Creating a lasting impact through sustainability: Project Group’s story so far

Sustainability has been embedded at every level of Project Group, from the products and materials used and the design principles employed, to their supply chain processes. We sat down with Andrea Ball, Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) Lead at Project Group, to find out how Positive Planet’s hands-on support has accelerated sustainability success.

Project Group is one of the UK’s leading furnishing, fit-out and service providers offering a design-led approach to hotels, student accommodation, healthcare, education and government clients, and more. Each business within the brand; Project Studio, Project Interiors, Project ff&e, Project Furniture & Project Furniture Residential, spans every aspect of creative and innovative design, furnishing and fit-out, through to supply chain management and project aftercare.

Sustainability has been embedded at every level of the organisation, from the products and materials used and the design principles employed, to their supply chain processes, highlighted by several accreditations already. We recently spoke with Andrea Ball, Head of Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) at Project Group, to find out how Positive Planet’s hands-on support has accelerated sustainability progress within each business in the Group and contributed to its long-term net zero goal.

Before engaging with Positive Planet, Project Group faced some internal challenges. Having lots of exciting sustainability activities already ongoing in the business, a missing piece for the Group was being able to formulise ESG across the organisation. The company looked outward for support to bring all its positive activities together for a more holistic understanding of its sustainability performance and the actions needed to take this to the next level.

A high priority for Project Group was to ensure its measurement data was credible, accurate and verified. The company needed a reliable way of tracking and measuring its carbon output to accurately report its data in support of internal sustainability goals, and make a conscious effort to report its impact transparently with stakeholders. Another trigger to seek expert sustainability support was the need for a formal measurement tool suitable for quarterly reporting on framework contracts to meet the requirements of future and ongoing contracts to maintain and win new business.

For Project Group, the solution was simple, engage in a range of Positive Planet services, from carbon footprint measurement and reduction planning to a mixture of employee sustainability training to create a lasting positive impact. Positive Planet’s straightforward approach made identifying the data needed an uncomplicated task. Simplifying information at each stage of the process, and being on hand to support any queries allowed Project Group to understand high-level calculations, establish its baseline figures, and set achievable carbon reduction goals.

Positive Planet’s personalised approach also made a difference. The tailored advice from sustainability consultants proved vital in ensuring the company continued to meet its sustainability goals across the Group and provided a framework to encourage accountability for progress against company goals. Project Group have also been able to pass on knowledge and experience gained throughout the partnership to suppliers and clients, strengthening engagement and supporting stakeholder sustainability goals.

Project Group

“Our engagement with Positive Planet has helped us to gain a greater understanding of our carbon footprint, allowing us to accurately capture data and verify the measurements, which is vital to setting achievable carbon reduction targets. The team at Positive Planet have made this process simple for us, walking us through the steps required and remaining on-hand to provide advice and guidance throughout.”

Like all highly engaged clients, Project Group have experienced several business benefits from its sustainability partnership. As of this year, the company will have three years of verified data. The formal verification of its carbon footprint and reduction figures has increased its credibility in the industry and when bidding for new business contracts. The established partnership with Positive Planet now goes beyond the process. Access to in-depth training courses and sustainability consultants on hand to offer rolling support is now invaluable to Project Group’s wider ESG strategy.

Carbon Literacy training and Positive Planet’s role-specific Net Zero courses have improved the education of key staff across the Group, and employees now have a better understanding of how and why emissions data is collected. Team members now have the confidence to engage in climate conversations, provide suggestions, and openly push carbon reduction initiatives across the organisation and to stakeholders. The training courses also allowed employees to meet other like-minded businesses and transfer ideas which helped reinforce the positive work Project Group are already doing to transition to net zero.

Positive Planet will continue to support Project Group as the company works toward achieving its goal of becoming net zero by 2040. Plans are already underway for additional Carbon Literacy and Net Zero training as the Group looks to increase engagement across the workforce.

The organisation are also looking to engage with Positive Planet on other initiatives that promote sustainability across the Group, and will look to involve Positive Planet when opportunities arise to collaborate with clients and suppliers on carbon reduction projects.

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