Kitchen giant Wren partners with University of Hull to further ‘relentless quest’ for sustainability

Wren Kitchens has turned to academics at University of Hull to help accelerate the journey to Net Zero.

The huge company, with a major Humber footprint, is partnering on a significant project to ensure its credentials are clear to customers. It will take advantage of a unique supply chain carbon mapping tool, designed and developed by environmental specialists across the river from its Barton base, while equipping two members of its senior team with related Phds.

Lee Holmes, Wren’s transport and logistics director, said: “Wren is delighted to be partnering with the University of Hull to deliver what we believe will be an industry first and the catalyst for others in the Humber region to take a holistic approach to their impact on the environment. We hope this project will deliver thought leadership to the manufacturing sector by being future-focussed beyond the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) regulations, and take a leading role in the industry to establish and develop a circular economy. Our ultimate aim is to fully embed environmental sustainability into the company beyond the project end and offer customers a user-friendly footprint calculation for on-pack claims in the online sales ordering process, promoting customer awareness and the ability to make informed choices.”

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The two organisations have secured a Knowledge Transfer Partnership from Innovate UK, to fund the two-year project. It will give Wren accelerated access to the specialist expertise and knowledge within Hull University Business School, enabling the £916.5 million turnover firm to fully embed environmental sustainability knowledge, know-how and innovation across its business. It will create the foundations for an in-house sustainability team with access to new emergent eco-conscious markets globally.

Dr Sarah Shaw, reader in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at Hull University Business School, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be working with Wren Kitchens on this exciting, innovative research project. The KTP will enable Wren to have capacity and capability to baseline their supply chain carbon footprint and make this data available to customers to drive carbon inset improvement decisions.”

The project will go beyond understanding operational carbon impact to total transparency of whole-life carbon of a kitchen, which is the combination of embodied and operational emissions, essential for the built environment and achievement of the UK’s net zero target by 2050.

The Phd studies will ensure sustainability remains a key driver at Wren, with the company having just entered the new build contracts market while also venturing into bedrooms. One of those to return to academia is Trevor Nixon, head of retail health and safety at Wren.

He said: “The KTP collaboration between Wren and the university is a very exciting, but challenging initiative which I am eager to embrace and lead from Wren’s perspective. It will not only support my personal development, bridge any gaps in Wren’s knowledge, as well as guide our corporate strategy through specialist experts but will act as an enabler for Wren to reach 2030 Net Zero Carbon objectives.”

Original artice – https://business-live.co.uk/all-about/yorkshire-humber

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