Organisations in the retail sector have a responsibility for the production of their goods. From sustainable sourcing to eco-friendly packaging, being aware of how the business is impacting the environment across the value chain can help gain key insights and enable better decision making.
Belu is a drinks business that puts people and the environment first.
Launched in 2004, Belu’s purpose is to change the way the world sees water. In pursuit of this purpose, Belu invests all of its profits into saving carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere, implementing a circular economy and bringing clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene to everyone, everywhere. So far, over £5million has been invested in transforming lives worldwide through their impact partner, WaterAid.
Belu is committed to delivering incredible drinks, whilst giving the conscious consumer the choice to build a better world through their buying decisions.
Belu is a values-led business. It is how they approach business, as well as what they deliver that differentiates them. The first of their values is to think environment-first, always. Belu work in the most transparent and sustainable way possible, holding themselves and their partners accountable for ensuring their ethics are not compromised. The business is a leader in its sector, often looked up to by its peers, suppliers and customers to lead the way on sustainability issues.
In previous reporting years, Belu outsourced its carbon footprint however in 2019, Belu approached Avieco to support them in bringing their carbon reporting process in-house by verifying its comprehensive carbon footprint model to calculate its product and organisational carbon footprint. An in-house carbon footprint model was important to Belu as it allows increased transparency and ownership of its reporting process. Ensuring Belu’s carbon footprint is accurate and complete is key for the business to achieve its carbon neutrality status each year.
Verifying Belu’s in-house carbon footprint model to meet carbon neutrality requirements
Belu’s carbon footprint model aimed to capture a full cradle-to-grave life-cycle analysis of all its products. Including; recycled PET bottles, ethically sourced glass bottles, polycarbonate coolers and a variety of water filtration machines provided to hospitality customers and offices.
This meant that the business reported its full scope 3 emissions, these are emissions within the supply chain that make up over 90% of Belu’s total emissions. A challenging feat for most product-based retailers to accomplish.
To do this Avieco led a series of verification exercises. This involved:
Avieco provided Belu with a verified carbon footprint model, bespoke to their business, allowing for flexible and consistent reporting. The benefits this provides include:
Broadening knowledge and understanding of the carbon neutrality and reporting process – Belu now measure, report and offset its emissions to the Independent Standard of Carbon Neutrality, PAS 2060. This ensures Belu’s has full transparency of the reporting process, reduces misstatements and provides assurance.
Identifying further carbon reduction opportunities– With the new verification in-house model, Belu gained a detailed understanding of where the emissions are in the supply chain and products, to identify opportunities for improvement. The addition of the filtration machines into the new verified model helped Belu identify significant opportunities to reduce carbon emissions through filtered water products
Providing a flexible model to help customers make the right choice – Belu’s entire product portfolio and organisational data was updated in the new verified carbon footprint model. Belu now has a flexible carbon footprint model to calculate the carbon saving its products are delivering to customers and identify which products to prioritise. Belu can now help customers make informed decisions, for example helping a customer switch from using glass bottles to 100% recycled plastic bottles to reduce their carbon impact.
Delivering employee empowerment and autonomy– Bringing the carbon footprint model in-house allowed employees to personally contribute to Belu’s climate commitment. Belu now has more control and can continuously model its progress on its carbon reduction plans, a crucial aspect of carbon neutrality.
Measuring and reporting on supply chain emissions – Completing key scope 3 reporting areas that are key requirements for setting science-based targets (SBT) to align with the Paris agreement.
Belu’s 2019 verification statement issued by Avieco can be accessed here
Corina Radu, Principal Consultant
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