customers, creating an economic positive difference. It forms the basis of a sustainable sector vision for the security industry-wide to adopt.” Taking action Amthal is taking action based on the ready-made universally agreed UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Also known as Global Goals, these are at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member states. This agenda is a plan of action for people, the planet, and prosperity. By being an early adopter, we believe we can engage with customers, partners, and suppliers on these issues and generate opportunities to innovate for mutual and industry sector benefit. Together, we can contribute to building a more sustainable security sector and future, and contribute to the UK Government’s green industrial revolution.

What is the impact of privacy concerns on physical security?
What is the impact of privacy concerns on physical security?

Adoption of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Union in 2016 set a new standard for data privacy. But adherence to GDPR is only one element, among many privacy concerns sweeping the global security community and leaving almost no product category untouched, from access control to video to biometrics. Because privacy concerns are more prevalent than ever, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact on the physical security market?