Colin Scarsi, Greencare
Anna Addison

Member Article

Teesside manufacturer not only ?green? by name?.

A Middlesbrough wheelchair manufacturer is proving that it is not only green by name, but green by nature too.

Greencare Mobility, whose factory was opened by Princess Diana, is one of the most environmentally-friendly wheelchair manufacturers in the world thanks to a number of ‘green’ initiatives it has implemented over the years.

The manufacturing business, which has operated on the same Riverside Industrial estate site since launching, has reduced its reliance on electricity by 40% following a thorough audit by the Energy Saving Trust and installing PV panels to the building to turn light into electricity.

The business supplies many local people who visit their factory to buy their wheelchairs thus reducing the amount of mileage spent compared to when wheelchairs are bought on online.

During the wheelchair production process, the need for painting has been eliminated and welding has been reduced. Every component used in Greencare’s wheelchairs can now be recycled, as can the wheelchairs themselves which come with a lifetime warranty, are long-lasting thanks to their design and structure and are puncture-proof thanks to the use of Greentyre’s flat-free tyres, also produced by Greencare.

Greencare founder, Colin Scarsi, has long-believed being environmentally aware is essential for the business community. He said: “I think as a company we were ‘green’ before it was ever considered either fashionable or a necessity. I have always believed that business has a rent to pay to the environment in which it operates and a responsibility to the community by minimising its environmental impact.

“In manufacturing, it’s not always easy to be green but we’re doing what we can and we’re currently working hard to try and return our component producers to the UK to further reduce carbon footprint. It’s hard but we’ll get there and I do believe we might maintain our position of providing the most comfortable and greenest wheelchair on the market.”

Greencare Mobility is the last main stream wheelchair manufacturer in the UK and is a provider to the NHS, as well as private customers who can, uniquely, visit the factory in Middlesbrough to watch their wheelchair being made to their exact specifications.

The business employs 28 people, manufacturing several thousand wheelchairs every year. Greencare is the wheelchair division of Colin’s business, Greentyre, and was established in 2005 along with David Batty, who has over 20 years experience designing and manufacturing mobility equipment and is widely recognised as one of the leading authorities on manual wheelchairs.

The company manufactures wheelchairs that can be built exactly to a customer’s personal specification and is the last UK wheelchair manufacturer supplying in volume to the NHS.

The idea for the business emerged following Colin’s many successful years running Greentyre- which was opened by Princess Diana on the same site in 1992- selling Colin’s invention, the puncture-proof tyre, which appeared on Tomorrow’s World. The site produces almost a million tyres each year which are sold worldwide.

In just one year Greencare has seen its export sales soar, now accounting for around 20% of the business, boosting production and sales from its Riverside Industrial Estate site.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Anna Addison .

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