Barkers is a multi-award-winning procurement consultancy offering specialist procurement consultancy services across a variety of industries and sectors. In January 2022, Barkers first engaged with Positive Planet for support to become Certified Carbon Neutral so they could better align with their ESG Strategy and social value investment. Positive Planet and Barkers built up a strong relationship over this time and in November 2022, Barkers took part in Carbon Literacy Training (CLT) to improve employee engagement in their carbon reduction planning.
Positive Planet recently sat down with Christina Yardley and Jenny Naylor from Barkers to find out more about their journey.
For Barkers, ethical procurement has always been high on the agenda and in recent years Barkers have won three awards in the social value space. What Barkers realised is there is much more they can be doing and as a procurement consultancy their influence and reach is huge.
To add more validity to their commitment to ethical procurement, Barkers looked towards the sustainability aspect of procurement. However, Barkers did not have the internal knowledge or expertise to measure their carbon footprint and put in place a carbon reduction plan. As well as this, improving internal engagement around sustainability can be a difficult task without in-house expertise.
The Positive Planet Solution
After searching for the right consultancy, Positive Planet’s hands-on approach made for an easy choice. The data needed to measure a business’s carbon footprint can feel like a daunting task but the Positive Planet team were on hand to answer questions and support Barkers to achieve Certified Carbon Neutral status in a timely manner.
A natural next step for Barkers was to engage in Carbon Literacy Training (CLT). CLT allowed the full Barkers team to take part in a one-day training course, a qualification recognised by the United Nations. CLT provided Barkers with an awareness of the climate-related costs and impacts of their activities, and the ability and motivation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Barkers found the training course well-paced and the course has had a lasting impact. Taking part in CLT has influenced many parts of business operations through the individual and group pledges you have to make to become Certified Carbon Literate.
Engaging with Positive Planet has had an array of benefits for Barkers. In terms of completing CLT, the course has improved confidence in discussing sustainability both internally and externally. This newfound knowledge has influenced their social media and events strategy too. Barkers have also added CLT to job descriptions and include the course as part of the onboarding process for all new permanent employees. This will help Barkers attract the right people, who align with their values, to work with them.
Barkers have also developed an internal SharePoint page, focused on sustainability. It includes helpful links, tips, the carbon clock and the slides used from the CLT course. It is kept updated by a newly founded Green Team to ensure ownership and accountability when it comes to the pledges people made during CLT and Barker’s wider commitment to reducing emissions through its carbon reduction plan.
Barkers have plans to include their sustainability progress and the pledges made during Carbon Literacy Training through social media to amplify their actions further. Barkers and Positive Planet collaborated on an event in March 2023 which discussed the power of procurement in influencing sustainability strategies, and plan to host a webinar aimed at procurement professionals later in the Spring of 2023. Another key next step for Barkers is to become a Carbon Literate Organisation, with the goal of reaching Gold status by the end of 2023.
Warren Kozera, Managing Director, Barkers is currently looking at developing a carbon calculator to better understand the impact of their own client’s projects. This work will have a positive impact on Barker’s clients and beyond. Barkers are great leaders in their industry and have used the learnings from becoming Certified Carbon Neutral and taking part in Carbon Literacy Training to great effect; it has influenced every part of their business operations and they are committed to continuing their journey as supply chain sustainability ambassadors.
“Our carbon reduction journey began last year and Positive Planet has expertly supported us along the way. Becoming carbon neutral was important to us as an ethical procurement consultancy and Carbon Literacy Training helped us to realise that as a business we are now well placed to support clients with their carbon reduction plans, particularly within their supply chain.
As supply chain sustainability ambassadors, we are committed to sharing knowledge amongst our network. With our partners we have collaborated to deliver a sustainability event in March 2023 and are looking to further expand our reach through online events, helping more organisations to achieve their sustainability targets through the power of procurement.”
Warren Kozera, Managing Director, Barkers
Positive Planet provides solutions for businesses and organisations looking to take, responsible action to reduce their climate impact. The consultancy has a suite of, business applications designed to simplify their pathways to net zero. From carbon footprint measurement, emissions reduction planning, employee training, stakeholder engagement and program delivery, Positive Planet delivers innovative, ways to turn intent into impact.