How green is your distribution partner? 

Author: Steve Rawlins, CEO, Anglia Components 

According to a 2023 study by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), 86.5% adults in Great Britain report having made at least some changes to their lifestyle to help tackle environmental issues. Companies and organisations, too, are now much more aware of the importance of sustainability, not only to their customers, but also to their employees.  

A recent article by international law firm, Allen & Overy which specialises in environmental regulations, looks at practical steps senior leaders can take to address the challenges they face. One of the first points made in ‘Embedding sustainability in practice – how companies will need to adapt to successfully address sustainability-related regulation’ is that, “A company’s organisational purpose, vision, and values will need to align with its net zero transition plan and support the transformation required. Boards and senior management are likely to find themselves weighing commercial considerations alongside sustainability factors and commitments, requiring different approaches to assessing value and measuring performance.” 

This is a view that Anglia Components strongly agrees with. As a company, we have whole-heartedly embraced sustainability for several years now. For us, sustainability has helped to improve our competitiveness by changing our working practices and is not just something to pay lip-service to. The need for companies and individuals to act responsibly is one of the key considerations that underpins every decision we take. We are committed to finding ways to achieve a green culture within our company and amongst our employees to protect our environment. Our ultimate aim is to be net zero, and we have measured our emissions to understand what our carbon footprint is. In accordance with GHG Protocol (Green House Gas Protocol) we have established the following focus areas for our attention: 

  • Scope 1 – all emissions generated directly by Anglia Components Plc by company owned equipment or vehicle fleet 
  • Scope 2 – emissions generated by purchased energy, for example oil, gas, and electricity 
  • Scope 3 – all other emissions that are not under direct control by Anglia, such as employee travel 

As a result of our measurements, we have introduced many mandatory policy directives. We have switched to plain, recyclable packaging and sealing tape, plus standard size options, and we have developed intelligent software to ensure the optimum size box is used for each delivery. This reduces infill packaging, and waste in general. Customers can even reuse the boxes if they wish since they are plain un-branded. Jiffy bags with plastic padding are no longer permitted.  

We also avoid the use of paper wherever possible. Statements are sent out electronically; invoices and quotes via email as PDF files where possible. Our HR software system is paperless; all records are stored in a digital format, compliant with GDPR. For necessary paper products, we use recycled and recyclable paper or card. Recycling is employed throughout the company. We sell or give away items such as computers and printers that we no longer use. Out-of-date branded marketing material is given away to employees or recycled to support charities. Product disposal is handled only via authorised and registered recycling agents. 

We aim to reduce our power consumption in a variety of ways. Anglia only buys equipment such as mobile phones, laptops, printers, and vending machines that have been classified as low energy. LED lighting and occupancy sensors are mandated throughout the building and ensure that computers and TV screens/monitors are shut down after work. Sensors are also used to control external security lighting, air-conditioning, and water usage. We monitor the use of electricity, gas, oil, and water to reduce waste, we consider renewable energy and switch to green tariffs with our energy suppliers wherever possible.  

We avoid ‘unnecessary’ travel by road, train, or flights by encouraging the use of video and audio-conferencing suites on site, and use of telephone or email. Anglia’s Car Allowance Policy has been changed to promote smaller, more economical engines, and we will have an electric vehicle fleet by 2030. EV power points – including the possible usage of solar chargers – are being introduced. Recently, we have also consolidated our logistic services with FedEx, which reduces the number of vehicles transporting goods from our distribution centre to sorting facilities. 

All our suppliers and contractors are asked to share their green credentials, and to use products with a lower environmental impact. As a positive step to mitigate our carbon footprint shortfall, Anglia has teamed up with ‘ClimatePartner’ to engage with other agencies to establish global projects that are working to improve climate change worldwide. In consultation with our employees, we have carefully selected projects to offset our carbon emissions. 

Anglia is also delivering on its sustainability promise with the launch of Anglia Live throughout Europe. The Anglia Live eCommerce offers a rapid delivery service for European customers via our UK distribution centre, Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) and shipped by FedEx through its Paris hub. Therefore, Anglia is now able to offer customers in the EU competitive pricing in multiple local currencies coupled with ex-stock availability and one- or two-day delivery on a wide inventory of semiconductor, passive and electromechanical products. Customers can place orders in Euro or US Dollar currency and orders placed up to 17:00 (CET) Monday to Thursday and 12:30 (CET) on Friday are despatched same day. There is no minimum order value and DDP delivery is free for orders over €50/$60, orders below these values incur a €20/$30 service charge.

Anglia Live customers enjoy full, real-time visibility of inventory status. Other benefits include a comprehensive parametric search engine, industry standard cross-reference database and up to date product change or termination notifications (PCN / PTN). Furthermore, a host of other digital tools to assist purchasing professionals and design engineers are also available on the site such as BOM+ which can fully cost and cross refer a Bill of Materials in under two minutes. Products are supplied with full lot traceability back to the original manufacturer’s pack, even for broken pack quantities such as cut tape and ready reel formats.

Anglia Live offers customers a competitive service with equivalent or faster delivery than other USA-based ‘self-service’ distributors. The key differentiator is that Anglia backs this up with a full, personal service that has seen the company thrive and prosper over 50 years. And, of course, products shipped from Anglia’s large inventory in the UK have a much reduced climate impact vs. shipping from the USA.

This article originally appeared in the May issue of Procurement Pro.