With over 70 years of operation under its belt, Luton-based Cawleys has an impressive heritage to draw on. What’s more, under the stewardship of new Managing Director, Phil Gudgeon, the company is also looking to the future in order to make the most of its extensive knowledge base and well-developed infrastructure.
“I have been with Cawleys for five years and have worked my way up from Operations Manager through to Managing Director, so I understand the values of the business and the strengths it has as a company,” explains Mr Gudgeon. “I had previously worked in a number of different waste management companies but Cawleys are a class apart in terms of taking a long term view and having a highly innovative approach. I’m determined to continue developing the company in the same manner. Following Mr Gudgeon’s appointment as Managing Director, Jon Cawley, Chairman of Cawleys, said: “Phil has proved himself a highly skilled leader and a great person to work with. He knows our industry inside out, and cares deeply about the people and processes that we are all part of. I’m delighted that he is taking over as MD of the business. We all are. He is well liked and well respected; we’re lucky to have him.”
As a business with strong traditional values at its core and a board of seven that includes two generations of the Cawleys family, Mr Gudgeon is keen to retain the key elements that been integral to its longevity, while at the same being brave enough to make the necessary changes that will secure its future. “Our long-standing focus on customer service will remain but one of my main objectives is to make the company leaner and more efficient in terms of what we process. By doing so will be able to bring added value to our client base and build ever closer relationships with them.”
Evidence of Cawleys’ forward-thinking approach was underlined when the company made the decision at the start of the 21st century to move away from landfill in favour of new technologies. By investing in its own Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) to process mixed waste streams the company has been able to offer exceptionally high recycling rates for mixed general waste, while it also pioneered the use of anaerobic digestion to tackle food waste in the retail sector.
This innovative approach continued last year when Cawleys helped the first entire business area, Canary Wharf Estate, to be declared a ‘Clean Coffee Zone’ with its through-the-line coffee recycling service. For all its business customers it also introduced a new system to tackle plastic waste management and clean waste streams called ‘Infinity.’ Mr Gudgeon played a key role in delivering these innovations to the operational side of the business, while he was also instrumental in the company becoming the first waste management business in the UK to join the DVSA Earned Recognition Scheme.
Now fully bedded into the role of Managing Director, Mr Gudgeon is now helping Cawleys write the next chapter in its already illustrious history. “There will be challenges ahead, particularly in terms of finding drivers, but this is an issue that we’re working hard to resolve. At the same time, we’re committed to continuing to build strong relationships with our customer base. This will involve helping them extract more value from their materials and finding additional ways to utilise that material. We have a fantastic workforce and having continually invested in our plant and facilities, all of which will ensure that we can keep giving our customers the best possible experience.”
Cawleys certainly looks in safe hands as it continues to move forward as a business.