Brothers Damien and Patrick Courtney are cleaning up in their sector. They’ve seen turnover at their Birmingham-based waste-disposal and waste-management company grow tenfold in the past four years, from £422,000 in 2005 to £5.2m in 2008. Set up in 1989, Premier Waste UK (12th) processes up to 800 tonnes of waste each day on behalf of its public and private-sector clients, handling everything from removal and recycling to site cleanliness.

TWMA (45th) is the Scottish equivalent, run by MD Ronald Garrick. Headquartered in Aberdeen, this firm turns over a stonking £25.4m and employs 330 people, with operations spanning Egypt, Nigeria, Norway, Dubai, Libya, Malaysia and the US.

Garrick’s customers hail predominantly from the oil and gas industries – and business is booming: “The impact of new environmental legislation means demand for our services is hotting up,” he says. “We’re also going great guns in industrial waste-management services, such as recycling contaminated earth to clean it up and make it safe; and dealing with certain by-products of refinery processes.”

Even though sales have jumped an average 60 per cent each year, Garrick isn’t resting on his laurels: “We’re always looking at ways to diversify,” he says. And despite headlines of redundancies and recruitment freezes, Garrick isn’t wielding the axe. Quite the opposite: he’s planning on upping staff numbers this year: “I expect to employ 350 people by the end of 2009.”

Midway down the Hot 100 list are two firms specialising in renewable energy: Wind Prospect Group (47th) and Greenergy (48th). Wind Prospect Group is one of the oldest British companies in this field. Starting out 20 years ago, with just a handful of people in the UK, the group has grown to employ 160 staff, with operations in the US, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Poland, France, China and Hong Kong. Taking in its overseas activities, Wind Prospect Group has achieved planning consent for 583 wind turbines, built almost 100 wind farms and advised on over 11GW of renewable energy schemes. In one of its latest projects, it’s been working with car firm Humphrey Group to install wind turbines on the firm’s industrial estate in Suffolk, where it employs 150 people. Wind Prospect Group has also moved into marine renewable energy and large-scale solar power.

Sales at the Bristol-based company have quadrupled from £2m in 2005 to £8.3m in 2008. Impressive? Yes, but small fry compared to Greenergy’s turnover of £1.7bn. 

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