Planet and People at the Top of Oakland International’s Agenda
Since launching in 1998, Cold Chain Federation member Oakland has grown substantially to a group of businesses which expect to break through the £100m turnover hurdle by the end of 2022 through core activities including temperature-controlled supply chain and case consolidation, co-packing, D2C fulfilment, transport and customs clearance.
Oakland International has always had a core belief that growing the business should never be to the detriment of its people or the planet. Public awareness of the importance of sustainable supply chains has probably never been higher and it is progressively becoming a major point of difference when brands are selecting their supply chain partner of choice.
Oakland International’s Co-Founder and Group CEO, Dean Attwell, comments: “We are proud of the industry sector within which we operate and the way in which we have all adapted and supported the nation during the pandemic, but we cannot be complacent when it comes to doing the best we can for our people and our planet.”
Oakland International is starting the journey to become Net Zero and a B-Corp approved business, which will support their next 5-year journey plan. But why bother?
“There is a lot of talk about ‘greenwash’ and CSR where businesses talk a good story about caring for the planet and their people, but don’t really live by these values; it is seen as mainly marketing value. We have always believed that a strong environmental and people focus is not only the right way of doing business, but it is also good for the bottom line.” commented Dean.
Oakland have focussed on a range of initiatives which include solar PV generation, EV car schemes of which they will have around 50 in the family by the end of 2022, low carbon construction, ground source heating, LED lighting, energy efficient cooling, adiabatic cooling, green travel plans, electric fridge trailers, packaging design, recycling, zero to landfill and road miles reductions to name just some. Oakland’s latest environmental innovation, OakRA, is ground-breaking. Launched this month, OakRA will see huge savings in home delivery packaging waste by replacing 80% of cardboard and insulate with fully returnable insulated assets. The reusable OakRA’s will help solve issues for many D2C clients concerned about how much packaging waste is generated.
BRCGS AA rated, Oakland International operates 24-hours/7 days a week and is a D2C/B2C/B2B specialist in contract packing, storage, picking, food distribution and a brand development support provider for ambient, chilled and frozen food to the retail, convenience, discount, wholesale and food service markets in the UK, Ireland and via their partner in Spain.
Added Dean: “The results of this environmental focus are threefold. Firstly by providing a great reputation for being one of the most proactive pro-environmental operators in our sector, which is a great USP, which is not inconsequential when securing new business.
“Secondly a major consequence is that we see far greater engagement from team members in both the environmental initiatives and the social responsibility initiatives, which strongly overlap into our local communities. And finally our team members share the same concerns about the planet and communities as we are all affected by the same issues; our direct involvement to make improvements calls for team support and engagement which leads to higher retention levels and leads to higher productivity and quality of performance.
“As a consequence of all of this we have lower energy costs, less waste, higher productivity, higher engagement, higher growth levels and therefore higher profitability levels. So if businesses need to have three sound reasons why to invest in their people and planet, there they are!”
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