ODS Business Services, which has its UK headquarters at the Renault Spectrum building in West Swindon, has had to cope with a massive surge in the demand for its EcoDiscs.

ODS, who are the largest European manufacturer of CDs and DVDs, specialises in producing giveaway discs on magazines and newspapers.

The firm has recently launched the flexible, patented EcoDisc which is 100 per cent recyclable, offering the same sound and picture quality of a standard DVD.

Sales of five million units in Europe show that the EcoDisc has been widely accepted, while in the UK a sudden surge in demand in the last six weeks saw sales soar to millions of units.

After two and a half years in R & D and covered by several worldwide patents, the EcoDisc is half the thickness and weight of a conventional DVD, using half the raw materials, which reduces transport and postage costs.

Twice as many EcoDiscs fit into a 40-ton lorry in comparison to standard DVDs. This reduces the fleet's diesel consumption.

The market for CD and DVD giveaways into magazines and newspapers is one of the largest for the optical discs industry in Europe.

In 2005 an estimated 1.16 billion discs, using 18,000 tons of polycarbonate to produce them, were distributed across Western Europe.

Standard DVDs cannot be recycled because of a non-biodegradable resin that bonds the layers during production.

In contrast, the ODS EcoDisc is 100 per cent recyclable.

As the EcoDisc can be produced with only half the amount of plastic and also fewer rare metals, ODS is contributing to the protection of the environment.

The first mainstream film to be distributed on EcoDisc by an independent Nordic film-maker was An Unfinished Life starring Robert Redford, pictured below left.

ODS managing director Ray Wheeler said: "The real turning point is that buyers have overcome their concerns about adopting new product technology.

"Clients are now re-ordering the EcoDisc for their promotions and some UK magazines are starting to replace conventional DVD orders with the EcoDisc.

"The Mail on Sunday has just trialled the EcoDisc for their recent giveaway.

"Approximately 2.5 million EcoDiscs were successfully used.

"We anticipate the MOS along with other national newspapers will switch all their promotions to EcoDisc, as part of their own campaigns to use fewer natural resources."

There is even speculation that the new flexible EcoDisc could change the face of DVD manufacturing forever. If demand continues to outstrip sales forecasts, we could be witnessing the birth of a manufacturing shift as dramatic as the switch from vinyl records to CDs in the late 1980s.

EcoDisc is available as DVD-Rom and DVD-Video.

For a free promotional EcoDisc contact commercial director Franky Marulanda on 01793 428742 or fm@ods-businessservices. com.

  • Company now employs 3,500 workers

  • ODS is the leading European manufacturer of pre-recorded discs in the covermount business for newspapers and magazines. They have contracts with 80 per cent of UK publishers.

ODS started in Dassow, Germany in 1997 with 40 employees and a turnover of ten million euros.

Today, ODS employs 3,500 people in 16 countries including Germany, BeNeLux, France, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic, Spain, Greece, Poland, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom.

The annual production capacity is 1.05 billion discs (648 million CDs, 502 million DVDs).

ODS Business Services UK was established in 2003 in London with four staff.

ODS Business Services UK now employs 300 full-time staff.

ODS UK operation invests £4m in new machinery and moves into famous Swindon landmark, the Renault Spectrum Building, a 380,000 sq ft facility designed originally by Sir Norman Foster.

The firm's website is: www.ecodisc.net

  • Building has star-studded history

  • THE former Renault distribution warehouse - which featured in the Bond movie A View to a Kill - is making it big in the film industry once again at a million pounds a throw.

The award-winning Spectrum building in West Swindon, which has been an important landmark in Swindon since it was opened in 1983, is now the European hub of the DVD movie industry after it was acquired by Germanowned Optical Disc Service (ODS).

The company used to operates from premises in Frankland Road, Blagrove, and has doubled its workforce to 600 over the last six months inside the 300,000 sq ft Spectrum building.

The distinctive, yellow-roofed former car parts plant designed by Millennium Dome architect Lord Norman Foster was in full production in the summer.

ODS recently acquired the PanEuropean rights to provide Hollywood studio Universal Pictures with more than 100 million DVDs a year.

It also acquired the hugely profitable Deluxe Media Services - a division of the Rank Group - in Scandinavia, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France and Benelux.

Other customers include Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros and Sony Pictures - making it the leading manufacturer of DVDs and CDs in Europe.

ODS commercial director Franky Marulanda said: "ODS now has the total DVD supply services throughout 16 countries in Europe, with the UK and Swindon playing a pivotal role."

The acquisition of the Spectrum building was in a £1m a year rent deal which was negotiated by commercial property advisors Colliers CRE, based at Broad Quay, Bristol, with Swindon commercial property agents Whitmarsh Lockhart and Savills acting for the landlord Burford.

James Lockhart, a partner at Whitmarsh and Lockhart based at Dorcan Way, Swindon, said: "When Renault moved out of the building in late 2001, the then owners Green Property renamed the building Spectrum.

"The building attracted the interest of a UK-based Chinese company that wished to use it for a permanent display and exhibition centre for Chinese companies."

"Jeremy Clarkson and his TV crew used the showroom for a Top Gear feature. More recently, the main Ford dealer in Swindon, Allen Ford, has occupied the front showroom and workshop facility on a short-term lease."

When Renault commissioned Foster Associates to design the warehouse, his brief was to create a building that not only stood out in the car market, but was also recognisable in the environment.

Lord Foster fulfilled this brief by creating an innovative structure with a roof painted in Renault's striking yellow livery. There was no signage on the building as this was distinctive enough to identify the company.