Case Study

A Sustainability Certification Case Study: Sanderson Design Group | Planet Mark

Living beautifully is part of Sanderson Design Group’s DNA. With its rich heritage, the company wanted to roadmap an inspiringly sustainable future aligned with its values. Step in, Planet Mark. Here’s how Planet Mark and Sanderson collaborated to construct a radical net zero pathway and take decisive climate action.

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About Sanderson Design Group

Sanderson Design Group is an international luxury interior furnishings organisation that owns various well-known brands, including Clarke & Clarke, Harlequin and Scion. The Group’s goal? To help bring the beautiful into people’s homes and lives. Boldness, innovation, and respect are guiding principles that push Sanderson Design Group forward and help it draw inspiration from its past.

Heritage is built into the walls of Sanderson Design Group, and nothing represents that better than one of the group’s most renowned brands, Morris and Co.

Founded by the revolutionary designer, poet, and publisher William Morris, Morris and Co. upholds the transformative values that led to its formation. It’s no secret that William Morris was also a dedicated environmental campaigner. His moral compass would undoubtedly direct him toward radical sustainability if he were alive today.

Key statistics

  • Planet Mark Certified – Year 5
  • 14.5% carbon emissions reduction in FY23 (1st February 22 – 31st January 23)
  • 18.1% carbon emissions reduction per employee in FY23
  • 58% employee engagement increased to 78%
  • A commitment to a 5% reduction in carbon annually. The first step down the sustainability pathway

While the group had pursued sustainable policies in the past, Sanderson’s strategy needed refinement as they grew. There were a few reasons why the group felt that this change was necessary:

  1. Satisfying investors, shareholders and customers

As a listed company operating in the public domain, investors and shareholders care deeply about how they behave and the values expressed as a company.

  1. Working in an energy-intensive industry

The design and fashion industry relies heavily on the use of chemicals, steam, energy and raw materials as part of the manufacturing process, all of which contribute towards a carbon-intensive sector.

  1. Satisfying employees

As Lisa Montague, CEO of Sanderson Design Group, says, ‘Any company is only a collection of people aligned behind common goals. In our case, around 600 employees pushed the company to be more proactive in respecting and saving the world around us.’

While actions were being taken, the company was determined to develop a more conjoined approach to the issue to achieve authentic progress that satisfied its shareholders, customers, employees, and overarching business objectives. The goal was to pull together a transversal sustainability initiative across the organisation and its various brands.

Step in, Planet Mark.

Choosing Planet Mark

So, what led Sanderson Design Group to choose us? Among others, there were three core reasons behind the group’s decision to get a Planet Mark certification. These were our credibility, strict target setting and commitment to net zero.

Credibility was a prime reason Sanderson believed Planet Mark would be a perfect fit. With respected organisations such as The Royal Warrant Holders Association (RWHA) (of which Sanderson is a member) working with Planet Mark, our legitimacy was evident immediately. That’s without mentioning the over 800 other organisations that have demonstrably benefited from Planet Mark certification and other services, such as our Net Zero programme.

Short- and long-term goal-setting

Sanderson had also been impressed by the certification process and the setting of both short and long-term goals. To achieve the next stage of certification, Planet Mark members are required to reach a minimum reduction benchmark annually. Impressively, Sanderson has committed to a yearly carbon emissions reduction of 5% (double the Planet Mark minimum requirement) and the goal of reaching net zero by 2030.  Today, the group’s internal measure of success, which balances both short-term and long-term goals, has fostered accountability and driven the implementation of carbon reduction strategies.

The enthusiasm of the Planet Mark expert team

A passionate desire for change is at the heart of any successful net zero journey. Sanderson spotted Planet Mark experts’ energy, enthusiasm, and extensive experience early on. The group found the team continuously engaging, going above and beyond the level of partnership they expected. The team’s proactivity in helping develop a clear roadmap was also pivotal for setting the group’s long-term goals.

A roadmap to success

Outlining Sanderson’s roadmap was a clear priority. Targets must be clear, concise and unreservedly ambitious to be impactful. With that in mind, two specific long-term goals remain a critical part of the group’s strategy moving forward:

  1. Become net zero by 2030.
  2. Become the number-one employer of choice in the industry

No mean feat, but with the help of Planet Mark, Sanderson Group is well on its way to reaching those goals and then some. We’re proud to have worked alongside their team to develop a comprehensive and ambitious roadmap for Sanderson to become net zero by 2030, centred around meticulous data collection. Here are a few ways the organisation has taken concrete action on their own emissions, all by respecting people, planet and their legacy.

Taking decisive action with Planet Mark

In-depth data collection, analysis and certification

It’s impossible to know where you’re going if you’re unsure where you started. Here at Planet Mark, we’re specialists in data collection and experts in net zero and carbon reduction strategies. As soon as Sanderson signed up for our Business Certification, we left no stone unturned when collecting emissions data.

The resulting carbon report left Sanderson with a comprehensive starting point for its sustainability journey, allowing them to understand the true sources of their emissions in a digestible way. Our certification has also helped the group stay one step ahead of regulations, mitigate future risks, and implement the following changes to Sanderson’s operations.

The transformation of the printing process

Manufacturing accounts for a large portion of the group’s carbon emissions, but there is an essential balance between sustainable credentials and upholding quality. Fortunately, recently implemented digital pressing techniques have sustained these high standards while drastically reducing emissions. As part of these changes, the group is also looking to eliminate the use of solvent-based products within the process.

Decisive water, gas and waste reduction

Digital printing has a remarkable impact on the amount of water and gas used too. Thanks to the successful implementation of this new technology, water and gas usage, which previously resulted in a significant amount of emissions, has been lowered, with energy consumption reduced by 9% across the business and natural gas consumption reduced by 14%. Digital printing has also led to less waste being produced, as the business can print precisely according to the customer’s specific requirements.

Changes to lighting

Sometimes, the most straightforward changes have the most significant impact. LED lighting has now been installed in Sanderson’s warehouses and offices, while staff are also changing their work patterns to save energy usage. On top of that, Sanderson has also signed up for 100% renewable energy over the past three years and will continue to do so.

Staff engagement

On the journey to net zero, employees are everything. Sanderson has been particularly impressed by the work of Hannah Dean-Wood, our very own Senior Engagement Manager, who has run 200+ workshops with over 2000 attendees for our members.

Hannah has worked to engage the entire Sanderson team, especially those within international sales, providing them with an authentic story to tell. Those who can’t make sessions can access Hannah’s webinars, allowing every employee of Sanderson Design Group to engage with short and long-term net zero action.

What’s on the horizon for Sanderson Design Group?

The future is looking bright for Sanderson Design Group.

There is a whole host of significant changes on the horizon, including the installation of solar panels and investment in brand-new printing technologies. The group is also looking to become a net contributor, rather than a user, of water – this involves cleaning the water they use and returning it to the system.

Planet Mark’s comprehensive roadmap for Sanderson Design Group has not only radically altered its present but will undoubtedly define its future. Fearless, inventive and committed to a net zero existence while respecting a proud heritage, Sanderson Design Group has been transformed into a sustainability trailblazer.

Talk to a Planet Mark expert today

Sanderson Design Group is just one of over 800 businesses that has put its trust in Planet Mark’s services. Our Business Certification and Net Zero Programme provides unparalleled carbon reporting and supports carbon reduction across scopes 1,2 and 3 emissions, rooted in more than a decade of experience.

Harness your company’s net zero potential by chatting to one of our experts today.  
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