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UK has second-highest number of B Corps in the world

Research by green energy experts Uswitch has revealed Moodle, an online educational platform designed for distance learning, is the world’s most popular B Corp business, followed by Coursera and TOMS.

B Corp certification is awarded to businesses that meet the highest standards of accountability when it comes to their social and environmental impact, and there are now almost 5,000 B Corp businesses officially achieving B Corp Certification in the world.

The Most Searched For Sustainable Brands

The social and environmental impact of the products we buy, and the companies we buy them from, is now more important than ever to consumers. So, to discover which sustainable businesses are the most well-known around the world, researchers analysed Google search data, to reveal which ones consumers are Googling the most.

Moodle tops the list with over 53.5 million global searches each year. The Australian-based company is hailed as the world’s most popular learning management system and was crucial throughout the pandemic when classrooms were closed.

Coursera, the open online course provider that works with universities to offer qualifications, is second on the list with 35.9 million global annual searches, followed by the sustainable shoewear brand TOMS in third place, receiving over 14.9 million searches every year.

Popular brands such as premium ice-cream manufacturers Ben & Jerry’s and the world’s first carbon-neutral brewery BrewDog also appear in the top 15 most popular B Corp businesses list, ranking in seventh and 15th place respectively.

Top 15 Most Popular B Corps

Rank Company Name Annual search volume
1 Moodle Pty Ltd 53,550,000
2 Coursera 35,930,000
3 TOMS 14,920,000
4 Redbox 14,480,000
5 Athleta, Inc. 13,643,000
6 Warby Parker 11,335,000
7 Ben and Jerry’s 10,281,000
8 Kickstarter PBC 10,257,000
9 Envato 9,384,000
10 Boomera 8,403,000
11 Nature et Decouvertes 6,555,000
12 Vestiaire collective 5,736,000
13 Rentcars LTDA 4,812,000
14 Allbirds, Inc. 4,781,000
15 BrewDog 4,688,000

The Most Searched For Sustainable Food and Drink Brands

The research also looked at food and drinks organisations that have been recognised by B Corp – it reveals the American ice-cream manufacturer, Ben & Jerry’s, is the most popular sustainable food and drink brand in the world with over 10.2 million searches every year.

Scottish-founded BrewDog is the second most popular food and drinks B Corp business, with 4,688,000 searches every year, followed by Thrive Market, the membership-based retailer selling purely organic and natural food products, in third place.

The top five is made up of two subscription services; the UK-based meat delivery company ButcherBox is fourth, and Gousto is fifth with over 2.4 million searches.

Top 10 Most Popular Food & Drink B Corps

Rank Company Name Annual search volume
1 Ben & Jerry’s 10,281,000
2 BrewDog 4,688,000
3 Thrive Market 3,669,000
4 ButcherBox 2,737,000
5 Gousto 2,447,000
6 NATURALIA 2,104,000
7 Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams 1,719,700
8 Alpro (Alpro SCA) 1,286,500
9 Mindful Chef 1,240,500
10 Tony’s Chocolonely 1,149,000

The Countries With the Most B Corp Certified Businesses

From Australia to Zambia, there are B Corp certified businesses all over the world, and the research also reveals the countries with the most certified B Corps. The United States takes the top spot, with 1,418 in total, followed by the United Kingdom with 590, and then Canada with 323.

Although it might not be a surprise that the USA is on top given the size of the country, it is worth noting that the process to become recognised by B Corp and receive the certification is very tough and incredibly thorough, so it’s only handed out to organisations who really are making a difference.

Top 10 countries with the most certified B Corps 

Rank Countries Total number of certified B Corps
1 United States 1418
2 United Kingdom 590
3 Canada 323
4 Australia 296
5 Brazil 181
6 Chile 136
7 France 151
8 Italy 134
9 The Netherlands 126
10 Argentina 119

To read the full research, please visit: https://www.uswitch.com/gas-electricity/most-popular-bcorps/

Six supply chain predictions for 2022

2021 saw many major challenges for logistics and supply chain professionals. With capacity constraints, ecommerce growth and driver shortages creating dilemmas for many as well as the increased focus from the industry on environment and machine learning, it was a year that was definitely not without its tests. 

While reflecting on some of the ways the industry sought to overcome these challenges, Chris Jones, Executive Vice President, Industry & Services at Descartes Systems Group, takes a look at what to look out for in 2022… 

Global supply chains will be busy, congested, and chaotic.

The challenges facing global supply chains show no signs of slowing down, with UK businesses left to navigate the complexities of Brexit and the subsequent delays to their operations, alongside the extra administrative burdens. Whilst some of the uncertainties surrounding the transition are beginning to ease, many firms remain concerned about how delays could impact their operations post-Brexit.

The key to navigating customs clearance is undoubtedly preparation. Planning is crucial not only for compliance – but also for growth and resilience – and businesses that are yet to lay the groundwork risk accidental non-compliance and further congestion at ports. With full UK customs changes now in effect as of January 1st 2022, businesses should prioritise the implementation of supply chain software solutions to take back control and handle customs declarations in-house or ensure they work with a customs partner who can provide full transparency at every step of the process.

Online buying will continue to fuel growth in home deliveries, presenting challenges that demand new strategies.

The pandemic saw an increase in ecommerce that is set to continue in 2022 as the changes in consumer buying behaviour become more structural. This clearly presents both an opportunity and challenge for retailers and last mile logistics companies. The increase in volume will increase the challenge on an already tight last mile delivery capacity. Speed and reliability of deliveries will either come with a premium price, or remain as uneven as it has been over the last two years. For example, Amazon’s Whole Foods business is now incrementally charging for delivery to offset increased delivery costs.

We anticipate that more companies will re-evaluate their “free” delivery strategies and look for alternative delivery strategies such as combining deliveries for individual customers or locations, in order to minimise delivery costs and maximise the available delivery capacity.

The Great Resignation will accelerate the existing driver exodus, increasing the focus on retention.

Whether long haul or last mile, the driver shortage is endemic and will continue to materially impact retail, distribution, and logistics companies. While finding new drivers to replace or add capacity will remain important, it’s also much harder to find drivers now than it has been in the past.

Instead, in 2022, companies will focus more on driver retention and productivity. Lowering turnover – which has traditionally been high – puts less pressure on the number of drivers that need to be hired and keeps the more experienced ones improving delivery performance. Keeping drivers driving and reducing stress will be the top retention priorities. Companies will need to do a better job at reducing wait times and improving driver quality of life through routes that are more realistic to execute, that don’t result in extended wait or on the road time and facilitate more predictable hours.

Driver shortage will force an emphasis on better planning.

The increase in home delivery and driver shortage combined exacerbated supplychain vulnerabilities that, until now, retailers were just about managing to cope with – and have paid the price in terms of consumer expectations.

In the absence of effective planning, logistics companies and retailers will compromise a satisfactory delivery experience. While continuing to seek to recruit and train drivers, improving the overall productivity of existing drivers by optimising delivery routes should be the first port of call. By using advanced route optimisation software, all delivery options can be evaluated instantaneously, ultimately maximising capacity and increasing efficiency.

Sustainability will become an opportunity, not a challenge for supply chains.

The focus on sustainability will increase in 2022 and it won’t just be from consumers. Many investment funds are taking an increasingly stronger stance on companies’ sustainability strategies and actual performance. This powerful combination will push companies to move faster to reduce their impact on the environment. It also presents an excellent opportunity for supply chain and logistics professionals to raise the visibility and value of supply chain strategies and operations. Productivity enhancement is at the heart of any good supply chain performance improvement program and almost always results in greater efficiency, reduced paper and other waste that directly translates into reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Equally, many consumers are looking for delivery choices that help the environment, which presents retailers with the opportunity to look at innovative ways to combine or steer deliveries to reduce the mileage associated with home delivery. This will not only benefit the environment and delight the consumer but will also result in lower delivery costs for retailers.

Machine learning will go mainstream in supply chain technology.

This year, we expect machine learning (ML) to continue to be quickly adopted by supply chain technology providers because of the rich supply chain data that exists to teach ML algorithms. The result will be more accurate plans, estimated-time-of-arrival (ETA) and improved recommendations that make supply chain and logistics operations more productive and reliable. Rather than displace existing supply chain technology, ML will augment it through embedded uses, such as optimising stop times, delivery locations, drive times and ETAs, or as part of greater data analytics solutions that are used to provide deeper insights into supply chain performance.

While 2022 will undoubtedly be a challenging year for logistics and supply chain professionals, the “C-suite” will recognise that their supply chains need to be world-class to help drive revenue and profitability. This will provide plenty of opportunities to show the value of advanced logistics and supply chain strategies, tactics and technology—and transformation will not only be the key to success but, for some, the key to survival.

Chris Jones – Executive Vice President, Industry & Services at Descartes Systems Group Chris has over 30 years of experience in the supply chain market, including the last 10 years as a part of the Descartes leadership team. Prior to Descartes, he has held a variety of senior management positions in other organisations including: Senior Vice President at The Aberdeen Group’s Value Chain Research division, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Development for SynQuest and Vice President and Research Director for Enterprise Resource Planning Solutions at The Gartner Group and Associate Director Operations & Technology for Kraft Foods.

How to mitigate carbon emissions in your supply chain

By Zencargo

We have now entered the ‘decisive decade’ and it is time for companies to take sustainable action now. To avoid global temperature rises of above 1.5°C, CO2 emissions need to reach net zero by 2050 and to be cut in half within the next decade.  

The aftermath of COP26 has prompted governments to make climate pledges, and taught businesses and consumers all over the world that sustainability is essential in order to create a resilient future. Companies are beginning to create change by aligning their business goals to sustainable frameworks such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. 

A recent survey by the United Nations shows that companies rank supply chains as the biggest challenge to improve their sustainability performance. But after such a volatile year for the supply chain industry, tackling another major challenge may be quite daunting. However, businesses can use this an opportunity to create resilience in their supply chains. 

Recognising the potential sustainability can bring to supply chains, we have created a ‘How To’ guide on ‘Cutting CO2 from the supply chain’.

From addressing the challenges and identifying the opportunities, this guide walks through:

  • Why cutting carbon emissions makes commercial sense
  • How stakeholders through the business can benefit
  • Creating the foundations of a sustainable supply chain
  • How business can create an action plan to cut carbon emissions

To find out how you can start to build your sustainable supply chain today, click here to download the guide.

The importance of having an ethical supply chain

A recent Accenture Strategy survey of nearly 30,000 consumers in 35 countries found that more than half of UK customers “want companies to take a stand on issues they care about such as sustainability, transparency and fair employment practices.”

In today’s world consumers expect products that are safe, sustainable, and responsibly sourced.  They want to buy and connect with brands who care about the products and services that they offer; who value the importance of an ethical supply chain that will incorporate social and human rights together with environmental considerations into how they do business across the world.  To deliver on these expectations and secure consumer trust, businesses must ensure their supply chains are wholly transparent.

An ethical supply chain focuses on the need for corporate social responsibility, working to produce products and services in a way that treats its workers and the environment, ethically.  The pressure is mounting from all sides: NGOs, investors, governments, and consumers are all demanding more from retailers and brands.

Segura was founded in 2012 to combine digital expertise with detailed knowledge of global supply chains, in order to create a simple-to-use business solution. They deliver market leading solutions to retailers, focused on helping them to achieve ethical, sustainable and compliant multi-tiered supply chains through automatic supplier onboarding, mapping and reporting.

Peter Needle, Founder and President at Segura says that “our aim is that one day every product will come with provenance: accessible, trustworthy information about origin, journey and impact.  We want to empower shoppers to drive progress through their purchasing power and at the same time, generate rewards for brands making a positive impact on people and planet.”

Retailers have spent decades working on their supplier relationships. However, most of their focus has been on making apparel at the right price and ever faster – typically by increasing the number of suppliers. In a competitive marketplace, failure to respond to consumer demands can be catastrophic. But retailers have moved from dealing with a small number of large apparel manufacturers close to home, to a vast array of suppliers all over the globe.

Many solutions have sprung up over recent years, to try and help brands have more visibility and control over their suppliers. However, these companies don’t always offer the complete package and very often falter after the first tier of interrogations.

Peter believes that it is important to start with a central ‘top down’ system.  “The Segura platform has the capacity to map and validate all suppliers through multiple tiers, capture their supplier compliance and standards information, verify this by linking to audit and certification partners, and to draw in data from bottom-up tracking and other vertical systems.

“Once you have visibility in both breadth and depth over your supply chain, you can also target measures that will improve performance.  Observing the buying patterns of your suppliers will help you identify and tackle the many inefficiencies that exist. The savings made in this area can be ploughed back into your suppliers in exchange for improvements in their ethical and sustainability performance.”

Segura’s view is that any business should first adopt a central, top-down platform to map out all suppliers through multiple tiers, validate the suppliers , and provide advanced reporting, acting as the collaboration and control system. Once it has been embedded, other specialist solutions can be onboarded, and their value greatly leveraged. Peter believes that “tracking the orders cannot be underestimated, it gives suppliers fewer opportunities to use unwanted third parties, or factories in lower tiers that may be sub-standard.”

Segura is the only solution on the market with an order capture and validation function, their software platform provides a 360-degree view of every supplier within their clients supply chain.  The platform enables sustainable and ethical sourcing through multi-tier supplier mapping, compliance and reporting, providing retailers with the assurance that each product, and everything in it, has been made in good quality, ethical factories.

Hobbs, the premium British womenswear brand is the most recent TFG fashion brand to sign up with Segura, helping them to capture and map their supply chain by order, validating their suppliers as compliant with TFGs’ CSR standards.

“We are very proud to have successfully gone live with Whistles, Hobbs, River Island and a number of iconic brands so far and are moving forward with a number of other high-profile retailers” says Peter. “It’s confirmation that our knowledge and expertise delivers transparency and compliance for retailers, so that they can be sure that their suppliers are both sustainable and ethical.”

In conclusion, the landscape of supplier sourcing is changing rapidly and the demand to bring more visibility, control and accountability to retailers and brands is constantly growing.  Consumer demand has spoken, and they will not accept a brand without full supplier transparency.

Retail in the 2020s – Embracing green to turn red into black

An IMRG report supported by Logistics Reply, into how Retailers can satisfy the new emboldened, ethically-aware Consumer and thrive – by combining the need for Provenance, Compliance, Brand Protection and Sustainability through Technology.

The Brave New World Of Retail

Consumers today play an active role in retail by being increasingly conscious of their spending habits and considerate of issues such as climate change and sustainability.

While quality, price and availability are still important factors in their purchasing behaviours, demand for sustainable products, with known provenance, low carbon footprints, compliant to official market regulations and proven to be produced in good working conditions, is increasing. 

Providing this kind of information is vital for Retailers to craft a unique, “green” story behind their products so that they can stand out and be competitive.

5 Questions This Report Will Help You Answer

·        How can Retailers satisfy the new Ethically-Aware Consumer and thrive?

·        In what ways can Technology help you obtain the information you need along the supply chain?

·        What are the responsibilities you as a Retailer should be taking?

·        Is it possible to make a profit while engaging in sustainable practices?

·        How can you make a Visibility System work for you?

Summary

“The advent of digital commerce has changed the way in which Customers consume. Choice is now beyond the local shopping centre and has reached global proportions. Retail brands used to control what customers could purchase, down to tastes, fashions and even inspiration. 

The global financial crisis woke customers up to the power they possessed, even subconsciously, and this has been building steadily ever since. Increasingly we are seeing a game of brinkmanship; Retailers have warehouses of stock, consumers are worried about how far their money will go and wait for discounts.

We are now seeing the beginnings of another consumer revolution. Customers are taking much more notice about where their products are coming from, how they are produced and increasingly, their impact on the environment. Veganism is on the increase and climate change is becoming a key ingredient in politics, nationally and internationally.

The demand for global resources is coming to the fore and provenance of products and services is becoming a factor in consumer purchasing decisions. Whilst this view might be a luxury that only consumers in ‘developed economies’ can afford, it has ramifications beyond that. So, what does this mean to retailers and their supply chains? Perhaps, this dynamic is already being adopted in the developing economies…”

This report reviews these changing dynamics and seeks to highlight why this ‘consumer first’ approach will affect how merchants manage demand, source product and the role that the disparate technology systems will play in this brave new world.

Download the report now to find out how Retail will change over the next decade, and why Logistics Reply’s products are poised to be at the centre of this revolution.

IMRG is the UK’s online retail association – a membership community offering neutral and unique resources for online retailers; helping members understand and improve their online retail performance through a busy programme of performance benchmarking, data analysis, insight, best practice-sharing and events. IMRG have been tracking online sales since 2000 – and now measure over 120 individual metrics in a series of indexes, providing in-depth intelligence on online and mobile sales, delivery trends, marketing ROI and channel performance.

Logistics Reply provides cutting-edge software solutions that help companies achieve an efficient and more connected digital supply chain where different systems, partners, humans and machines seamlessly interact embracing the use of next-generation technologies such as AI, robotics, wearables and IoT.

LEA Reply™ (‘Logistics Execution Architecture’) is Logistics Reply’s most advanced Supply Chain platform, which uniquely utilises cloud-based ‘microservices’ to offer a bespoke suite of software solutions designed to bridge the gap between real-world operations and the need to provide real-time visibility across any supply chain configuration.

To learn more visit our website www.lea-reply.com or contact us at lea@reply.com

Collaboration in the supply chain: working together to help tackle unnecessary recycling of plastic returnable transit packaging

By Paul Empson, General Manager, Bakers Basco

Many products used in logistics across the supply chain are designed to be reused multiple times rather than being disposed of after a single use – known as the ‘circular economy’ – but a lack of education and awareness might be hindering businesses’ chances at building towards a more environmentally-friendly future.

This is a very real issue that came to light in a recent YouGov survey that polled 2,106 UK adults to uncover public awareness about plastic bread baskets and other food goods delivery trays/containers. We commissioned the research to shine a light on what has become an increasingly important environmental issue impacting the food industry and, more specifically, the bakery sector. It found that almost half (46%) of the UK public feel that too much multi-use plastic is recycled unnecessarily. 

While it also highlighted that 61% of respondents were sure that bread baskets and food delivery trays go back to the factories they came from and are used over and over again, sadly more often than not this is not the case. Just 3% showed awareness of the “dark side” of plastic recycling where they are stolen and recycled illegally by a third party, or shredded for sale back to the plastics manufacturing industry by unscrupulous recycling operations (5%) and only 9% are aware that this equipment can also often end up in landfill.

Any business operating in the ‘circular economy’ will be well aware that much of this equipment is designed to last many years. Our bread baskets and dollies, for example, are made using sturdy, reusable plastic, with each piece of kit recycled potentially 400 times and the resulting raw plastic used to make more baskets before it reaches the end of its useful life. And of course we aren’t the only supplier of RTP to the food and drink industry. There are probably tens of millions of baskets, crates and pallets made out of heavy-duty plastic and designed to last for years, shuttling backwards and forwards from food manufacturer to depot to retailer, saving a fortune in disposable packaging and never going into landfill. 

The trouble is that, despite our equipment carrying embossed warnings that clearly state who the owner of the property is, the general public, certain businesses and even refuse collectors don’t understand the value of these baskets. All too often they are diverted out of the supply chain, whether that’s being left abandoned on the street before ending up in landfill or people stealing the baskets and using them for their own benefit. In some cases, they are being sold on to unscrupulous recycling operations or, something that has more recently come onto our radar: individuals attempting to sell them unlawfully via online auction sites, ecommerce marketplaces and social media channels. Despite numerous polite attempts to ensure the safe return of our property – which even has our name on it – these individuals still refuse to give them back. Now that’s just plain, outright theft. 

And we’re not just talking about a few trays here and there. Millions of these baskets and other food delivery equipment like pallets, food containers, bottles, drums and crates go missing every year presenting a growing problem for the UK’s transport and logistics industries, and the unethical recycling of stolen plastic items that don’t need to be recycled. It’s not just a business problem, it’s an environmental one too. 

Tracking down missing RTP may not sound the most glamorous of occupations, but diversion and theft of reusable delivery equipment is a growing problem. At the end of the day, if packaging which is meant to be reused goes missing, then it means extra costs for the food producer which they have to pass on to the retailers who will then pass them on to the shoppers. Plus, of course, there are additional costs in terms of harm to the environment – people who misuse returnable packaging tend to dump surplus items at the side of the road or in canals, rather than disposing of them responsibly. The abuse and neglect of product pallets, trays and baskets can help swell landfill sites and damage a sector’s green credentials. So it’s up to us, as a broader industry, to take a stand and ensure we aren’t fuelling this negative impact on the environment. 

We’ve taken our own steps to track down and reclaim any missing equipment that gets diverted out of the supply chain – through glitter additives and GPS tracking technology. Plus, we have a national investigations team dedicated solely to ensuring the safe return of misappropriated bread baskets to their rightful owners. But this alone isn’t enough and what this new research has highlighted is that the UK public believe that local councils (56%), the government (46%), individuals (48%), businesses (58%), industry trade associations (49%) and recycling companies (44%) all have a part to play in tackling unnecessary recycling.

We all have a responsibility to play our part but it requires a collaborative effort by all parties to help tackle the problem, before we undo all the positive steps already taken in the global fight against plastic. Plastic isn’t actually the villain it’s made out to be. The real issue is how we use it, how we keep tabs on ensuring it is being used responsibly, and what happens to it when we’ve finished with it. That’s why we all need to work together to help curb it once and for all. 

Hazel 4D are stretching to meet the plastic waste challenge

By Hazel 4D

Pallet-wrapping in the UK uses over 140,000 tonnes of plastic each year and a huge percentage of that is waste. The cost is massive, in money and environmental impact.

So, what can we do to minimise plastic usage and waste without compromising stability? Our retail and logistic customers look to us to blend materials, machines and monitoring into a perfect solution. Hazel 4D’s commitment to cutting waste and enhancing stability at the same time is already reaping results for many of them, like Micronized Food Products Ltd.

“With our old machine, tests showed we were using 810g of stretch film per pallet. The Hazel 4D team were able to get this down to 167g per pallet by optimising the new machine’s settings. That’s a plastic reduction of 79%, a major environmental win as well as a substantial annual cost saving” says general manager Andrew Shentall.

Consultations always comes first, carrying out extensive testing using our FEF200 mobile testing unit, to really understand a customer’s current set-up and make recommendations that we know will make a difference.

“Typically, our consultants see customers wrap pallets using 17-23 micron cast stretch film, stretching between 0-200% depending on the quality of the film”, explains Kevin Oliver, H4D technical sales manager.

“So when we can go in, optimise or replace machines, introduce a great nano-film like Extremus which can achieve over 300% stretch that means we’re taking 1m of film and stretching it to 4m. We train everyone to make the best of it, we’re making immediate impact on waste and cost.”

Savings are not just on direct materials costs, either, but Packaging Recovery Notes which really add to the bill for many of the customers who we see for a consultation. This table shows how we made a difference to a pet food manufacturer, reducing their PRN costs by 81%.

*Per pallet wrapped, ** these numbers are based on a company wrapping 250,000 pallets annually, with 62,500 pallets per each example in the table

In spite of significant opportunities to save, many businesses continue to miss out. The weakness could come at any point of the chain, explains Kevin. “They might be using a great film with a machine not configured to make the best of it. Or they might be using a great machine with poor film, or their staff aren’t trained to optimise the set-up and to maintain it. Or they’re working with very heavy, or awkwardly shaped items and think extra wrap is the only way to achieve stability. So our consultation finds those weaknesses and we respond with a complete Intelligent Load Stability system designed to lower cost, lower waste and optimise stability, no matter what you’re packaging.”

Our waste saving solutions consistently deliver a more stable pallet, too. Our recent Intelligent Load Stability review for a bathroom manufacturer reduced their plastic usage by around 80% and their costs by £60,000. Our consultation found that they spent significant time and money applying heavy shrink hoods to bulky pallets for stability, using costly propane shrink guns.

Installing energy efficient pallet-wrappers, switching to Extremus film and removing the need for shrink hoods and guns streamlines the whole operation, takes a fraction of time per pallet and makes a huge cut to their plastic wastage – our customer saved 16.64 tonnes of plastic per year!

“Hazel 4D have proven to be a partner we can rely on and we have now placed an order for a permanent custom pallet wrapping machine. It’s nice knowing that we have a responsive partner that we won’t have to chase should we need maintenance in the future.

I would not hesitate in recommending Hazel 4D, their pallet wrapping machinery or Extremus Nano film technology to any potential client wishing to upgrade their pallet wrapping systems and make improvements to their operation.”

Micronized Food Products Ltd.

COULD WE HELP YOU CUT COSTS AND PLASTIC WASTE, TOO?
When we work with you to understand your needs, recommend a tailored solution and optimise machines and material, you get total load stability and a real weight off your mind. Plus, we’ll make sure it stays that way with regular visits to ensure your system is always on top form.

Click here to book a free consultation and find out more.

Call a packaging expert on 0113 242 6999 or email us at wecar@hazel4d.com

Efficient and eco-friendly packaging: Minimising its environmental impact is a perennial focus for Internet Fusion Group

Fast and automated, customised packaging is reaping big rewards for environmentally conscious outdoor-pursuits specialist retailer, Internet Fusion Group… 

Internet Fusion Group is a fast-expanding online retail business with a portfolio of niche brands specialising in life-style apparel and products. Established in 2006, the business has quickly grown through acquisition, retaining the skills and knowledge unique to each enterprise and realising economies of scale with a common marketing resource, finance team, and a shared 146,000 sq ft warehouse in Kettering.

The problem Internet Fusion Group had been facing was similar to that of most businesses manually packing at high volumes into fibreboard boxes. The process required multiple packing desks with numerous staff and a wide range of box sizes for packers to select from. However, as with most manual packing operations, the match was often far from exact and void-fillers were usually required to cushion the goods.

To this end, minimising its environmental impact is a perennial focus for Internet Fusion Group. Like much of its customer base, the business shares a passion for creating a sustainable future, free from single-use plastics commonly used in packaging.  Pursuing its dual quest for sustainability and productivity, the retailer has recently invested in a state-of-the-art automated packaging solution that would accelerate throughput and lessen their environmental impact. Adam Hall, Head of Sustainability of Internet Fusion Group, found the CVP Impack from Packaging by Quadient. The CVP Impack is an inline auto-packer that measures, constructs, tapes, weighs and labels each order every seven seconds, while creating a custom fit parcel using only one operator. Packaging by Quadient, formerly Neopost, provides innovative automated packaging systems that empower companies in all industries to efficiently auto-pack parcels in smart, fit-to-size packaging.  

 “We are very much front runners on sustainability and packaging,” says Adam Hall, Head of Sustainability at Internet Fusion Group. “Across the group our packaging is now 91% plastic-free and next year that percentage figure will look even better. The first rule of sustainability is reduce… and when you reduce, you save money as well,” Hall says. “In terms of shipping volumes, our calculations indicate that the two machines will offer a reduction of 92 truck loads a year, due to the space savings of fit-to-size packaging.”

The two CVP Impack systems have given Internet Fusion Group the capacity to expand on the same footprint and cope with peak at optimal performance. “It’s not a complex machine to use so staff were quick to pick it up. But importantly, the backup and support from Quadient is fast. We have no complaints whatsoever,” according to Adam Hall.

Facts & Figures

  • Two CVP Impack’s in operation
  • Over 50,000 parcels produced each month
  • Reduction of 92 truck loads a year
  • No void fill required. 
  • Eco friendly packaging

https://packagingbyquadient.com/customers/case-study-internet-fusion-group/

Image courtesy of Internet Fusion Group

Living the dream: How changing your pallet choice could save money AND the environment

By Pallite

Transit packaging that does the job you need it to do while saving you money and safeguarding the environment may sound like a dream that’s too good to be true, but one company has had more success than most turning that dream into a reality.

PALLITE’s lightweight yet strong, paper-based packaging products – including pallets, pallet boxes, layer pads and warehouse storage solutions – are made from sustainably-sourced materials and 100% recyclable after use. They contribute less to climate change and the disappearance of the world’s rainforests than wooden pallets, and result in reduced CO2 emissions and total cost of distribution for businesses that choose to use them.

There is a growing movement away from traditional wooden pallets towards alternatives like PALLITE. But many of these come with limitations or drawbacks – something that PALLITE strives to avoid.

“We were clear from the start that our products had to offer a credible alternative to wood, meaning they were strong enough to handle the kind of jobs customers routinely require,” explains PALLITE CEO Iain Hulmes. “It didn’t make sense to us to offer products that only a small proportion of businesses could actually use.

“You wouldn’t think something made from just paper and PVA glue, that weighs under 5kg itself and can be engineered to carry 1 tonne with ease. The fact a standard PALLITE pallet can do this, and hold up to 750kg in open-beam racking, is testament to the many design hours invested to create a product range that is truly innovative.” 

Thanks to the honeycomb-cell technology used in their design, PALLITE pallets are stronger than cardboard equivalents, and bespoke versions have been manufactured for customers allowing them to hold much more than the figures Holmes quotes.

This strength, together with a weight saving of around 20kg on their wooden counterparts, makes PALLITE pallets a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly choice for businesses large and small across a wide range of industries, whether they are transporting goods by land, air or sea. Even if businesses have very specific requirements that mean they can’t use PALLITE for all their transportation needs, switching to PALLITE for the journeys they can delivers significant benefits. These include reduced fuel costs when travelling by road, cheaper air freight, and lower CO2 emissions across the board.

What’s more, the entire PALLITE range contains no nails and does not splinter. It also has a higher resistance to mould than wooden pallets. These factors make PALLITE an ideal choice for use in the food and pharmaceutical industries, as well as reduce the risk of manual handling injuries in the workplace.

The PALLITE range is readily available and can be tailored to customers’ requirements. For more information, call 01933 283920 or email enquiries@pallite.co.uk.

GUEST BLOG: Data holds the key to food sustainability

A raft of new sustainability and food wastage initiatives is undoubtedly focusing the attention of food service and hospitality providers. Otherwise wasted food from kitchens is increasingly being repurposed by a number of great charities, which is a great start but should not distract from the bigger issues within the end to end food production supply chain.

In addition to improving the measurement and monitoring of food production within kitchens, it will be the sharing and analysis of data from manufacturers, 3PLs, processors and hospitality that will be key to achieving the ambitious targets in reducing wastage, Peter Ruffley, Chairman of Zizo explains…

Front Line Responsibility

There has been a plethora of recent initiatives to tackle the £3bn of food wasted in this food service and hospitality sector every year, from ‘Step Up to the Plate’ which encourages organisations to make commitments to measure and reducing their own food waste, to the ‘Guardians of Grub’ from Wrap and ‘Food waste, Bad taste’ from the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

While the target to halve food waste by 2030 may seem ambitious, its goal is to get half of the 250 largest food businesses measuring, reporting and acting on food waste this year under the IGD Food Waste Reduction Roadmap that will require a very significant change in mindset. Right now, many of the companies in this sector looking at food sustainability have passed the buck to those on the front line: signing up with any one of the excellent charitable organisations, such as FareShare, which repurpose and redistribute surplus food.

While this is clearly an important step in ensuring this food is used wherever possible, it does not address the reason for that waste in the first place. Companies are not actively monitoring and measuring the entire food preparation process to better understand the causes of waste.

Data Driven Reduction

Clearly attitudes are changing; the idea that wastage is an inevitable biproduct of food production is being challenged. Given the economic challenges facing the issue, the financial benefits are also compelling: according to research from Wrap, the average benefit-cost ratio for food waste reduction was 7:1 over a three-year time frame.  And key to achieving this benefit is data driven understanding; from measuring food waste, to rethinking inventory and purchasing practices and reducing food over production.

Some steps are easier than others. Food waste is highly visual – and with the right approach companies can quickly map trends. Are some menu items routinely uneaten? Can portion sizes be reconsidered? Clearly it is easier to impose control within those mass market organisations with ubiquitous, often microwaved, food products. In many ways the trend towards fresh, local and healthier eating has made it more difficult to manage and reduce wastage. But measuring trends in food utilisation and consumption can quickly reveal opportunities to reduce portion size, tweak menus and rethink supply.

Changing Attitudes

Cultural shifts in this area will also pay dividends.  Change customer expectations by reducing the extensive menus, for example. It is far easier to predict demand and ensure consistent quality with a smaller product set, which will reduce waste; and publicising the sustainability goal will resonate with the customer base.  

Companies also need to look beyond the kitchen and consider the end to end supply chain – and this too will require a change in attitude from the industry to achieve transparency and understanding.

Right now, an organisation with a supply chain that stretches around the world will typically have no information from multiple manufacturers or third-party logistics (3PL) about wastage or fuel consumption. To achieve any meaningful insight into environmental impact will require a collaborative approach to data sharing if food overproduction is to be addressed right from the beginning of the supply chain.

Image by Lars_Nissen_Photoart from Pixabay

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