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Lionel Hitchen is on a green pathway to reach Net Zero gold

Last updated 22 March 2024
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An Andover manufacturer and supplier of natural flavours and flavour ingredients to the food and beverage industry is on a green pathway to reach gold this year. That’s the ambition of the company’s Technical Director Helen McNair.

She shared her hopes that the family run business will this year receive an EcoVardis gold rating, during EM3 Growth Hub’s Net Zero Opportunity: A 360° Approach to Become a High Value, High Impact Business for the Long Term webinar, hosted by Chris Fry and Clare Ollerenshaw, from strategy and sustainability consultancy Accelar.

Last year company narrowly missed by just one percent in achieving gold from the renowned global assessor that evaluates corporate sustainability. 

EcoVadis measures against seven management indicators, across 21 sustainability criteria, with the results published in a scorecard.

Helen explained the assessment not only evaluates Lionel Hitchen’s current performance, but it also provides benchmarks and valuable feedback about the company’s strengths and areas to build on.

During the online workshop, Helen, who leads the company’s sustainability strategy, discussed Lionel Hitchen’s experience in embedding Net Zero across the family run business, and spoke about the importance of not just getting the backing of the Board, but crucially the support of the workforce, so that the company could take a holistic approach.

“It needed to be part of our language and values in our business,” explained Helen. “We had to make sure that sustainability was embedded and integrated right across the whole business.”

The company set out a sustainability policy and shared its aims during employee briefings. “We asked all the teams to give us ideas, including energy reduction. In fact, we had 800 ideas for reducing energy within our business which was fantastic. And because of that we set up what we call our Green Pathway Group.”

Also known as the Green Dream Team, it holds regular meetings to discuss what activities the company can initiate to improve Lionel Hitchen’s sustainability.

During the webinar Chris Fry, who is also an EM3 Growth Hub Associate, spoke about EM3’s Green Is Good programme, which aims to develop an understanding of how to fully integrate Net Zero work in a business and develop an understanding of what the next level of activity could include towards climate resilience, nature positive and regenerative.

“It is about a journey and every business is different and so your sustainability approach will be slightly different”, said Chris, who noted: “There is a common thread to all of this and that is how your people relate this agenda and how that this helps this helps you attract and retain them.”

Chris added: “There are bunch of business benefits, tangible things that the Net Zero opportunity, and managing Net Zero risks and sustainability risk effectively will unlock and how that creates competitive advantage with your customers and your market position and client and investor value.”

Watch the full webinar by clicking on the YouTube image below.

Watch the first and second of our Net Zero Opportunity webinars by clicking the links below:

Net Zero Opportunity: Making it Happen

Net Zero Opportunities: Future Proofing Your Business to Remain Competitive



Belvedere House
RG21 4HG
United Kingdom

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