Shields History


The beginning

Gordon Shields sells his home to start Shields, a company originally created to recycle precious and rare elements from the electronics industry.

Gordon identifies spent chloroplatinic acid and spent gold cyanide solution being thrown down the drain by an electronics business. He knew that all the noble metals had value and convinced the client to save the spent solutions. He recovers £76,000 worth of precious metals and returns the majority of it to the client – creating one of the first environmental business cases – the client no longer threw the materials down the drain – good for the environment and the client made money which is good for business.

Shields then became dedicated to helping clients minimize their impacts on the Environment.


    Shields begins working with BT

    Shields starts to recycle BT’s exchange equipment dealing with the environmental issues.

    Shields creates processes to safely recycle equipment and minimise the environmental impacts from the hazardous materials found in the equipment. Shields also devises risk assessments for British Telecom to safely remove equipment from site with no disruption to the network.

    Some equipment is processed by Shields and redeployed into BT’s and other networks reducing CAPEX spend – an early example of re-use, the highest form of recycling.


    Shields develops environmental risk management tool

    Shields worked out that the equipment from the modernisation programme contained over 1,200 tonnes of capacitors containing polychlorinated naphthalenes and a large tonnage of mercury wetted relays.

    This project became Europe’s biggest environmental project of the 1980’s and 1990’s and Shields processes were used to ensure environmental issues were effectively managed and minimized.

    At this time Shields creates software that includes an audit trail and environmental Balance Sheet – the first environmental risk management tool – ensuring clients could prove that they were environmentally responsible and minimized their impact on the environment. This software has continually been developed by Shields and still provides risk management for its clients today – the major telecoms networks of the world. Shields also returned over £90m worth of recycling value from this project.


    Environmental Standards Development

    Gordon Shields is asked to join HRH Prince Charles ‘Business in the Environment’ an organisation promoting and encouraging Business to lead in Environmental stewardship.

    Shields is invited to assist in the development of the world’s first Environmental standard BS7750 and becomes the joint first company in the world to have a certified environmental management system.


    C02 emissions reductions 

    Shields begins to measure and reduce CO2 emmisions

    Michael Heseltine, minister for the Environment presents Shields with a certificate in 1995. Shields also becomes one of the first companies to measure and reduce C02 emissions, publicly declare environmental impacts and prove how they were minimised.


    Fonebak floats on AIM & Shields Expands Globally

    Shield de-merges the mobile division and starts Fonebak and Shields begins its global expansion

    Shields decides to de-group the mobile division and float it on the AIM market. Michael Meacher, Minister for the Environment publicly praises the solution at Fonebak’s launch. Fonebak receives worldwide recognition and is invited to work with United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).

    Shields strategically develops the network side of the business and starts global expansion by acquiring Delbay of Canada in 2001 and the US company A&T Technologies in 2003. With the aim of bringing environmental and supply chain expertise to the Americas. Shields further expands its services to the Netherlands, France and Spain.


    OPEX and CAPEX savings

    Shields adds Redeployment to their ReSale and Recycling streams

    Shields enhances its portfolio of services for telecom infrastructure operators by adding Redeployment to the  ReSale and Recycling streams (helping operators to deliver large OPEX and CAPEX savings).

    Simultaneously adding global test labs to ensure quality and customisation of cabinet builds.


    Install, maintenance and decommissioning.

    Shields UK creates its three pillars of on-site engineering 

    Shields grows its services division in the UK and transforms from a removal service into the three on-site engineering pillars we see today consisting of install, maintenance and decommissioning.


    4G and beyond 

    Shields USA begins providing the latest generation of wireless technology.

    Shields grows its services division in the USA installing the newest generation of wireless technology.

    Shields installs some of the first 5G network sites in the world for Verizon in 2017 in Sacramento, California.


    Equipment, Services & Software

    Shields continue to develop 5G Networks, Environmental Excellency & Software of the future

    Shields continues to expand its services divisions in Europe and the USA. Shields is selected to be a partner in the installation of Vodafone’s 5G network.

    Shields wins a major contract with its long-term partner BT and they continue to work together to deliver environmental excellence on BT’s latest major programme.

    MarketPlace, Shields latest software solution is launched and wins a major contract within weeks of being launched. The Management team is strengthened to enable further growth.