6 September 2021
Member of the Conservative Environment Network Christian Wakeford has visited constituency business Garic to learn more about their environmental efforts and work boosting local skills.
Wakeford met with workers at Garic, including directors and apprentices, and experienced a demonstration of their eco-friendly products such as welfare units, lighting, and ‘armadillos’, which Garic have transformed or developed to reduce their environmental impact.
Earlier this year, Wakeford became a Public Transport Champion as part of the Conservative Environment Network’s Net Zero Champions initiative. In his role, Wakeford has continued to campaign to make the UK transport system greener. Through the visit, he has demonstrated his support for a local business pushing for the same cause.
Garic also showcased how they collaborate with local students to develop local skills, through Manchester Business School and local universities and provide the opportunities for apprentices to build their skills at the company.
The visit was part of the Railway Industry Association’s (RIA) programme Rail Fellowship Programme, which encourages MPs to gain hands-on experience of the rail sector, with site visits taking place in their local area. Since physical visits restarted after the 2021 Covid-19 lockdown, the programme has focused on a number of issues, including how rail can support the UK target to reach Net Zero by 2050. Last month, Conservative MP Lee Anderson visited Van Elle in his constituency to learn about their railway electrification projects.
RIA have long been vocal in campaigning on decarbonisation, with their RailDearb21 campaign, launched this year, calling for the Government to begin a rolling programme of electrification and low carbon trains, such as battery and hydrogen.
Christian Wakeford, Member of Parliament for Bury South, said: “It was fantastic to visit the local rail site Garic to learn more about the industry’s decarbonisation efforts. Many businesses are already embracing the need to decarbonise their operations, and the Government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan will help businesses with confidence and clarity on the steps they must take on the pathway to net zero.
“As a Conservative Environment Network Net Zero Champion, I look forward to working in partnership with the Government and businesses on future action and strategies to realise the net zero ambition together.”
Max Sugarman, Public Affairs Director at the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “The Rail Fellowship Programme brings Parliamentarians together with members of their local rail supply chain, to showcase the work our sector is doing to provide clean transport across the country.”
“Reaching Net Zero is a crucial target for the UK, and one which rail has a pivotal role to play. By getting passengers and freight onto the railway network, and delivering electrification schemes and low carbon self-powered trains like battery and hydrogen, UK rail can lead the way in reducing emissions and providing an even greener form of mass transit.
“We are proud that the Programme has facilitated these vital discussions on reducing our emissions and showcased a business that is supporting these decarbonisation efforts. We would like to thank Christian Wakeford MP and Garic for making this visit possible.”
Mark Albiston, CEO of Garic, said: “The visit was a great opportunity for us to showcase Garic’s range of low carbon products and how we are supporting the rail industry on their decarbonisation journey. Our eco credentials and reducing emissions is something we’re really passionate about so it was great to talk in length to Christian, who was equally as passionate, about how we’re helping our customers on their journey to Net Zero – and of course about our own journey too.
“It was encouraging to talk about job creation opportunities within Garic and the wider industry too. We’re continually looking at ways to bring in new talent to the business, in turn strengthening our industry’s capabilities, and talking about our apprenticeship programme with Christian was really insightful.”