AN environmental co-ordinator at a Thirsk company has been named best green champion by Investors in the Environment (iie).

Chris Cole of Inspired Pet Nutrition (IPN), Dalton, collected his award at a ceremony for Yorkshire and Humber when his company also collected its green level accreditation.

Mr Cole, who is also quality auditor, helped IPN gain bronze level accreditation in 2016. It is now the first UK pet food business to go straight from bronze to green level.

He has been at IPN – the UK’s largest independent producer of dry pet food – for nearly 11 years. Following two years in production he then joined the technical department.

"I became interested in environmental issues and their potential impact on the business and took advantage of IPN’s career development programme to gain more knowledge," he said. "I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to put what I have learnt into practice and that it has brought benefits to the business."

Becky Taylor,of Investors in the Environment, said: "Chris Cole was awarded the Green Champion award for jumping from Bronze to Green accreditation and achieving a great green score, implementing excellent levels of staff training and increasing environmental awareness within their manufacturing environment."