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21 June 2024

Sustainability Training ‘Adds Value’ for Packaging Firm

For packaging provider DS Smith a journey into formal sustainability training started with one employee becoming ‘a bit of a guinea pig’.

Bev Fowler, DS Smith's Head of Business Services, engaged with ACT's new sustainability accreditation after a conversation with the training provider’s Management and Business Services Route Manager, Kelly Harry.

Bev acknowledges she initially took the course ‘as a bit of a guinea pig’ – but her curiosity quickly turned into a commitment. So far 19 members of Bev’s Business Services team have undertaken the course, with plans to extend this training to an additional 50 employees later this year.

“When I did my carbon footprint as part of that course, I was horrified at the amount of waste that comes just from me and my very small family,” Bev said.

With recycling forming a large portion of DS Smith’s operations, the business has a commitment to the circular economy and following completion of the accreditation Bev was keen to bring further projects to life in Caerphilly, the home of the company’s UK Business Services office and the recycling UK head office.

Bev said:

“The course helped me think about what I can do to really make a difference. It’s all very well sitting the accreditation but how do you then use it moving forward?

“A lot of the activity we’ve got planned for the summer – in terms of planting and creating bee boxes and so on – came from that.”

Addressing potential challenges such as time constraints for busy employees, ACT tailored the course delivery to fit seamlessly into the working day at DS Smith.

Kelly collaborated closely with Bev to integrate the coursework into the employees' schedules effectively.

“We scheduled time for colleagues to complete pre-coursework while they are at work and Kelly condensed the course so that they could come in, do the face-to-face element, and the test well within the parameters of their normal working day,” Bev said.

Bev's experience has been so positive that she advocates other businesses to engage with similar training, saying: “It just adds value”.

Find out more about ACT’s green qualifications, including its new diploma in Energy and Carbon Management, here.

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