Ben Dunevein, Managing Director of Concept Products, and his team have been working hard to reduce the impact they have on the planet as suppliers of branded workwear, personal protective equipment (PPE) and site supplies to businesses, festivals, and events across the UK. Their passion for sustainability is at the heart of everything they do, Ben sat down with Positive Planet to share how their journey to Certified Carbon Neutral has been, and the positive impact these changes have already had.
Three years ago, Ben and his team took stock of where they were as a business. The team wanted a better understanding of what being the ‘best’ meant to them. For Concept Products, it didn’t mean being the biggest business, it meant having solid values that can strengthen the company’s legacy – that’s when sustainability and becoming a carbon neutral business were brought to the table. The team felt it was an achievable goal and one that would make a significant difference in their industry and beyond.
Ben and his team soon realised that if they were serious about making changes and achieving carbon-neutral status that they would need support and guidance on this journey. After a quick google search, and a friendly consultation they landed on Positive Planet.
Understanding the Challenge
One of the challenges for Concept Products was knowing where to start. There were misconceptions amongst the team that the process could be difficult and labour-intensive. After establishing that they wanted to make changes and start their journey to Certified Carbon Neutral that’s when the relationship with Positive Planet began.
For companies working within the PPE and site supplies industries, there can be some specific challenges to overcome. One being that the market for a long time was driven by price, which meant bringing in goods from factories in China, India, Pakistan, and North Africa which ultimately meant a huge impact on the environment. One of the positives to come from the COVID-19 pandemic for Concept Products was that a lot of its manufacturing has come back into the UK, and we are now seeing some good signs of continued investment into these UK industries.
The Positive Planet Solution
Concept Products achieved its Certified Carbon Neutral status in January 2021, after three years of development and dedication to reducing its carbon emissions. Below is the step-by-step journey that Concept Products undertook with the support and guidance from Positive Planet to reach its current status:
Ben shared that from the initial conversation it became clear that it was a much more straightforward process than he first thought. With any sort of measurement, there were some data collection tasks to complete but the Positive Planet team were on-hand throughout to make the process a lot easier. Ben explained that there was some fear from himself and the team around the actions that would come from the data collected but it was actually a very easy process.
You can take a look at Concept Products, Positive Planet Dashboard here for further information about their carbon footprint.
For Concept Products, there has been an array of short and long-term benefits. One of the biggest benefits is that Concept Products picked up around £1 million worth of new business and some parts of the growth Concept Products has experienced this year can be directly attributed to achieving the Carbon Neutral Accreditation with Positive Planet.
One of Concept Products’ biggest customers is Festival Republic, who operate around twenty festivals in the UK every year, including Leeds & Reading Festival, Wireless and many more. Concept Products have worked with their sustainability team to share the changes they have implemented, and they have been really impressed by what has been achieved so far. Another huge customer for Concept Products is Glastonbury Festival, who they are proud to have served for twenty years. This year Concept Products were able to supply that festival completely carbon neutral. One example of the subtle changes they have made is completely removing the use of plastic cups that are usually given out at front of crowds in festivals to biodegradable alternatives and the best part for his customers was that there was no change in cost. Another example is changing from plastic fencing covers, used at all major festivals and events to hessian fencing covers, a fabric that is completely biodegradable.
Concept Products have also put in a place a sustainability team who have monthly meetings to ensure continued improvement. A key benefit for Concept Products is that as well as achieving Certified Carbon Neutral status they can also pass on the benefits to their customers, you can now purchase from Concept Products with no additional carbon footprint for your upstream activities. Concept Products have also witnessed good signs of investment around their supply chain.
There are many plans in place for Concept Products to continue their net-zero journey. Including replacing their company cars with hybrid vehicles, installing motion sensor LED lighting throughout their buildings and the next big project is the installation of solar panels across the roofs of company buildings.
Sustainability is now at the heart of Concept Products buying decisions as they continue to put pressure on their suppliers. As although they have become operationally carbon neutral getting to grips with their supply chain is the biggest and a highly important next step.
“Concept Products Ltd main business goal is to be the best Sustainable supplier of PPE branded workwear and site supplies in the UK. Positive Planet’s knowledge, support and expertise have been critical to us moving towards our net zero goal as well as gaining our Carbon Neutral status in January. As a business, one of our fears was understating and measuring our emissions. Positive Planet made this process simple, straight forward and allowed us to make direct decisions to reduce and offset our emissions”
Ben Dunevein, Managing Director, Concept Products