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10.11.21

How 3PL partnerships add social value to ‘fighting climate change’

Recently, we published an overview about how Granby, as a 3PL company, is meeting the government’s social value framework.

Our position as a partner to public sector clients is influential to helping them meet the requirements of the social value framework.

However, part of our process is to recognise that our partners (or suppliers) – from printing companies to carriers – are also highly influential in the social value we can add across the board.

‘Fighting climate change’ is one of the six themes of the government’s framework. Here’s more insight into how we’re working with partners to bring the framework to life in an impactful way, including a couple of case studies.

What is ‘social value’?

Social value is part of the public sector procurement process. The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2013 mandates that:

Anyone who commissions work must consider how their budget spend improves the wider social, economic and environmental situation

The act’s key objective is to help get more value for money out of public sector procurement while, at the same time, improving particular pain points for the UK.

These ‘themes’ are:

  1. COVID-19 recovery
  2. Tackling economic inequality
  3. Cyber security
  4. Fighting climate change
  5. Equal opportunities
  6. Wellbeing

The ability to meet the criteria defined by the act is essential for any company that wants to do business with the public sector.

Granby and ‘fighting climate change’

We liaise with suppliers and customers to attempt to increase the use of sustainable product from design phase through to manufacture and end of use

– a fighting climate change method statement (from Granby’s Social Value Policy)

From a ‘fighting climate change’ perspective, we already take this very seriously. As an ISO14001 certified organisation for more than 13 years, Granby has a detailed understanding of the environmental impacts of our day-to-day operational activity.

We’re a business that uses packaging, transports goods, and manages a large warehousing facility, so this understanding of impact is vital.

For more than a decade, our environmental safeguards and practices have been built into all our operational processes.

As we seek to improve and build upon this (an ongoing process), we’re liaising with everyone in the supply chain to make sure they’re on board – for example:

  • Packaging – asking partners to source sustainable and recycled packaging and influencing the design of clients to enable the use of this type of packaging
  • Logistics – working with carriers to ascertain the best way of producing carbon neutral despatches from Granby’s warehouse to the end user
  • Logistics – seeking collaboration with our clients and suppliers on effective carbon neutralisation techniques
  • Internally – creating awareness and a sense of team ownership and responsibility to uphold and improve our environmental objectives and social value commitments

Granby believes that social value is an immensely positive framework that allows everyone in the supply chain to get involved and make a positive impact

How we measure success

We track our success and ongoing progress using HR and warehouse data, like:

  • Staff information, like the number of hours spent protecting and improving the environment
  • Calculations of annual reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases, water use, and waste to landfill arising from the performance of the contract

Great examples of social value in action

Here are two examples from different points in the supply chain – a carrier we work with on a range of contracts (not necessarily for L’Oreal) and a client.

Partner example: Parcelforce/Royal Mail

This isn’t the only carrier we work with, but Parcelforce/Royal Mail is a brilliant example of a partner that’s as committed to ‘fighting climate change’ as we are. They shared some of the metrics and highlights from the last year:

  • Less than 3% of waste went into landfill
  • The company used 7% less water
  • It plans to be a net zero carbon business by 2050 or before
  • 100% of its fleet will be powered by alternative fuel by 2050
  • Its fleet includes bio-CNG HGVs, saving more than 50k litres of diesel
  • A 6.9% reduction in CO2 emissions per £1 million revenue since 2020

These are the kinds of commitments and actions we seek in carriers we partner with because it adds immense value to ‘fighting climate change’ for everyone in the supply chain.

Client example: L’Oreal

L’Oreal is a good example of a client who is taking ownership of its impact. While it’s a commercial brand, not a public sector entity, its ethos isn’t dissimilar to the social value framework. As such, like us, it seeks partners and suppliers who support its values and ethical commitments.

Solidarity Sourcing is the brand’s social and inclusive purchasing programme and part of its sustainability programme. Its aim is to associate economic performance with a positive social impact.

We seek out suppliers who share our values and ethical commitments. The relationships we have with our suppliers goes beyond purchasing and supply of goods and services, they are essential to the long-term success of our business.

“Granby more than met our strict supplier criteria and have proved to be an invaluable partner, consistently delivering with the highest quality standards

– Maria Hammond, Contract Packing Co-Ordinator, L’Oreal

We provide fufilment services for L’Oreal for luxury products and Christmas gift sets, including:

How do we measure social value?

  • We feed back a range of Granby data to help L’Oreal measure its ‘social value’ impact, including:
  • Apprenticeships created
  • Jobs created
  • Training and skills development
  • Demographic information

Opportunities for impact

We believe that social value is an immensely positive framework that allows everyone in the supply chain to get involved and make a positive impact.

And, while it focuses on the public sector as a driver of positive change, commercial private business can use it to drive its CSR objectives – and potentially more easily and with more impact, because everyone’s on the same page.

More importantly, while minimising the impact of business, public administration and healthcare on the environment, the collaboration of the supply chain means moving more quickly towards a scenario where positive impact is the norm.

While [social value] focuses on the public sector as a driver of positive change, commercial private business can use it to drive its CSR objectives

As a fulfilment partner working across 3PL, contract packing and promotional marketing, we’re ideally placed to influence the supply chain on social value.

If you’d like to know more about how we can add social value to your project, please get in touch – we’d love to talk you through it in more detail.


Cropped from an original photo by Joshua Lawrence on Unsplash

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