Print.IT Reseller - issue 110

PRINTITRESELLER.UK 43 VOX POP continued... Businesses want to know what we are doing for the community and how our OEM manages the manufacturing supply chain categories, and features in not only our supplier selection criteria, but also in what real returns a customer will yield from an engagement with our organisation. At the very least we know that a significant number of customers are looking for support in their own objectives with carbon net zero, and we have developed programmes designed to provide not only a net zero position, but a net-negative offering. We have reflected this clear increase in relevance across all the markets where we operate by enhancing our own plans with outsourced expert guidance and tracking, together with a much more detailed explanation to customers on what elements contained within our offerings deliver best-in-class supply chain sustainability, and which choices bring maximum sustainability gains. Terence Hargreaves, Sales & Marketing Director, DMS Group: This year, sustainability is not just a ‘nice-to-have,’ but a central facet of our corporate identity and value proposition. Recognising the heightened consumer demand for environmentally-conscious solutions, we have embedded sustainability into every aspect of our business model. Through meticulous environmental impact assessments and consultation with independent sustainability experts, we have ensured our operations exceed regulatory requirements and meet evolving customer expectations. An internal 'Green Committee’ monitors these initiatives to ensure ongoing relevance and impact. PrintIT Reseller: Two in five channel companies said that sustainability criteria feature in some or all the RFPs they respond to. How has the decision-making landscape changed in 2023 and how important is it to ensure you include measurable environmental benefits when pitching for business? Mark Goulding: The print arena has changed, and environmental issues are now a real key talking point when discussing new equipment. Waste and recycling are far more in the buyer’s eyes than it ever was before, as is the sustainability of the product. Liz Budd: I am surprised it was only two in five. We regularly receive proposal requests that feature sustainability, and that’s not limited to corporate requests. Many smaller businesses are driven by sustainability too, and we’ve seen an increase in demand for information about recycling consumables, sourcing more environmentally-friendly resources, energy efficiency and the circular (or otherwise) nature of devices. That demand is wider than the manufacturer; businesses want to know what we are doing for the community and how our OEM manages the manufacturing supply chain, for example. Very few RFPs are yet asking for devices and services that measure up against specific carbon targets or KWh/ wk ceilings, but we suspect that time is coming, and we’re preparing for when it does. Andy Ratcliffe: We are seeing sustainability having a greater weighting in RFPs’ requirements, more so in the last year or two. Many organisations are now having to report their environmental data and are targeted to make annual improvements. As such, measurable data is a common requirement with energy use being the most requested. We then go a step further and can calculate the overall print impact, including paper usage and consumable usage. This can then serve as a useful ‘real world’ impact tool that goes into our customer’s ESG reporting. That information then works as excellent case study material, which a growing of prospective businesses ask for. They want to know what is possible and how they can apply similar sustainability initiatives into their business and what that impact might look like for them. Mark Bailey: In 2023, the business landscape has witnessed a significant shift towards greater emphasis on sustainability and environmental considerations. In the SME market in which we specialise, I don’t believe this has been driven necessary from board level in RFPs as a checklist. Rather than from the user level up, where everyday users are being more aware and changing their attitudes. We have seen that in many circumstances users want to know their employer is using sustainable products and suppliers. This is driving the purchasing behaviour of management to take sustainability seriously. SMEs need to balance the cost vs benefit argument when considering supplier. Because EBM has a rich Terence Hargreaves Liz Budd