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Did you know that in the UK alone, 22 million pieces of furniture are discarded each year, the majority of which goes directly to landfill. That amounts to an estimated 670,000 tonnes of furniture wasted, where a significant portion could be recycled and reused. (Source)

It’s clear to see the need for a more sustainable approach to furniture design, manufacture and lifecycle, which is where today’s guest, Design Conformity, come in.

Design Conformity live and breathe circular design, the process for creating products sustainably from the beginning, and offer a Life Cycle Assessment Certification Process which has already led to significant carbon reductions.

Mel is joined by Adam Hamilton-Fletcher, Founder and Director at Design Conformity, to discuss the application of circular design within the furniture manufacture industry and explain how their Life Cycle Assessment Certification process can help businesses reduce their carbon footprint.

You’ll learn

  • Who are Design Conformity?
  • What is circular design and how does it help companies reduce their carbon footprint?
  • What are the benefits of Design Conformity’s certification?
  • Can sustainability be of financial and environmental benefit to business?
  • Examples of circular design in practice


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:25] Introducing today’s guest – We welcome Adam Hamilton-Fletcher, Founder and Director at Design Conformity, onto the show. Design Conformity are currently setting the standard in retail sustainability, particularly in relation to the furniture industry.

[01:30] Who are Design Conformity? Adam worked in the manufacturing industry for about 15 years, designing lighting systems for major retailers like Boots, Next, Marks & Spencers and Morrisons. He worked primarily with the lighting used in displays, and had been tasked with selling lighting products. In order to do so, he needed to develop a specification to help understand customer requirements, which would then be used to develop their ideal solution.

The problem: There were little to no Standards in UK and Europe for the retail display industry.

Which directly led to the creation of Design Conformity – who started out as an electrical and lighting Standard certification company, that developed into a full carbon certification company.

They aim to become the gold Standard for sustainable furniture design.

[03:10] What is Circular Design? – Circular design is born out of this principle of a circular economy. To compare, a linear economy is when we take a raw material, use it, process it, and then it’s just disposed of, usually straight to landfill.

Whereas, circular economy is where we take that waste product and we design it so that it can be repurposed and refreshed and reused. Those materials can then eventually be recycled – so the goal is to not use any raw materials at any point.

Circular design is the intent to minimise environmental impact, to design equipment that could be reused and repurposed, and then at the end of its life be recycled.

[04:05] How do Design Conformity operate? – Design Conformity look at the way that companies design their furniture and then take them through a learning process (online course).

They help businesses to understand how to design a product in such a way where it can be repurposed or reused, where raw material usage can be reduced and where the shipping requirements can be reduced.

They provide guidance and advice on recommended materials, including the provision on an online carbon calculator.

They also provide reporting in alignment with existing carbon standards, such as ISO 14064, for product evaluation.

[06:55] How can the Carbon Calculator help? By selecting a product of a particular type, you can use the estimator by entering the details of where and what you’re manufacturing, and then it will give you a carbon footprint for that, which you can use to compare that against other industry designers.

It displays these other designers anonymously, but you can get a feel for if your product is above or below the average for carbon emissions. 

[08:55] An example of the Carbon Calculator in practice –  Design Conformity recently worked with Costa Coffee, who were looking to reduce the environmental impact of their of their shops and coffee lounges. The beginning of that process is to work with their manufacturers, to identify the environmental impact of the furniture that they’ve got.

They used the Carbon Calculator to help create an initial benchmark, which highlighted key indicators that can lead to carbon reductions.

[09:35] Design Conformity’s Certification – They’ve borrowed the concept used by existing Energy Performance Certificates, by having a carbon efficiency index, ranging from C1 – C7.

Their score is a bit more unique however as it incorporates elements of circular design. Their score is based on a products total carbon emissions, divided by it’s size and total lifespan. An Ecolabel is then awarded based on the final score.

[11:45] What are the benefits of Design Conformity’s certification?:-

  • It’s a mix between carbon reporting and a carbon rating.
  • It’s easier for consumers to understand the benefits in comparison to companies that advertise compliance with ISO 14064 and PAS 2060.
  • Not just a green label, as reporting is a key component of gaining certification.
  • It provides a cradle to cradle analysis on a products carbon footprint and translates that into something that is recognisable.

[14:15] Are businesses right to be skeptical about the value of the cost versus the value of environmental certification?– 100%! It’s not uncommon for eco labels to be more of a marketing tool rather than a tool for tangible carbon reduction. A lot of them out there are unregulated and are contributing to green washing.

That’s where Design Conformity’s differs, as they actually collate and process real data to provide tangible value and add credibility to their claims. 

[16:10] Will there be a time where sustainability can be of financial and environmental benefit to businesses? – Yes, absolutely!  And if there is a way to do that, it’s through Circular Design.

As an example, if you’re a manufacturing company that’s producing shelving, you need to buy in steel, which can fluctuate a lot in price at any given time. But you don’t need to buy more steel every time, where instead you could get your original product back, reprocess and redistribute.

Adam has experience of suppliers who are practicing this, they purchase their products back at 40%-50% of the price, saving a lot of money in raw material!

[19:00] Examples of companies who have embraced circular design –

Tesco: They’ve introduced a policy whereby they purchase metal shelving, use it for 5 years, then take it back out of the store to get powder coated, cleaned and reintroduced to the store. That reduces the carbon footprint by 70% in comparison to buying a new shelving set!

Boots: Their beauty halls wanted to introduce a lot of new brands, which meant a lot more displays were needed. Boots started working with Design Conformity towards earning their certification, specifically in relation to the lighting they used in stores. With Design Confomity’s help, they managed to reduce the carbon footprint at selected stores by 39%!

[21:20] Circular Design Guide – 14 people were involved in creating this guide, which is designed to give you an introduction to and overview of circular design. Access it over on their website.

If you’d like assistance with any ISO Standards, get in contact with Blackmores and we’ll be happy to help 😊

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The demand for tangible sustainability action is becoming more pressing as we inch closer to our 2030 and 2050 Net Zero targets.

However, that is still quite a way off, and many businesses are dragging their feet when it comes to taking action. Sure, some may have an ESG Policy or mention it on their website, however that term is starting to become synonymous with green washing due to poor implementation in many cases.

So, what can you do to make a difference right now?

In this weeks’ episode Mel explains the principle of Parkinson’s law, how ISO Standards can help to tackle climate change and how you can achieve Net Zero in just 90 days.

You’ll learn

  • What Parkinson’s Law is
  • How can ISO standards help tackle climate change
  • The 3 reasons why businesses are behind on achieving net zero
  • How you can achieve Net Zero in just 90 days using the Net Zero Planner


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:25] Come visit the Carbonology stand at EMEX! – EMEX is a free exhibition to learn about carbon management, ESG and sustainability. It takes place at ExCeL London on 22nd – 23rd November 2023 – Carbonology will be at Stand G38. Come grab a free Net Zero Planner while you’re there! Register your place here.

[02:10] Episode Summary – Today we’ll be talking about why we need to act now rather than in a decade or two, how ISO Standards can play a critical role in tackling climate change and using the Net Zero Planner to help you set achievable objectives to work towards Net Zero in just 90 days.    

[02:55]  We need to act now rather than later! – Our 2030 and 2050 targets are very far away, which results in businesses not doing much to address them in the meantime.

They might have an ESG policy or they might have something referencing ESG on their website, but are they actually taking action right now to make that happen? In many cases, no. Which is where Parkinson’s Law comes into play.

[03:40] What is Parkinson’s Law? Parkinson’s Law is the idea that work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion. This may mean you take longer than necessary to complete a task or you procrastinate and complete the task right before the due date.

Parkinson’s Law is the old adage that work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion. The term was first coined by Cyril Northcote Parkinson in a humorous essay he wrote for “The Economist” in 1955.

Lets say you are given a task to complete a report in 3 weeks, chances are if you were given the task to do in 1 week – you’d make it happen.

Parkinson’s Law says that the perceived importance and difficulty of a task will grow in proportion to the amount of time given to finish it.

[05:30] Is it possible to achieve Net Zero in 2024?: Yes! Carbonology® been turning around projects to help businesses to build net carbon neutral in less than three months –  so why can’t you?

[06:05] The Net Zero Planner –  The Net Zero in 90 days planner gives you a pathway to follow to achieve Net Carbon Zero.

Each day focuses on a specific task, enabling you to make step by step progress to achieve your goals.

Your Net Zero Planner provides the foundations for not only achieving Net Zero but also achieving verification to Carbon standards along the way. Grab a copy here!

[08:25] What role do ISO Standards play in tackling climate change? Standards have a critical role in helping meet climate goals. Particularly when there is an influx of greenwashing across industries.

The international standards for carbon verification (ISO 14064) and carbon neutrality (PAS 2060, due to be ISO 14064 in 2024) support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and create a level playing field, providing transparency, reliability, accountability and without a doubt, credibility.

[10:00] So why are businesses struggling to achieve Net Zero? there are three reasons why businesses are behind on achieving Net Zero:-

  • Time and resources have not been dedicated.
  • Lack of focus and structure
  • Lack of knowledge on what to do

The Net Zero Planner will help to address these challenges.

[11:15] Carbonology is there to support you – Some of the tasks in the planner may be tricky – quantifying your emissions for example, this is always going to be challenging.

Carbonology is there to support you, either with consultancy or digital resources via the Carbonologyhub. If you need some extra assistance, simply contact them.

[11:55] How can the Net Zero Planner help you? –  First and foremost, Net zero is not going to happen, unless you prioritise your time.

This starts with designing your ideal week. Imagine how would you structure your week if you had 100% control. What does your ideal week look like?

Remember, What gets scheduled gets done.  Sticking to a plan takes discipline, but imagine if every business dedicated 2 hours a day for 3 months, we’d be achieving net zero well before 2050!

By setting aside 2 hours a day to complete a Net Zero task, you and your team will be well equipped to put your planning in place and achieve Net Zero accreditation! Of course, not every week will be aligned with your ideal week, but it’s a guide that you can refer back to.

 [13:00] Making progress with the Net Zero Planner –  It’s imperative you review progress on a weekly and monthly basis and at the end of the 9O days. This will help to drive momentum when you see what you’ve achieved and also provide a reality check if you need additional support or time.

The weekly, monthly and quarterly review provides an opportunity to look back at your progress and allows you time to reflect on what went well, and where you’ve been having challenges which may result in making decisions to address any shortfalls.

 This could include allowing more time for a specific task the following week, delegating responsibilities internally or outsourcing activities i.e. carbon quantification or verification.

It’s recommended that you schedule this review and reflection time in your calendar i.e. 1 hour on a Friday afternoon or at the end of the month. In addition to the structured planner pages, there are blank pages for expanding on your ideas and taking notes.

[15:25] Special Deal! –  The Net Zero Planner is available for Amazon at a reduced price of £7.99 until the 15th December 2023. The Standard price will be £14.99. If you’re at EMEX on the 22nd or 23rd November 2023, we have 100 free copies to give away!

Lastly, if you have an questions or would like to learn more about how Carbonology can help you, feel free to book a call in via David’s Calendly.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

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Sustainability should be a top priority for any business going into 2023. The last few years’ worth of extreme weather have proven that action needs to be taken now to protect our future. But where do you start?

While there are a lot of great ideas out there, it’s becoming increasingly clear that a standardised approach is needed to keep everything on track. Which is where ISO Standards come into play – having been promoted heavily at the last few COP conferences, there are a whole range of environmental Standards to help businesses manage and reduce their impact.

One of the most popular being ISO 14001 (Environmental Management), which was adopted by the subject of today’s interview – dotdigital.

dotdigital is an online marketing company who specialise in email and SMS marketing automation, tailoring customer experience and providing solid data analysis tools.

Mel is joined by Steve Shaw, Chief Product & Technology Officer at dotdigitial, to talk about the positive impacts following on from their successful ISO 14001 implementation, and to explain some of their fantastic sustainable initiatives introduced over the past few years.

You’ll learn

  • Who are dotdigital?
  • How do dotdigital manage their Environmental Management System?  
  • What are dotdigital’s sustainable initiatives?
  • What have they learned through the implementation of ISO 14001?


In this episode, we talk about:

[01:07] Listen to our previous interview with dotdigital – where we discussed their ISO 27001 (Information Security) certification.  

[01:32] An introduction to Steve Shaw – He is the Chief Product & Technology Officer at dotdigtal, who oversees a lot of their innovators (which comprises of software engineers and those involved with product development and support). He also manages the various acquisitions for the group.

[03:15] Who are dotdigital? Dotdigital have been around since 1999, they have evolved and adapted to join the growing SaaS market. They provide a range of automated marketing solutions in addition to a customer experience and data platform. They recently celebrated reaching 400 employees and have become AIM listed.

[03:52] What can dotdigital’s platform do? Data collection and analysis to build a profile for single or groups of users. This data can then be used in combination with AI and machine learning to create a tailored digital journey with a brand.

[05:15] How do dotdigital manage their current ISO 14001 certified system? – Their Management System is an integrated Management System, which provides the business with a central hub to work from. They have an established team who are tasked with the management of their ISO system (this is not a dedicated role for anyone in that team). Part of their role involves looking at the businesses aspects and impacts to see where the biggest consumption of energy is happening, measuring this consumption and setting objectives to help reduce this where possible.

[06:51] dotdigital was the worlds first carbon neutral marketing automation platform that was ISO 14001 certified. They also aim to be net zero by 2030!

[07:10] They have a relatively small footprint as a primarily digital based company, only really having to consider the running of computers, air conditioning and standard office facilities. So it can be a challenge to reduce!

[08:30] What led to the success of dotgreen? – dotdigital launched a group called dotgreen, which has since thrived into a community of likeminded individuals all working together to improve and reduce dotdigital’s impact. They were fortunate to have an Executive group sponsor who can take ideas and suggestions to other leadership for consideration. This grassroots group encourages suggestions from everyone – no idea is a bad idea. Over time, the group evolved and helped to develop a sustainability programme for the business.  

[10:30] What was one of the initiatives implemented from dotgreen? – They identified that existing data centers used by the business weren’t always utilising renewable energy. So, over the course of 2 years, they worked with Microsoft to build on their Azure platform to enable dotdigital to make the switch. Azure runs on renewable energy sources, and any remaining emissions can be offset through carbon credits.

[12:00] A green option for their customers – As a result of their cloud platform now being run through green partners, they can extend the environmental benefit to their customers.  

[14:00] A sustainable culture shift The introduction of dotgreen, it’s initiatives and the success of certification to ISO 14001 fostered a shift in the businesses culture. It spread to all aspects of the business – even resulting in their marketing team making the decision to not send out Christmas gifts and instead used the money to buy credits for tree planting. 

[15:25] What is dotvoice? – Another pillar in the internal mechanisms of dotdigital. This voluntary group look at how they can promote awareness of different issues. One such example was organising interviews to celebrate the women in tech at dotdigital for International Women’s Day.

[17:10] Adapting – Like many businesses, they had to adapt over Covid to allow for home working. Following on from feedback, they have kept up with hybrid working. This means that meeting in-person usually becomes a big event! They ensure that all employees are taken care of, even creating another pillar called dotwellbeing to offer mental health support.

[21:53] Through the use of dotgreen and dotvoice, they promote voluntary days to assist with local initiatives and charities (many of which are their clients – such as the Woodland Trust).

[23:20] What have dotdigital learned over the years of maintaining an ISO 14001 certified system?

  • Don’t rush for certification if it can be helped, take the time to put the right people and resources in place to start the process.
  • It can be beneficial to enlist the help of a third party to guide you through your first Implementation.
  • ISO 14001 helped to put tools in place to measure aspects and impacts – which in turn assisted with their SECR requirements
  • Manage your system centrally. ISO Standards should be embedded into the business

[23:20] Steve’s top tips: Get leadership support, look for passionate individuals to get involved, let the Standard guide you and don’t be afraid to set lofty goals.

[23:20] Steve’s book recommendation: Creativity Inc – by Ed Catmull

[23:20] Steve’s favorite quote: “The only constant in life is change” / “Some people want it to happen, some wish it could happen and others make it happen”

You can find out more about dotdigital via their website.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episode’s

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To keep global warming to no more than 1.5°C, as called for in the Paris Agreement – emissions need to be reduced by 45% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.

Many businesses are already making great strides to reduce their Impact, and while you can reduce, achieving true carbon neutrality will involve offsetting a certain amount of emissions.

Treeconomy are one of the few companies in the UK that offer credible carbon credits. Backed by principles of PAS 2060 (Carbon Neutrality), they seek to break the greenwashing cycle.

Mel is joined by Harry Grocott, CEO and Co-founder of Treeconomy, to discuss their credible carbon offsetting schemes and the innovative technology they use to help quantify the value of nature.

You’ll learn

  • Who are Treeconomy?
  • What is the difference between services offered for landowners and Offset buyers?
  • Can you quantify the value of nature?
  • How can people be sure that they don’t fall prey to Greenwashing?
  • How can someone go about buying and monitoring offsetting credits?
  • Are Treeconomy’s carbon offsetting schemes verified?


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:30] Catch up our episodes covering the Sustainable Development Goals (Part 1 / Part 2), ISO 14064 and PAS 2060.

[01:00] Treeconomy are a company that offer credible carbon offsetting schemes – they are one of the few companies who are recognised by PAS 2060 (the Standard for Carbon Neutrality)

[02:05] Harry Grocott (CEO) introduces Treeconomy –  A nature based, carbon removal and restoration company that operate in the UK and Internationally. They offer schemes that work towards afforestation, peatland restoration, rewilding ect. They are also keen to enable evidencing the impact, developing a software platform, remote sensing, and AI technology to do so.

[03:41] They are part of the Centre for climate change innovation which is an initiative of Imperial College London and the Royal Institution to catalyse innovation of all forms that address the causes and effects of climate change.

[04:22] What is the difference in services for Landowners and Offset Buyers? For landowners, Treeconomy can help you change land use from one to another. I.e changing land used for sheep grazing into something more carbon intensive. Treeconomy will ensure that any project started with them is a verified Carbon Scheme – in-line with the woodland carbon code. Once your project set up has been completed and verified, Treeconomy will assist in the sale of credible carbon credits.

[07:22] For offset buyers: Treeconomy offer a wide range of projects and varyingly priced carbon credits.  

[07:45] Can we quantify the value of nature? Short answer right now is no, but there is a lot of nuance. Nature offers ecosystem services i.e. farms offer a calorific benefit, we can put a price on the value that offers. The same principle applies to resources such as wood or oil. Now we are gaining the ability to quantify CO2 removal, which is undeniably valuable to humanity.

[09:18] Other more recent services such as biodiversity projects are a bit harder to quantify – as they vary so much depending on the country. However, we are starting to assign value to these.

[12:15] How can people be sure that they don’t fall prey to Greenwashing? There are 2 main issues to consider: 1) Are your carbon credits credible? 2) what claims are top management making?

[12:44] Tackling claims made by leadership: ISO standards are starting to solve this issue. There are clear requirements and certifications that need to be in place to back those claims.  

[13:00] Tackling carbon credits: The carbon offsetting market is heavily unregulated currently. Essentially it’s a lot of people trading in invisible gas. There are a number of carbon standards (Not quite at the same level as ISO Standards), such as the Woodland Carbon Code and the Peatland Code, and Internationally there are standards such as Verra VSC – unfortunately, a lot of these standards aren’t very robust and aren’t enforced.

[15:30] Many companies will often look to buy the cheapest offsets available, which are likely to be non-credible and will provide no evidence of actual offsetting occurring. But, there are a lot of new companies emerging that provide tangible evidence of offsetting (such as Treeconomy 😊)

[18:30] How can someone go about buying and monitoring offsetting credits? If you don’t want to use a company like Treeconomy, you would need to directly contact and purchase credits from a company who is developing a project.

[19:23] Treeconomy have created a platform called Sherwood – this displays all the projects they are helping to develop, which also tells you who the landowners are and the carbon inventory attached to each project. It can also help you evidence credits purchased, whether they are historic or future carbon removal.

[21:30] Not many companies offer comprehensive reporting and evidencing of carbon credits in practice. Treeconomy use a range of methods such as drones, satellites and AI programs to report back, and aim to make getting this information as easy as possible for credit purchasers.

[23:20] How did Harry get into this business? Starting off studying geography and Science – he later went onto work in finance for 3 years and qualified as a finance adviser. While working he realised that the amount of money available is rarely the issue, rather the use of it. He saw that there was a large gap in funding for climate change mitigation and adaptation – but not enough money was going towards it. He began wondering why more couldn’t be invested and so decided to study climate change management and finance (partly though Covid), where he met his co-founder. After getting some Government grant funding, investors and landowner partners, they have flourished over the last 3 years.

[27:00] Are Treeconomy’s offsetting schemes verified? Yes – they work under the UK woodland carbon code (and soon the peatland carbon code). They are also working to create a new protocol to tackle rewilding, including how the value and progress can be tracked. Internationally they will be working under Verra.

[29:05]  Treeconomy can help to provide detailed evidence of carbon offsetting thanks to their reporting capabilities, this can be passed onto 3rd party auditors to verify in-line with any carbon Standard. 

[30:00]  You can find Treeconomy via their website, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram 😊 

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

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In 2015, world leaders came together to create 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) which aim to tackle various social, economic and environmental issues, to build a better world by 2030.

What you may not be aware of is the fact that ISO Standards play a big part in the journey towards a better future. Many commonly used ISO Standards already meet certain goals, with more in development.

This is part 2 of our 2-part series on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the ISO standards that support them. 

Today, Mel explains the 7 remaining SDGs, the ISO standards that relate to them and how organisations can meet these goals…

You’ll learn

  • The ISO standards that relate to the sustainable development goals.
  • How to align your business with the SDG’s.
  • The ISO standards that can help you meet the last 7 SDGs.
  • Details of the final 7 SDGs and the ISO standards that relate to them.
  • How we define what best practice is.
  • How ISO standards are developed.


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:46] The Sustainable Development Goals set out by the UN.

[02:27] How ISO 9001 and 14001 relate to the SDGs.

[02:56] Goal 10 (Reduced inequalities) and how ISO 26000 (Guidance for social responsibility) relates to it.

[06:04] Goal 11 (Sustainable cities and communities) and the series of standards ISO 37101, ISO 37120, ISO 37122, ISO 37123, and ISO 22301 that can help meet this goal.

[07:50] Goal 12 (Responsible consumption and production) and the related standards ISO 14020 Series, ISO 15392, and ISO 20245.

[10:42] Goal 13 (Climate Action) and the standards that help with climate change and greenhouse gases ISO 14001, ISO 14064, ISO 14067, and PAS 2060.

[14:14] Goal 14 (Life underwater) and the 250 sustainability-related Standards dedicated to Shipping, port waste management and protection of marine life.

[15:30] Goal 15 (Life on land) and the related standards ISO 14001 and ISO 38200.

[16:27] Goal 16 (Peace, justice and strong institutions) and the standards that support this goal ISO 37001, ISO 37301, and ISO 37000.

[18:18] Goal 17 (Partnerships for the goals) and it’s relevance to ISO Standards.

[19:43] How ISO standards are developed.

Just a reminder, we’re offering 6 months free access to the isologyhub for anyone who signs up to an ISO Support Plan!

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

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This episode is the first of our 7-part mini-series explaining our Carbonology service, a 7 step methodology to help companies become Carbon Neutral.

We’re joined by our resident Carbonologist David Algar to talk through the first step of the Carbonology process, Define.

David explains why the define stage is so important, what it entails, and how it works.

You’ll learn

  • The seven steps in Carbonology.
  • The importance of defining your carbon output.
  • How to get a better understanding of your emissions.
  • The recommended approach to define the subject and boundaries.
  • How to write the introduction for your QES.
  • How to become carbon neutral.


In this episode, we talk about:

[02:38] What the seven steps of Carbonology are.

[03:08] The first step to becoming carbon neutral.

[03:52] How the define stage in Carbonology works.

[04:42] What Carbonology boundaries in an organisation may look like.

[06:20] The importance of identifying the people involved with Carbonology work.

[07:00] The type of people that are normally involved with managing the Carbonology standards in a business.

[08:25] How organisations can determine the selection of the subject.

[09:49] Why it’s important to clearly define the subject and your boundaries.

[10:33] The recommended approach to define the subject and boundaries.

[12:17] The outcomes and deliverables that are provided through the define stage.

[13:35] Who the Qualifying Explanatory Statement has to be shared with.

If you need assistance with implementing ISO 14064, PAS 2060, or another standard – Contact us!

David Algar is also available for a free Carbonology consultation until the end of March – Book your slot Here

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

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This episode, we’re joined by Paul Robinson our Managing Consultant at Blackmores to talk about ISO 50001 – the Energy Management Standard.

Paul gives us some guidance and advice on how to audit and implement this standard effectively and how you can make improvements in your energy management.

We also talk about some common techniques to reduce energy consumption, how to increase a buildings energy efficiency, and how to monitor if equipment is being used in line with good practice.

You’ll learn

  • How to make improvements in your energy management.
  • How to implement the energy management standard ISO 50001.
  • The purpose and benefits of carrying out internal audits.
  • Common techniques to reduce energy consumption.
  • How to increase a buildings energy efficiency.
  • Why everyone should switch to LED lights.


In this episode, we talk about:

[02:25] The purpose and benefits of carrying out internal audits.

[03:31] Benefits data centres have had as a result of auditing.

[04:45] How an organization can set up a robust audit programme.

[07:23] The impact a building’s design has on its energy efficiency and how this can be improved.

[10:16] The importance of monitoring systems and the power of automation.

[11:59] How to know which maintenance companies to work with.

[13:13] How to know if equipment is being used with good practice.

[15:26] The benefits of raising opportunities of improvement to management.

[17:59] Common opportunities for businesses to improve their energy management.

[21:24] Evidence you expect to see when carrying out an ISO 50001 audit.

If you need assistance with implementing ISO 50001 or another standard – Contact us!

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Hayden Morgan –
Director of Morgan Green Advisory

Today we’re joined by the Director of Morgan Green Advisory, Hayden Morgan.

Hayden is an independent consultant with a mission to enable a sustainable, lower-carbon future.

He has been pioneering sustainability within the finance sector for almost 25 years, and provides award-winning insights and solutions, focusing on transitioning to beneficial outcomes.

Today we talk about sustainable finance and the work Hayden is doing with leading experts from over 25 countries to develop the new global sustainability standard for financial organisations ISO 32210…

You’ll learn

  • What sustainable finance is and how it works.
  • The best way to get involved with the ISO 32210 standard.
  • The need for a standardised label for sustainable infrastructure.
  • The benefits of implementing the new ISO 32210 standard.
  • When ISO 32210 will be available for organisations to implement.
  • The rise of climate risk strategies in financial markets.


In this episode, we talk about:

[02:24] How Hayden got involved in working in global sustainability.

[04:05] The work Hayden’s been doing on the new sustainable finance standard.

[04:56] How you can get involved with the new ISO 32210 standard.

[06:48] Hayden’s involvement advising the world bank around the development of a label for sustainable infrastructure.

[10:42] The pilot projects taking part in a sustainable infrastructure label.

[11:51] What sustainable finance is.

[12:39] The principles of the ISO 32210 standard and how it complements other requirements.

[15:30] The implementation guidance for ISO 32210’s principles.

[17:09] The best practice resources that will be available to help people implement the standard.

[18:17] The benefits of implementing the ISO 32210 standard.

[22:16] The plans for the standard and the expected launch date for the ISO 32210 standard.

[23:41] The sustainable integration work and climate risk strategies Hayden works on at Morgan Green Advisory.

If you need assistance with implementing ISO 32210 or another standard – Contact us!

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

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We’re joined again by Paul Robinson, Managing Consultant at Blackmores. Last week Paul summarised the importance of energy management and introduced us to ISO 50001. This week, he delves deeper into the individual clauses of the Standard to break down what’s required in a typical Energy Management System.

What you’ll learn:

  • The main clauses and requirements of ISO 50001
  • Examples of ISO 50001’s application in other Businesses based on Paul’s experience

What are the main clauses of ISO 50001?

ISO 50001 has been aligned with the Annex SL format since 2018 so that it may be more easily integrated with other ISO Standards. The clauses are as follows:

  • Clauses 1, 2 and 3 – These are all explanatory clauses, starting with the scope, then Normative References and lastly Terms and Definitions.
  • Clause 4 – Context of the Organisation: Here you would define the scope and boundaries of your energy management system and understanding the processes affected. This includes looking at your energy inputs and outputs. You’ll also address any energy issues that affect you and interested parties involved.
  • Clause 5 – Leadership: This refers to Top Management commitment, which is necessary if you want your energy management system to be successful. They will need to provide resources required to implement an energy policy, and to define roles and responsibilities.
  • Clause 6 – Planning: This is a central pillar behind every Energy Management System as it talks about strategic and tactical considerations. This includes high-level issues, the needs and expectations of interested parties and the risks and opportunities associated with them in an energy context. This clause also includes an Energy Review, which will help you build a picture of your energy sources and current consumption. From that you can start setting your Objectives and Targets and actions going forward using energy baselines and energy performance indicators established from the Energy Review.
  • Clause 7 – Support: This clause talks about provision of resources, competencies, awareness, communication and documented information required for energy management.
  • Clause 8 – Operation: This is where operational controls are defined to help you manage your energy effectively. It also covers design and procurement, which means procuring of energy, consuming assets and having effective processes in place to ensure energy is a key consideration when making infrastructure changes.
  • Clause 9 – Performance Evaluation: ISO 50001 is very data driven and clause 9 states the requirements for monitoring and measurement of your energy use, which will be used to demonstrate your improvement in energy efficiency. This clause also covers Internal Audits and Management Review to ensure the Management System is performing effectively.
  • Clause 10 – Improvement: This clause talks about taking opportunities that drive continual improvement in the Management System, but also recognizing that sometimes things go wrong. It also addresses significant deviations and a structure to investigate and correct those deviations to keep the management system on track.

What can go wrong?:

Based on his experience, Paul highlighted some issues he’s seen in existing Management Systems:

  • Not aligning an Energy Management system with Company Objectives
  • Lack of financial resources
  • Having the Management system built and run by only one person – This becomes a single point of failure
  • Confusion in responding to energy deviations – lack of communication of a process to correct non-conformities
  • Rushed creation – Energy Management Systems created in a short span of time may not be properly embedded into the business and can lead to the issues listed above.

That’s it from Paul this week! For further information on ISO 50001, visit our Standards page Here. We also have an ISO 50001 Handbook available to members of the isologyhub, sign up here to grab a copy.

If you’re just getting started with ISO, we do have a free ISO Blueprint available for download to help you to plan, create, launch and get certified to ISO Standards.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

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Today we’re joined by Paul Robinson, Managing Consultant at Blackmores. Paul is here to introduce the Energy Management Standard, ISO 50001, why it’s important and give you an overview of its basic structure.

What you’ll learn:

  • Why energy management is so critical in the current climate crisis
  • The main purpose of ISO 50001
  • A summary of the clauses within ISO 50001

Why have an Energy Management Standard?

There’s a big focus on trying to maintain global warming to that 1.5 degrees increase. Right now, we’re failing on that. In order to get this back on track we need to consider our current energy consumption. During COP26 we heard a lot about phasing out coal power, unfortunately there are some countries who are resistant to that and as a result have had the requirements watered down. Regardless, energy use continues to rise as does the demand.

Energy Management is particularly relevant for organisations who want to measure their impact and put measures in place to reduce their environmental footprint.

Why is it so important to restrict Global Warming to 1.5 degrees?

It’s literally the difference between survival. We’re at a tipping point now, failing to stick to this 1.5 degrees will result in rising sea levels and rising temperatures. Paul shares his experience working in Cyprus where it’s not uncommon now for the temperature to reach 45 degrees. This isn’t sustainable and it will get to the point where it’s difficult for humans to survive if we keep going at this rate. 

What is the main purpose of ISO 50001?

ISO 50001 includes continually improving energy performance, energy efficiency, energy use and energy consumption. Building an energy management system will help you to understand, monitor and measure your use of energy, and like most other ISO’s, continual improvement is at the heart of ISO 50001. Key factors it addresses are energy performance, energy efficiency and energy consumption.

What are the main clauses of ISO 50001?

ISO 50001 went through it’s latest revision in 2018, aligning it with the Annex SL format that many other ISO’s use. The clauses are as follows:

  • Clauses 1, 2 and 3Explanatory clauses
  • Clause 4 – Context of the Organisation
  • Clause 5 – Leadership
  • Clause 6 – Planning
  • Clause 7 – Support
  • Clause 8 – Operation
  • Clause 9 – Performance Evaluation
  • Clause 10 – Improvement

That’s it from Paul this week! Join us next week as Paul breaks down each clause of the Standard and how it can be applied. For further information on ISO 50001, visit our Standards page Here. We also have an ISO 50001 Handbook available to members of the isologyhub, sign up here to grab a copy.

If you’re just getting started with ISO, we do have a free ISO Blueprint available for download to help you to plan, create, launch and get certified to ISO Standards.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

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Today, we’re joined by our resident Carbonologist David Algar to discuss the seven vital steps to Carbonology.

If you’re looking for a sustainability roadmap for your business and looking to address the climate emergency while also meeting your stakeholders needs you’re in the right place.

Over the last 2 episodes, Carbonoloigst David Algar and Mel have been going through ISO 14064 the Carbon Verification Standard and PAS 2060 the Carbon Neutrality Standard.

Today, David and Mel will be explaining how you can meet the requirements of both standards, gain verification, and demonstrate your business as carbon neutral.

That’s all going to be based on our game-changing route to sustainability, Carbonology.

What makes Carbonolgy unique is rather than paying lip service to the climate change emergency, Carbonolgy provides a proven methodology for sustainable success, allowing businesses to become carbon neutral and to achieve ISO standards successfully.

You’ll learn

  • The seven steps of carbonology.
  • How to achieve carbon neutrality.
  • Why it’s cheaper to reduce your emissions rather than offset them.
  • The importance of re-quantifying carbon emissions.
  • How to prove you’ve offset your emissions.
  • How becoming carbon neutral can benefit your shareholders.


In this episode, we talk about:

[03:12] The seven steps of Carbonology to achieve carbon neutrality.

[7:54] The different options there are to verify that you are carbon neutral.

[9:07] The different areas you need to define when starting off in your Carbonology journey.

[11:45] How to quantify the emissions embedded in different products that you sell.

[14:22] What’s included in a Carbon Footprint Management Plan.

[16:50] The importance of including working from home in your scope 3 emissions.

[17:57] How long a reduction period last and what it involves.

[19:27] The benefits of re-quantification and how it works.

[21:14] How offsetting works as part of Carbonology.

[23:31] How making a declaration of achievement of neutrality works.

If you’d like a quote for Carbonology – Contact us!

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

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Today, we’re joined by our resident Carbonologist David Algar who shares with us everything he knows about the Carbon Neutrality Standard PAS 2060.

Customers are demanding more environmentally friendly products and services, and to remain competitive organizations need to reduce their emissions and improve their environmental records.

Having a sustainability roadmap is critical to both government and industry now and in the future.

When implementing effective climate change mitigation measures the ability to differentiate between real and false claims of carbon neutrality is absolutely critical.

If you’re looking for a credible roadmap for your sustainability journey PAS 2060 can help you cut through the cynicism and doubt and maintain trust in your ethics to manage and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.

You’ll learn

  • How to make a positive impact on the environment.
  • Why a company can never be net carbon zero.
  • What PAS 2060 consists of and how it helps businesses quantify and reduce emissions.
  • How to build credibility and confidence with your shareholders.
  • What Carbonology is and how it can help businesses become carbon neutral.
  • Why it’s so important to quantify your emissions before reducing them.


In this episode, we talk about:

[02:13] What PAS 2060 is and how it assists companies to become carbon neutral.

[2:55] The difference between being ‘net carbon zero’ and ‘carbon neutrality’.

[3:48] The importance of quantifying and reducing your emissions.

[4:18] What carbon offsetting is and how it works.

[6:54] The main benefits for a business in adopting PAS 2060.

[7:46] What a carbon footprint management plan is and how it can help save money.

[8:50] The benefits of validating your carbon neutrality.

[10:20] How Carbonology can help businesses become carbon neutral.

If you need assistance with implementing PAS 2060 – Contact us!

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

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If businesses aren’t talking about COVID-19, they are discussing how to become carbon neutral.

To show their commitment to protecting the environment, companies are often claiming to be carbon neutral, but the issue is…where is the actual proof? Where is the credible framework that demonstrates carbon verification?

Today we’re excited to share how to get started with introducing ISO 14064 (the carbon footprint verification standard). So, if you’re looking for a sustainability roadmap for your business and are wondering where to begin, then you’re in luck as we’re going to be providing you with information on that over the next couple of podcasts! We’re delighted to be joined by David Algar, our resident Carbonologist at Blackmores, over the next few podcasts as he’s going to share with you information about the international standards that everybody’s talking about when it comes to demonstrating your carbon neutrality. This includes ISO 14064 for carbon footprint verification and PAS 2060 on carbon neutrality.

So, in this episode, let’s kick off with ISO 14064 and find out what’s it all about!

What you’ll learn:

  • What is ISO 14064?
  • What are upstream and downstream emissions?
  • Certification methods
  • Benefits of ISO 14064
  • How Carbonology helps meet ISO 14064 requirements

ISO 14064 is a specification with guidance at the organisational level for the quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and their removals. So, essentially, ISO 14064 is a standard for an organisation of any type, size, quantity, or location globally to quantify its emissions of greenhouse gases, with the end product of this being the creation of a greenhouse gas inventory.

Now, let’s find out where we would begin with ISO 14064…

In ISO 14064, the standard begins with defining  the organisational boundaries and the reporting boundaries. So essentially what you’re covering in your greenhouse gas inventory and what the reporting boundaries are. This will also include any exclusions you decide to make i.e. elements of your business that will not be have their associated GHGs quantified.

An organisation embarking on its sustainability roadmap could carve out part of the business. So, for example by year one the UK operations, and then have a roadmap in place so that they include other locations and services as time goes on.

David expands on the greenhouse gas inventory by highlighting that this is where you would document all your emission sources. So, they are divided up into scope one, scope two, and scope three sources. Scope one is the direct ones, so for example stationary or mobile combustion, or anything your organisation directly burns. Then it goes into scope two, which is your purchased energy (the electricity, steam, heating and cooling that you would use in the building that you own or lease). Finally going into scope three can be a bit more complicated. This would be your other indirect sources, upstream and downstream. For example, if you are a manufacturing company, the upstream emissions would be the emissions associated with activities, for example, before your products are delivered to your manufacturing or warehouse. So that would include the extraction of the raw materials, the processing, packaging, and then the transport and distribution. The upstream emissions associated with a vehicle, for example, include putting it in a cargo ship and shipping it across the world. So, once  it leaves your warehouse or plant, it would then go off to the customer. This is where you are looking at the downstream emissions, including emissions associated with the product’s use

The greenhouse gas inventory does split the scopes up for you, so you don’t have to worry about memorising every single little part of the scopes! It is very useful in that aspect and it lays it out in a list for you.

Let’s take a quick dive into the vertification options for ISO 14064

If you do decide to go for a third-party vertification from a certification board, the chances are that they’re going to ask you questions on why you decided to include and exclude certain things within your greenhouse gas inventories. For example, certain operations in your business or why you have made certain exclusions. Another key element of producing greenhouse gas inventories is that you must use emission factors. These are how you quantify and convert, for example kilowatts, into tonnes of Co2 equivalent. So, the certification body may ask you why you’ve chosen to use a certain metric. That’s why it would always be a very good idea to document these choices, as you may be asked about them. So, in essence, this provides complete transparency on your carbon emissions across the organisation because you’ve justified the reason for including or excluding them.

Now, moving on to some of the benefits of ISO 14064…

Because it’s an ISO standard and internationally recognised, it provides a reliable and proven framework for quantifying your emissions. So as a result of this, this helps identify individual sources of emissions and enables you to identify the biggest source of emissions, energy usage, and vehicle usage. Therefore, you can use it to identify areas for improvement by setting targets. However, the result of going down this road is that once you’ve implemented those improvements, it can actually save you costs in many instances, for instance through lower energy usage.

Another benefit is that it helps demonstrate your public commitment to environmental protection. This is excellent for your corporate image and CSR. Combined with third-party verification, it really does help show you are committed to environmental protection, and you’re not just pursuing this activity for greenwashing purposes.

It can also be a tendering requirement for a lot of new businesses as it can support a lot of governmental requirements. So, it can be a framework to help you support any mandatory reporting of emissions, such as the SECR (Streamline Energy and Carbon Reporting) and ESOS (Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme) which are requirements essentially based on quantifying emissions and energy usage. So, if you’ve implemented ISO 14064, you’ve (almost) already built that framework to help you with the data collection and data presentation that you’ll need for the SECR and ESOS reporting.

One thing which makes ISO 14064 very different from any of the ISO standards that we have implemented over the last 15 years at Blackmores is the fact that you don’t actually get certification to this standard. It’s classed as a verification, which has options for self-verification and third-party verification.

There are three main tiers to it, let’s find out what they are.

The first tier is the self-verification method, where you essentially pour over the data yourself and decide internally within your company that you’re happy to publish this publicly. Although, this is slightly less credible because your company is essentially verifying itself. The second level to that is a second-party verification, where you get an external body (such as Blackmores) to go over the data and essentially audit you on it. But what is generally regarded as the most credible is a third-party certification, the third tier. This would be done through a UKAS accredited certification body (such as BSI, or NQA). This method demonstrates confidence to all your stakeholders that the verification has been done properly because an independent third party has approved it.

Unlike certificates to management system standards like ISO 14001 (where they’re valid for three years). This is just valid for the period that you’ve actually defined within the scope. So, that could be a period of 12 months, then you would have to go through the re-verification process.

We do have a podcast coming up on Carbonology which focuses on the process to meet the requirements of ISO 14064 and PAS 2060 to be carbon neutral…so, let’s get a sneak peek and find out how Carbonology might help with meeting the requirements of ISO 14064.

Carbonology is based on a seven-step process to help an organisation become carbon neutral. The first step of Carbonology is the Quantify stage. This is where ISO 14064 comes in because this is where you would essentially quantify and document all your greenhouse gas emission sources for scope one, two, and three. So, essentially, ISO 14064 really does form the bedrock of the Carbonology service.

That’s it for today, watch out for our future blogs as we’ll be joining David on the next podcast where we’ll be talking all about the next stage in your journey to becoming carbon neutral.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

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Today Mel Blackmore is joined by David Ball, the CEO and founder of Brandfuel, a leading event management company. David’s here to tell us all about Brandfuel and its sustainability journey. It’s an inspirational and interesting story to hear about this journey and their experience of implementing ISO 20121, the sustainable event management standards.

First and foremost, let’s find out more about Brandfuel! 

Brandfuel is a creative events agency, and they specialise in creating experiences which can be anything from very different types of virtual events, broadcast programmes, exhibitions, conferences, demos, dinners, to award ceremonies. The key thing about Brandfuel as an organisation is that they work hard with clients over a long-term period to translate their business needs and objectives into measurable results for their business.

Brandfuel started with some incredible clients; David has been working with Google for the last 18 years before he even started the company. They have a phenomenally strong class of clients ranging from companies like Slack, Stripe, Snapchat, BlackRock, Barclays and Deloitte and of course, Google and YouTube.

Now let’s find out about David’s thoughts on sustainability in the events industry…

What you’ll learn:

  • Sustainability in the events industry
  • How did Brandfuel adapt to business during the pandemic?
  • How did Brandfuel manage the transformation of physical events to virtual events?
  • Benefits of ISO 20121

Sustainability in the events industry

David believes that transport travel accounts for the majority of the carbon emissions at Brandfuel. It’s almost an impossible scenario to imagine if you take the travel away in the events industry. But it has to be measured and mitigated. David is confident that there will be substantial changes following this year of very little travel. He was typically required to take an excess of 100 flights a year, and last year…he flew twice!

So, that’s the big elephant in the room in Brandfuel as 75% of the job is related to travel and transport in some way.

However, there are some simple things that can be done to create a change. But you need your clients on board with you to make this change happen. David is happy to say that they’re past what was an attitude within clients when they wanted to be seen as ‘doing the right thing’. But actually, if it cost more money, they wouldn’t take action. And now they are in a new realm where clients not only want to be seen doing the right thing, but they also actively want to be able to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability now and in the future, and they’re willing to pay for it. So, Brandfuel seems to be heading into a very exciting journey, where sustainability is on the client’s requirement list of what they want from an agency to deliver for them.

So now before we dive into ISO 20121, the sustainable event management standard, let’s find out how Brandfuel adapted during the pandemic. The pandemic was a major upheaval in the events industry, yet Brandfuel managed to achieve certification to ISO 20121. So, let’s understand how Brandfuel made it happen.

How did Brandfuel adapt to business during the pandemic?

David is accurate in saying it’s been a quite catastrophic year! But it’s also been an exciting year.

The adaptation was really quick. They decided, instantaneously that switch to working online. So, they had to learn about arranging virtual events, and to become a broadcast business they had to learn every facet of broadcast as quickly as possible. They were fortunate in being agile and they were very quick to practice.

David set up some vehicles to help Brandfuel achieve this. One of which was an internal brand called Fuel Studios, which was the overarching umbrella that allowed Brandfuel to play, train, learn and get as much experience in broadcast as possible within the bounds of the agency to then be able to use it for clients.

They did things like turn company meetings into broadcasts and events into shows, and they started segmentizing. So, for example, they would mimic in a short video someone sharing their home with them and practice the filming, the editing and other interesting things like using triggered audio and watermarking on mobile devices to add content into video via broadcasts. So, some really clever stuff!

They also arranged a ‘lockdown low-down’, which was getting everyone at home to video what they were up to during lockdown. The studio also learned to design three-dimensional virtual sets. They also learned about green screens, lighting, camera work, multi-camera work and camera tracking -they did everything! And it really proved so useful because within a few months, they were given an incredible opportunity with an existing client to organise the global planning summit with three and a half thousand attendees. It was super complicated, massive scale, and very quick, but it gave them a lot of confidence, and they never looked back.

This really is incredible, just talk about diversification and innovation!

So, moving onto 20121 then…let’s find out how Brandfuel diversified in terms of the actual events that they were running, to then switch to online events via investment.

How did Brandfuel manage the transformation of physical events to virtual events?

David reveals that this was quite tricky! First and foremost, they needed to find a suitable set of events to be mentioned. They needed a balance of some in-person and the actual event deliveries. This needed permission from clients, and it needed a lot more planning. So, the first one they were fortunate with was the annual event for VGC partners, the world’s largest electronic data brokerage. It’s their charity day on September 11th and it’s a recognition of all the staff that they lost in the Twin Towers tragedy. It’s a very emotional and important day for them and regularly they would raise between $10 to $12 million in a day.

They achieve this by having almost 100 celebrities appear on the trading floor in London, and trade with their clients over the phone. Now, to do that virtually was a challenge in itself, but David reveals that the client was willing to give it a go. Brandfuel had a big team that had to go on-site and fortunately, VGC had relocated from their building. So, Brandfuel was able to use this building to social distance and managed to bring celebrities in virtually to have video conversations with BDCs clients who were also virtual. This gave them access to talent that they never got physically. They had Kelly Osborne attend virtually, along with famous cricketers and golfers. So, it was very different, and it worked really well as they raised a phenomenal $10 million, with only 25 celebrities!

So, now that Brandfuel is certified to ISO 20121, let’s find out what David identifies as some of the benefits of this standard…

Benefits of ISO 20121

Well, David believes that the benefits are huge! He identifies the obvious benefit to be that they are now commercially classified as being an agency that can be trusted to work to the highest standards in sustainability This is helpful for them as David believes this is going to be one of the biggest buying signals and cues that clients will show in the future. The other key thing for Brandfuel now is management systems; their internal management systems have improved so much. That gives them an incredibly strong platform to build on and to keep building.

David believes that ISO certification comes down to focus and to allocate the right amount of resources internally. It is a time commitment and resource commitment, but when you manage this and really stand behind as a business, it runs incredibly smoothly.

Brandfuel has successfully brought ISO standards into its DNA because it’s part of the fuelling station, which in effect is their ‘go-to’ place within the business; it’s their intranet. The fuelling station as their intranet has been incredibly important currently as they’re all working from home. So, they made sure that all those management systems were fully integrated into new processes, and this meant being fully integrated into their communication processes. Their fuelling station was the centre of that, so they can really use it as a resource.

Brandfuel are also currently in the process of implementing ISO 27001 Blackmores. The ISO 27001 progress is going really well, and straight after that they’re going to implement the Health & Safety, ISO 45001 standard. This will open new sectors and new opportunities for Branfuel commercially.

That’s it from David! We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know his journey and inspirational stories.

To find out more about Brandfuel, visit their Website!

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

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If you’re wondering where to begin with strengthening your environmental credentials, a great way to do this is to implement ISO 14001. This is a world-leading standard for businesses on environmental management.

In the last episode, I shared with you what an environmental Management System (EMS) is. So, if you haven’t heard that yet, I’d recommend that you have a quick listen before listening to this one because it’s essential listening, it provides an overview of what an EMS is.

Now, I’m going to just provide a high-level overview of ISO 14001. But if you’d like to get all the resources on implementing ISO 14001, then the isology hub membership is the place to go. It has everything that you need, including video tutorials, downloads, workbooks, check sheets, and also a stack of training classes as well to help you to create your very own bespoke ISO 14001 compliant EMS. We’re super excited to be launching this game-changer in ISO standards. So, if you don’t want to miss out, go over to the membership site, which is to join the waitlist, and don’t forget to download our free ISO Standards Blueprint here, which provides you with all the information that you need on the key steps to plan, create, launch and get certified to an ISO standard.

Let’s dive into ISO 14001!

What you’ll learn:

  • The purpose of ISO 14001 and why it exists.
  • The structure of the standard (including the key clauses)
  • Key ISO 14001 principles
  • Key benefits of ISO 14001

Let’s start right back at the beginning…

Key purpose of ISO 14001

  • This standard is a specification. It’s a document that you can purchase online, which provides a framework for actually building an EMS
  • An EMS is to provide a framework to help support any organisation to improve its overall environmental performance and provide a sound basis for sustainable development initiatives.​
  • It’s designed to embrace continual improvement, and enhance operational performance, which is similar to any other ISO standard. So, if you’ve already got an ISO standard in place, the chances are that you’re in a really good position to integrate the elements of ISO 14001 because there are quite a lot of similarities.

The structure of ISO 14001

  • The first 3 clauses within the standard are actually auditable.
  • Clause 4 is all about understanding your organisation and its context.
  • Clause 5 is leadership commitment. This is all about leadership and commitment, roles, responsibilities and authorities.
  • Clause 6 is the planning stage, which is all about addressing actions to mitigate risks, and enhancing your opportunities as well.
  • Clause 7 is called support. This is actually around things like resources, both physical, processes, facilities, competence, and awareness.
  • Clause 8 is all about operations. So, these are your operational controls for reducing your environmental footprint, and also having controls in place for things like emergency preparedness, and how you respond to an environmental incident.
  • Clause 9 is performance evaluation. So, once you’ve got your operational controls in place, it’s really important that you evaluate the effectiveness of those controls.
  • Finally, clause 10 is the improvement clause that focuses on non-conformity, corrective action, and continual improvement​.

So, by just running through that briefly, you’ll probably be thinking, “oh yeah, well we’ve got that and yep we’ve got that too”…but it might just not cover environmental management. So, that’s where you need to make those tweaks and changes.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with ISO standards you might be thinking, “well that’s pretty comprehensive”. And yes, it is actually! It does provide you with a holistic framework for managing environmental performance.

Key principles of ISO 14001

Now, looking at the key principles then of ISO 14001…ultimately, it’s down to:

  • Protecting the environment by preventing or mitigating adverse environmental impacts​
  • Mitigating the potential adverse effect of environmental conditions on the organization​
  • Assisting the organisation in the fulfilment of compliance obligations​
  • Enhancing environmental performance​
  • Controlling and/or influencing product and services design, manufacturing, distribution, consumption, and disposal, using a life cycle perspective​

So, those are the fundamental principles of ISO 14001. If you’re focusing on achieving certification to this standard, then you really need to focus on clauses 4 to 10 of the standard. These are the elements that are implemented within your business and they are the areas that the independent third-party body will be looking at when it comes to your stage one and stage two assessment.

There’s a lot more advice and information on that over at, which provides a full list of the key and essential documents, what is desirable and provides examples of those using templates, guidance, and training.

So, to wrap up…

What are the benefits of ISO 14001?

  • Reduced costs due to less wastage​
  • Simplified and effective documentation​
  • Improved sales and marketing opportunities​
  • Improved communication and morale company-wide​
  • The acquisition of a symbol representing the internationally recognised environmental standard ISO 14001.​

If you’d like all the resources needed to implement ISO 14001 yourself or if you’d like to join one of our ISO 14001 six-month coaching programmes, we’ve got seven places available! So, head over to to find out more, and don’t forget to download your FREE ISO Standards Blueprint here

I look forward to catching up with you on the next episode, where I’m going to be sharing with you how to plan your ISO 14001 implementation project!

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Gareth Dinnage (Seacourt MD)

Seacourt is the highest scoring B Corp printing company on the planet, they believe in business as a force for good for society.

Fun facts: Seacourt is the winner of the Queens award for sustainable development. They’ve won this three times! In 2017, they were also crowned Europe’s most sustainable SME! No wonder they are recognised as one of the top three leading environmental printers in the world!

Seacourt Managing Director, Gareth Dinnage, joined us for an interview to tell us about Seacourt’s journey and its initiatives. Gareth has been part of Seacourt’s sustainability journey from the very start. He started his journey first as apprentice and then heading up to Sales and Marketing and finally owner and Managing Director.

You’ll learn about:

  • Seacourt’s sustainability journey
  • Environmental management as a guiding principle for Seacourt and their contributions to the environment
  • Seacourt’s journey to understanding their carbon footprint
  • Significance of being Net Carbon Zero
  • B Corp
  • How ISO 9001 and 14001 helps Seacourt run their business
  • Understanding your supply chain

Let’s start right back at the beginning of Seacourt’s journey!

Where did Seacourt begin and where did its sustainability journey begin?

Seacourt started in 1946! They were set up as a commercial printing company in Oxford, working with local businesses. Not much changed for them until the mid-90s, when the owners at the time had the good fortune to attend a seminar focused on sustainability.

We know what you must be thinking, whoever put together this seminar must have had incredible foresight, to have looked into commercial impacts and sustainability!

The owners realised that the printing industry is among the fifth largest manufacturing sectors in the UK since 1996…

And that it’s also the fourth worst polluter!

That’s when they decided that they don’t want to be part of the problem, but a part of the solution. This thought marks the moment of a change of goals and priorities for Seacourt. From this point in 1996, the business changed from a linear business model, focusing on outputs, to becoming a value-based business, to considering the impacts on the environment and society, as well as profits.

This marked the magic transformation of Seacourt!

For the last 25 years, their philosophy has been “will this improve the environmental performance of our business. If the answer is “yes!”, then they do it regardless of the financial cost. So, without this fundamental change in mindset, Seacourt would not have been where it is today.

Guiding principle for Seacourt

Environmental management has been a guiding principle for Seacourt for the past 25 years. It’s fundamental and core to the company.


  • Seacourt runs on 100% renewal energy (and have done so for decades)
  • They invented their own printing process called ‘LightTouch’. This has saved them gallons of fresh litres of water
  • Seacourt no longer uses water or chemicals in their printing process!
  • They have been zero waste to landfill for over a decade.
  • They are carbon positive -and that’s scope 1,2 and 3! What this means, for those of you that aren’t familiar with this concept, is that Seacourt sees their impact in every element that they as a business effect. This includes their supply chain, so as a printing industry, they take their impact all the way back to forestry they use for their natural resources. They consider how trees are transported to the papermill, how papermills are run, the energy this it is run on and much more!
  • They consider the end-of-life process by producing a natural material that has a massive recycling rate.

So, when you wrap all of this up in its entirety, Seacourt has created a concept called Planet Positive Thinking -which means that they give back more carbon into the atmosphere than they are responsible for consuming.

Seacourt’s journey to understanding their carbon footprint

A lot of businesses are new to the concept of Net Carbon Zero. So, let’s find out how Seacourt went about understanding what their carbon footprint was.

Seacourt does this by unravelling their entire supply chain and ask challenging questions to their supply chain, such as how they power their plants, what is the carbon impact per tonne of paper they are using, how they transport their materials from the forest and much more never before asked questions! They used the amount of paper they have purchased over a 12-month period and worked with their suppliers to get an accurate carbon impact figure. They created their own methodology and matrix, using the same process to identify the carbon impact figure that they used for their paper, for other areas in their operations, for example their ink.

By this point, Seacourt knew their carbon impact holistically for a 12-month period and sought to work on a regenerative project in the Amazonian basin. In this project, Seacourt safeguards 86,000 hectares of endangered forestry and are reforesting 12,000 hectares of deforested lands. They also have a social element where they support a programme with indigenous people. So, this is how Seacourt maintains their Planet Positive Thinking element, as they give back more than they consume in everything they have an impact on.

Significance of being Net carbon zero

Of course, we are conscious of the fact that we are in a lockdown where many businesses are struggling financially. So, this is for those of you thinking “is it going to be really costly for me to be Net Carbon Zero or Carbon positive?”. Gareth emphases the need to understand the impact of sustainability, to have a strategic plan and an idea of what goal you want to reach and how you will achieve it. Otherwise, your business will get left behind! Other business will pick up this leadership agenda and show exactly what business can do. Gareth identifies these businesses as the ones to be the most successful. This is already evident among investors refusing to work with fossil fuel-based business. That’s why business need to act responsibly to stay ahead of the game!

How management systems help Seacourt run their business

Seacourt has been certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 for years. These management tool helps Seacourt set the business up to the highest standards and ensure continual improvement. The quality environmental management system provides a framework for delivering sustainable best practice.

B Corp

Now let’s move on to talk about B Corp!

B Corp is the global movement that aligns businesses who share the same philosophy, which is that businesses can and should be a force for good. Certified B Corps meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. The unifying goal of B Corps is that the main driver is stakeholder value, not shareholder value.  

Understanding your supply chain

For those of you who have not yet looked into their supply chain, Gareth recommends:

  1. Observing and controlling your building in terms of energy efficiency (make sure its insulated and you use renewable power)
  2. Then send out supplier surveys to find out what your suppliers are doing or working on that you are not aware of
  3. Then look at your key supply chain and identify if you can start mapping the carbon impact.

These steps would give you key findings and insights that you can use in your goals and strategy.

Contact details for Gareth, if you have any enquires or would simply like to connect with him, get in contact using one of the ways below:

Website URL :

Twitter handle: @seacourtltd

LinkedIn handle: Garethdinnage

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The Events industry in the UK is worth £39.1 billion – accounting for 30% of the UK visitor economy. This includes music events, sporting events, exhibitions and various festivals and cultural events.

It’s awesome that this is so great for the economy, and for people getting together to have a great time, however, the sad fact is that the lack of sustainability in events these events is having a devastating impact on our planet.

According to the stats from WRAP – Many events only recycle around 15% of waste from events – the rest goes to landfill

The Music Industry alone created 23,500 Tonnes of waste a year, and only 32% of that is recycled

Recognising that something needed to be done about this wasteful industry a standard for sustainability events was created by the events industry for the events industry known as ISO 20121.

Just to give you a bit of background, ISO 20121 is applicable to any size organization that either runs or hosts events, and wishes to improve the sustainability of their events.  The standard provides a framework to establish, an event sustainability management system, which not only helps to reduce the negative impacts of events, but also capitalizes on the more positive impacts through improved planning and processes.

So this standard started out as a British standard – BS 8901 in 2009. This was when we first got involved with implementing the standard for events companies and venues that hosted events.  But it wasn’t until the Olympic Games 2012 in London, that the standard really made its mark.

I think this really helped to push the topic of sustainability to the top of events management companies agenda’S.

I understand that one of the key aims of the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012, was to leave behind a positive legacy in terms of economic, environmental and social benefits, with minimum material waste, energy consumption, or strain on local communities.

One of the many questions we get asked is about the scope of certification

So let me just talk you through the options here:-

Venue – i.e. Wembley Stadium

Organiser – Events Management company or just a company that organises or hosts a lot of events.

Want to learn more about ISO 20121? Take a look at our Steps to Success.

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Join us on our ISO Show 3 part series on Implementing ISO 14001.  The leading global environmental standard, is still as popular as ever for businesses that are serious about acting responsibility and not just paying ‘lip service’ to ‘going green’.

Derek Hall, Senior Consultant at Blackmores shares the benefits and values of ISO 14001, including how putting good environmental management into practice can improve the bottom line.

The first step on the ISO 14001 journey is to begin with looking at what the company ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ and how this works with the associated interested parties i.e. employees, contractors and clients.  Following the ISO 14001 Gap Analysis,  the organisation will need some ‘breathing space’ to reflect on the findings, share the report with the management team, before planning the next steps.

Prior to creating the Environmental Management System (EMS) structure its worthwhile beginning with three key areas:-

  • Identifying significant environmental aspects – Creating an Aspects and Impacts Register Review energy, waste, water, procured goods etc in relation to what the company does
  • Understand the environmental legal compliance obligations – these need to relate directly to the organisations activities, locations and services delivered.
  • Establish Environmental objectives – Once the environmental aspects and legal compliance requirements are understood, setting realistic objectives can help to reduce operational costs and give an organisation a competitive edge.

If you are keen to get started today, we also have a FREE ISO 14001 Checklist for our ISO Show listeners, contact us today for your free copy. To help out the ISO Show:

Join Mel and Derek Hall, this week as they discuss the awesome sustainability work that Derek did to be awarded an MBE for his contribution to sustainability management in business based on ISO 14001 and ISO 9001.

To help out the ISO Show:

The UK events industry accounts for 30% of the UK visitor economy generating £39.1 billion.  Yet, it is still incredibly wasteful, with only 15% of waste going to landfill.  Our ISO Show this week features Lucille Ryan, Sustainability Manager from Informa who provides an insight into how Informa reduces waste and demonstrates a commitment to sustainability to buck the wasteful trend in the industry.

As the world’s leading exhibitions organiser, with over 4,400 employees delivering over 550 international events and brands in more than 40 countries.  Informa, are raising the bar for sustainable events globally.

In the first quarter of 2019, Informa Markets took home an impressive amount of industry honours.  In total, the global exhibitions leader received 45 distinctions from a variety of industry networks.   

In our podcast this week we delve right into the Sustainable events standard ISO 20121.

To give you a bit of background, ISO 20121 was created by the events industry for the events industry. Applicable to any size organization that either runs or hosts events, and wishes to improve the sustainability of their events.  The standard provides a framework to establish, an event sustainability management system, which not only helps to reduce the negative impacts of events, but also capitalizing on the more positive impacts through improved planning and processes.

This standard started out as a British standard – BS 8901 in 2009.  Which was when Blackmores first got involved with implementing the standard for events companies and venues that hosted events such as Wembley Stadium.  But it wasn’t until the Olympic Games 2012 in London, that the standard really made its mark.  One of the key aims of the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012, was to leave behind a positive legacy in terms of economic, environmental and social benefits, with minimum material waste, energy consumption, or strain on local communities.

I hope you can join Lucille and I discuss Informa’s sustainability initiatives and how this is making a positive impact on the events industry.

If you would like to find out more about Informa, head on over to their website:

Their latest Sustainability report can be found HERE

Need assistance with ISO 20121? We’d be happy to help, simply Contact Us.

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ISO 50001:2018 has been published

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has recently published ISO 50001:2018, the revised standard for energy management. ISO 50001:2018 has been revised to follow ISO’s common framework and High Level Structure (HLS) used for management system standards. This change will make it easier to integrate with other management system certifications, such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Those that are already certified to the 2011 version of the standard will have 3 years to transition to the 2018 version.

What is the difference between the 2011 and 2018 standards?

ISO 50001:2018 is based on Annex SL – the new ISO high level structure (HLS) that brings a common framework to all management systems, i.e. it applies a common language across all standards.

This helps to keep consistency, supports alignment of different management system standards, e.g. ISO9001, ISO14001, etc. With the new standard in place, organisations will find it easier to incorporate their energy management system into core business processes and get more involvement from top management.

Other changes include:-

  • New clause for understanding the organization and its context (4.1)
  • New clause for systematic determination of the needs and expectations of interested parties (4.2)
  • Strengthened emphasis on leadership and top management commitment
  • Addition of Risk and opportunity management
  • Addition of Competence (7.2)
  • Extended requirements related to communications (7.4)
  • Additions to Operational planning and control (8.1)
  • Monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation of energy performance and the EnMS (9.1)
  • Additions to Management review (9.3)

How your company can benefit from adopting ISO 50001

If energy use is one of your organisations significant environmental aspects, then an Energy management system (EnMS) may provide additional benefit and enhanced focus on energy management.

Application of ISO50001 contributes to more efficient use of available energy sources, to enhanced competitiveness and to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other related environmental impacts. ISO50001 is applicable irrespective of the types of energy used, e.g. electricity, gas, diesel, petrol etc…

Follow our Twitter and LinkedIn for more updates about the revised ISO 50001:2018

EDIE Live banner News

Blackmores invites you to EDIE Live, an event focusing on the sustainability, energy management, innovation and leadership and skills of your business. Taking place at the Birmingham NEC Centre on the 17th and 18th May 2016.

You are welcome to pick our brains on all ISO standards relating to Quality, Risk and Environmental Standards and enter our prize draw to win free consultancy days and E-Learning. We are also hosting the ISO 50001 Energy Management Advice Clinic.

Who should attend?

EDIE Live should be visited by anyone who manages any environmental, sustainability, energy or corporate responsibility aspects of their business. Common attendee job roles include:

  • Energy Management
  • Sustainability Management
  • Environmental Management
  • Facilities Management
  • CSR Management
  • Estates Management
  • Waste Management
  • Corporate Communications
  • Energy procurement
  • Health and Safety Management
  • SHE Management
  • Project Management
  • Supply Chain/Contract Management
  • Human Resources
  • Training Management

What to expect?

This year EDIE Live is focusing around the issues of Energy, sustainability and resource efficiency for all businesses. During the two day run there will be a number of seminars discussing the following topics:

  • Financing sustainability: challenges and opportunities
  • Energy Efficiency – present and future
  • Putting the O in ESOS – where is the opportunity?
  • Sustainability best practice: building asset value
  • Next generation: leading the way in onsite renewables
  • Innovative onsite water management strategies
  • Drivers for resource efficiency: what happens if we don’t engage?
  • The approach of different sectors to resource efficiency

We look forward to seeing you there.

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About Blackmores

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Whether you choose to work with one of our isologist consultants or work your own way through the process on our isology Hub, we’re certain you’ll achieve certification in no time!

What our clients have to say

We engaged Blackmores to develop our ISO 9001, 14001, and 45001 management system from scratch. Throughout the creation and development stages of our ISO journey, Anju Punetha demonstrated remarkable patience, knowledge, and understanding as our dedicated consultant.

During our internal audit preparations, Ian Battersby’s meticulous attention to detail and thorough approach ensured we were well-prepared for our external audit, which we passed with flying colours. His guidance during the external audit was invaluable.

Based on our engagement and experience, I highly recommend the entire Blackmores team. If you’re considering pursuing ISO accreditations, Blackmores should be your first choice.

Graeme Adam

The support and advise I get from our assigned auditors is immense. Forward planning for the following year is great and they are flexible and always willing to help.

Kalil Vandi

“Blackmores have assisted us almost since the start of our adoption of the ISO 9001 quality standard. Their input has improved our processes since the start, and enabled our goal of continuous improvement to be achieved. The people are also extremely easy to get on with, and they really understand our business, giving us a great deal of confidence in their advice.”

David Gibson

Photon Lines Ltd

“Blackmores are the perfect bridge between working on your ISO as an individual or company, to being audited each year.  We find that any queries we have are covered and we feel sure that we have everything as needs be before going into an external audit.”

Mandy Welsby

Jaama Ltd

“We have been extremely impressed with the service and support provided by Blackmores.  There knowledge and assistance through out our ISO journey has been amazing!”

Philip Hannabuss

Dome Consulting

“Blackmores have really kept us on our toes with the broad scope and level of detail they apply to our internal audit schedule. They always stay abreast of ISO standard changes and help us to adapt our processes and documents to embrace these changes accordingly. Having Blackmores shadow our external audits provides invaluable confidence and peace of mind – would highly recommend their services!”

Phil Geens

Kingsley Napley

“Our ISO 27001 certification project has gone so well, that there was no doubt in who we were going to ask to help us with our aspirations of becoming ISO 14001 certified. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Blackmores, and we are really looking forward to working with them for the foreseeable future.”


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