Engineering Power Women: Laura Hepburn

by | Nov 18, 2020 | Business, Causes, Environment

Greenology is at the forefront of new and innovative ways to reduce plastic sent to incineration/landfill whilst producing energy and valuable bi-products.

Laura Hepburn is the founder and Director of a significant new Tees Valley business, Greenology (www.greenologyuk.com). The Tees Online spoke to Laura about her commitment and enthusiasm which has allowed this company to exceed expectations.

Laura studied at Teesside University and gained her Masters degree in Future Design. As part of her studies Laura developed economic initiatives in Africa, to create energy, build the economy and solve waste issues. This has led to her speaking at several institutions about problem plastics including the UN in New York. More recently Laura has been awarded a Masters in Innovation and Sustainability from Oxford.

Laura is quite simply unstoppable and is a force for good in promoting sustainability. Outside of work Laura loves volunteering work and is a visiting lecturer in design, sustainability and innovation at Teesside, Cambridge and Oxford Universities.

Laura’s tenacity and achievements have earned her several well-deserved accolades including Northern Power Women (NPW) and Top 50 Women in Engineering WE50 List. She is also a finalist for two very prestigious awards: EveryWomen Artemis Award for the most inspirational woman running a business trading for 18 months to 3 years, and the Institute of Directors’ Young Director of the Year.

However, Laura is very humble about these tributes and recognises that her team is key to her success. Laura is proud of their perseverance and belief in the company especially during the recent relocation.

The now Middlesbrough based business has proved itself to be at the forefront of new and innovative ways to reduce plastic sent to incineration/landfill whilst producing energy and valuable bi-products. Greenology’s current initiative is to deal with end of life tyres and turn them into oil for generators and marine applications as well as crumb for playgrounds. However, the company are already looking to the next exciting project, ‘Blade Runner’ which will turn end of life wind turbine blades into marine grade oil to power boats to fix wind farms.

The company is home to many world firsts. After the arrival of their new shredding machine they shall be the only known pyrolysis plant with these facilities. The company’s forward thinking does not end there as all processes are scalable, allowing for future expansion. However, the company are ever changing and looking for new ways for themselves and their clients to be sustainable.

The Greenology business model for the tyres has attracted the attention of JCB. Their world leading system is fully traceable and transparent. Each client understands exactly where their tyres have gone and how each bi-product is used allowing them to demonstrate responsible disposal.

Each new venture sees Greenology investing in new equipment but more importantly people. Greenology have recently created jobs and have taken on four new apprentices who are now all studying HNCs at TTE. Inclusion is at the heart of their recruitment policy. Many of the staff come from wide socio-economic and disadvantaged backgrounds and some have learning difficulties. Three of the new apprentices were previously long term unemployed.

Laura is deservedly proud of her business and her team which are helping to work towards a reduction in carbon and shape the future of waste recycling. This small company not only demonstrates the talent we have on our own doorstep but shows how small local business can be disruptors through their innovation and fresh thinking.

Laura truly is an Engineering Power Women and a role model for women in sustainability.

 


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