Heathhall Business Centre has always enjoyed a diverse range of business tenants and, with the recent expansion and upgrading of the estate, it is becoming an even more dynamic place to operate.
Award winning new tenant, UniGreenScheme, is a welcome addition at Heathhall. This forward-thinking company comes with an inspirational founder and a great start-up story.
The Back Story
Michael McLeod is the co-founder of UniGreenScheme, an asset retail operation which aims to collect, and sell redundant university equipment. A natural entrepreneur with a passion for waste prevention, Michael set up the company while himself studying at Birmingham University. During his post graduate years, he observed the difficulties experienced when disposing of, and re-using, disused laboratory equipment. They do say that if you want a job doing well then you should do it yourself. So, Michael did just that. Having recognised the need for a specialised scheme – he decided to set it up himself.
UniGreenScheme now offers an important route for the buying and selling of University equipment. It operates on the premise that ‘one man’s waste is another man’s treasure’! An item which may no longer be needed by one university – could be the very thing that another University is looking for. UniGreenScheme works to bring the two together.
How it works
The process is simple. Redundant items are collected, stored and made available for sale through the UniGreenScheme website. Potential buyers can browse the equipment and arrange to make a purchase. The scheme will then deliver the equipment and give half of the profits back to the original University. In a recent example, a model oil rig found a new home in Norway instead of being disposed of.
There are multiple benefits to the scheme. The re-use of equipment means that there is less waste disposal, but it also enables the University to receive some of the proceeds to reinvest into research. In turn, those Universities that need to purchase equipment have the opportunity to obtain items at a lower cost than buying new. With most Universities operating on limited budgets, the advantages of using this scheme are obvious.
The company has enjoyed immediate success and now employs 12 staff who work from the company headquarters in South Wales. Following rapid growth, the need for additional premises and wider coverage has emerged. Dumfries was considered to be the perfect base to cover the Northern end of the UK and UniGreenScheme believe that Heathhall Business Centre is a great location to open their new office and expand their business. The launch of the Scottish operations has been part funded and supported by the Scottish Government’s Zero Waste Programme.
And it doesn’t stop there. More Universities are signing up to the scheme and awareness of the service is increasing. Overseas buyers have been using the website so it’s easy to see how UniGreenScheme could have global appeal. There is also the capacity for the scheme to handle other types of equipment. All in all, there is exciting potential for growth and we look forward to seeing how this modern company progresses.