New research commissioned by energy supplier SSE Business Energy has found that environmental considerations and trading responsibly could be the key to unlocking future growth for businesses in the transport and distribution sector.
With the pressures of rising procurement expectations challenging businesses across Scotland, it’s increasingly important to stand out from the competition. One way of doing this is to demonstrate strong ethical values through responsible practice, as Britain’s largest logistics company, Wincanton, has found.
With fleets of trucks, multiple warehouse locations and operations throughout the country, the Motherwell-located supply chain expert is always looking for new ways to reduce its carbon footprint.
Five years ago, Steve Tainton, head of corporate social responsibility at Wincanton, made the decision to help offset the firm’s transport emissions by sourcing electricity generated exclusively through wind and hydro power.
Tainton explained: “We’re a logistics company so when you look at our environmental impact, a significant amount is from transport. Electricity is also a major carbon emission source for us, so we decided to demonstrate our commitment to renewable energy by buying green electricity.”
Wincanton is an SSE Green energy customer, which means all the energy it buys comes with a Renewable Electricity Guarantee of Origins (REGO) certificate, ensuring every kilowatt-hour comes from renewable sources. *
Tainton said: “All our mainland UK operations that we buy the electricity for use SSE Green energy, and we’ve been doing so for more than five years now. We are committed to enabling a sustainable environment, so it makes sense to review all aspects of our operations.”
As well as demonstrating the company’s green credentials, Steve also praised the SSE Green tariff for providing Wincanton with a competitive edge: “We are a business to business company, so a lot of our clients are very keen to demonstrate not only their own green credentials but that of their suppliers too. All the business we bid for has an environmental angle to it, so being able to demonstrate we are committed to using green energy whilst making continual improvements to our operations allows us to differentiate ourselves from the competition.”
Wincanton’s approach echoes the results of SSE Business Energy’s survey of UK businesses in the transport and distribution sector**, which showed that:
- Eight out of ten (83%) feel it is important that its supply chain is environmentally responsible
- 44% feel more pressure to display traits of a responsible business compared to three years ago, with 35% citing customers as the main incentive
- 82% agree that paying the full amount of tax owed demonstrates a business acting responsibly
Amber McEwen, SSE Business Energy’s Head of Marketing, commented: “Ultimately, being an effective business is about doing the right thing. At SSE we’re trying to do what we can. We have the expertise to help businesses be more responsible too, not just in energy usage through the SSE Green tariff but in providing support on Living Wage and Fair Tax. This research shows that being responsible extends beyond energy into helping to deliver a more sustainable community.
Wincanton’s commitment to minimising its environmental impact is a great example of how there are always ways for companies to reduce their carbon footprint and champion cleaner energy, even when trading in emission-heavy sectors such as distribution.”
SSE has the broadest portfolio of renewable energy generating assets in the UK and Ireland. SSE Green offers renewable energy with a ‘guarantee of origin’, certifying that it has been generated exclusively through SSE’s portfolio of wind and hydro assets.