Sustainable Supplier Profiles Sustainable Supplier Profiles

The Procurement team assess the University’s key suppliers to see how sustainable and ethical they are. Profiles have been created for the following suppliers to date:

Shred Station Shred Station

Who are Shred Station?Shred Station Supplier Logo

Shred Station is a local shredding company operating its Head Office and flagship destruction centre from Rackheath on the outskirts of Norwich. They have 60 employees and currently provide confidential waste shredding services for the UEA.


Shred Station have worked hard to minimise the impact of their operations on the environment. For example none of the material they shred, including UEA waste, goes to landfill. All paper-based waste is sent to UK processing mills, with non-recyclable materials being sent to an energy from waste plant for incineration and energy recovery.

Shred Station has a relatively new facility at Rackheath, they have installed LED lighting throughout to reduce energy consumption. A 50kW solar array has also been installed on the roof of their building, to date this has generated 110,000kWh of energy. The average UK home uses approximately 4,000 kWh a year, the panels at Shred Station have therefore to date generated enough energy to power 27 UK homes for a year.

All of the Shred Station vehicles are among the most energy efficient available on the market. The fleet is renewed every 5 years to ensure they stay at the forefront of clean vehicle technology.

Shred Station are also turning the waste from some of the products they recycle into innovative commodities to be used locally by other businesses.

The Company offer customers a scheme where they will offset the carbon from the paper shredded. They will plant a tree for every tonne of paper shredded.

Shred Station has gained ISO14001 accreditation, this is an environmental management standard. They are also the first security shredding provider to be accredited by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA). This helps to address labour exploitation and abuse in the UK.

Shred Station support the local community in a number of ways including sponsoring local amateur football teams and a dragon in the Norwich Trail.


We should try to minimise all waste produced at the University, however, as you can see when you do dispose of confidential waste you can have confidence that the supplier collecting it is reducing the impact of the service as much as possible.

Marybelle Marybelle

Setting the SceneMarybelle Supplier profile logo

The dairy industry has been in the news a lot over the last few years with farmers finding that dairy farming is becoming unsustainable due to the low prices they are being paid for milk. 

Muller, a company producing products made with dairy, has also been in the news. They have closed some of their plants and are asking farmers to pay for increased transport costs to their other plants or lose their contracts. 

At the University our Catering Team purchases 66,570 litres of milk per annum, this makes the UEA a significant local consumer. In 2016 Catering worked with the Procurement Team to put a formal milk supply contract in place. The contract was awarded to Marybelle Pur Natur Ltd, a firm operating out of Halesworth in Suffolk.

How has sustainability been addressed in the new milk contract?

When the market was approached for the new milk contract the tender directly addressed the issues of low pay to dairy farmers.

Marybelle use Defra ‘Farmgate prices’ to assess rates being paid to farmers and ensure a fair price is being given. 

There are also concerns globally about growing antibiotic resistance, it is believed that antibiotic use in animals is exacerbating this issue. Whilst the UEA has not been able to prohibit the use of antibiotics in cows we have sought reassurance from Marybelle about their use. Marybelle ensure that if a cow is treated with antibiotics then they are withdrawn for a minimum of 3 days. Every load of milk received by Marybelle is also tested for traces of antibiotics, if any are found then the load is rejected.

Animal welfare is a high priority for Marybelle, their farmers are audited to the National Dairy Farms Assured Scheme (Red Tractor).

Marybelle support local farmers, all of the milk they purchase is from local farms. They have also taken on two farms which have lost other contracts. 


There has been lots of high profile coverage of the dairy industry over the last couple of years. UEA Catering and Procurement have worked hard to ensure that the farmers who produce the milk we buy for use on site, have been paid a fair price. When using the Catering outlets you can have confidence that the milk supply chain has been assessed to ensure fair pay to farmers, animal welfare and sustainability.

There are links below leading to stories about the dairy industry.

Accent Fresh Accent Fresh

Setting the SceneAccent Fresh supplier logo

The Catering Team spend approximately £117,000 per annum on fresh fruit and vegetables for use in meals served on Campus.

This commodity area is well known for forced labour and worker exploitation, as a rural area the Fens in East Anglia produces a third of the UK’s vegetables. Farms in this region have hit the headlines on many occasions with workers being exploited.

Forced labour will never be acceptable and Catering together with the Procurement Team are working hard with our suppliers to ensure that ethical and sustainable practices are being employed.

Who are Accent Fresh?

Accent Fresh are the supplier of fresh fruit and vegetables to the University’s Catering Team, including the Sainsbury’s Centre. Accent Fresh are a family run business located in West Norfolk supplying predominantly fresh fruit and vegetables but also some other produce. They even have a wild forager who forages across the county to supply them with a wide variety of produce including:

  • Bright green nettles – used in risottos and soups
  • Sea purslane – used with meats
  • Wild garlic

Where possible Accent Fresh try to source produce within the UK. 63% of the produce they sell has been grown within the UK, 10% of this is local (East Anglian). The remaining 37% is imported and includes items such as pineapples and bananas which cannot be easily grown in our climate.

The products sourced locally include:

  • Walsingham – cheeses
  • Dereham – Cresses and leaves
  • Littleport - Mushrooms


Accent Fresh are proactive in monitoring their supply chains for responsible sourcing.  They are a member of SEDEX, a not for profit organisation that drives responsible and ethical business practices in global supply chains. 

One of their largest suppliers is a member of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA), this organisation protects vulnerable workers in the UK food industry including those picking and packing fruit and vegetables. The supplier employs all of their UK seasonal labour directly avoiding the risk of gangmasters supplying exploited workers. 

Accent Fresh supply Fairtrade products on request and are able to source organic produce, although the pricing and provision of organic produce is very volatile and unreliable.

To assist UEA and other customers to minimise their impact on the environment Accent Fresh produce calendars setting out which products are in season. This helps Catering teams to select produce that is available in the UK rather than having to import out of season produce and increase food miles. Customer demand plays a part in this with consumers demanding some produce all year round, this includes items such as tomatoes.

Accent Fresh report regularly on any supply and demand issues within the market. These are often caused by the weather impacting upon crop yields. By keeping up to date with supply information Catering can plan menus and avoid any sharp rises in produce caused by lack of availability. 


In summary the food commodity group is a high risk area for sustainability and forced labour issues. By working closely with Accent Fresh UEA can identify how the supply chain is being monitored to prevent ethical issues.

The team has also been able to minimise their impact by working with Accent Fresh to keep up to date with the seasonaility of produce and any supply and demand issues that arise.

For further information please visit the Accent Fresh Webpages:

The following links will take you to some articles on forced labour within the food industry on the Fens:

Enterprise Rent-A-Car Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Setting the SceneEnterprise logo

The University spends around £10,000 a year hiring vehicles, this includes cars, minibuses and vans. 

The UEA Procurement Team has recently collaborated with Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies to launch a new contract for vehicle hire. The contract has been awarded to Enterprise Rent-a-Car who offer an extensive range of vehicles including an exotic range such as Ferrari’s and Aston Martins (although the Head of Procurement may have a thing or two to say if these appear on our hire statistics).

Who are Enterprise Rent-A-Car?

Enterprise were founded in 1957 by Jack Taylor who named his business Enterprise after the WWII aircraft carrier he served on, the USS Enterprise. The business has grown and is now one of the largest global transport solutions providers in the world.


Enterprise have a number of initiatives which aim to minimise their impact on the environment and bring about positive benefits for society. Some of the initiatives they are involved in are set out below.

The company has won many awards including Graduate employer of the year 2016.  They work with universities to recruit graduates into their management scheme.  Offers have been made to four UEA students for positions starting in summer 2017, a further five UEA graduates started work with Enterprise throughout the year.  

Enterprise are part of ENACTUS which encourages University students to create sustainable solutions to society’s biggest challenges such as homelessness. UEA are part of this along with 58 other universities.

They have committed to plant 50 million trees in 50 years, so far 9 million have been planted. Enterprise also support 80 reforestation projects across 4 countries including projects run by the UKs Woodland Trust. 

Enterprise fund sustainable energy research which aims to advance alternative fuels and clean technologies.

Enterprise provide the UEA with carbon emissions data for the vehicles we hire and the journeys we take. This helps the University to monitor the impact of our business on the environment. 

Enterprise regularly renew their vehicles to ensure that they keep the optimum range in terms of latest technologies to reduce emissions. The vehicles are also maintained to ensure optimum efficiency and safety for drivers. 


Enterprise are working hard to mitigate the impact of their business on the environment. By utilising the University’s car hire contract you can hire with confidence that the vehicle you are using is not only safe but sustainability is also being addressed. 

To find out more visit:


Who are BOC?

BOC, part of the Linde Group, supply the University with Specialist Gases, first aid supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE). BOC are the largest provider of industrial, medical and specialist gases in the UK and Ireland, with a workforce of around 3,200, 12 filling sites and 72 retail stores, with a distribution network of a further 340 local agents.

Their environmental performance consistently achieves best in class levels, and continuous improvement is a key priority to ensure they remain in this position. The below summary shows how they use policy, accountability, goals and measurement to achieve this improvement.



As a major manufacturer, and part of Linde Group, BOC have strict targets for energy efficiency and corporate social responsibility. BOC aim to ensure there is no harm to people or the environment due to their operations, or through the use of their products or services. Further to this, the principles of the Linde Group state their commitment to sustainability as one of their four key principles.

Linde's Code of Ethics defines clear standards that govern internal relationships, as well as with customers and suppliers, authorities and other business partners. The Code of Ethics is binding for all employees of Linde AG and its worldwide subsidiaries. It is flanked by additional policies to cover corporate responsibility, Safety, Health, Environment and Quality, Procurement and expectations on suppliers.

This is a strong series of statements from a manufacturer of this kind, as the very nature of this industry unfortunately creates risk of harm to the environment, and involves complex supply chains which have a risk of exploitation.

As part of their commitment to the importance of environmental sustainability, BOC have formalised this as part of their Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ) function in the business, to highlight the need to focus on the area. This functions ensures that all operational elements of the business take direct responsibility for their environmental performance. In this respect, BOC ensures that there is ownership of the problem, from the ground up.

On Human rights, BOC and Linde commit to the principles of the Human Rights Charter and are a participant of the UN Global Compact. From this, Linde constantly reviews internal policy to challenge the way in which its policy meets the needs of the principles which it aims to uphold.


While policy and principles are vital to BOC and Linde group, these merely underpin action. Linde’s corporate responsibility report provides a brief overview of the most important global sustainability goals and their respective implementation status, which can be found here. In environmental terms these focus on avoiding C02 emissions, reducing emissions from their fleet of 1000+ vehicles and developing a strategy for sustainable water use.


The group has a clear series of targeted Key Performance Indicators. They state these as being there to track their economic, ecological and social performance, identifying scope for improvement. Where possible, they align with internationally recognised standards. Progress against non-financial KPIs are also included in the business’ financial reports.

Additionally and importantly, these KPIs are audited and validated by third parties to ensure they are a true reflection of progress made by the business. Linde’s full series of KPIs are available here and in chart form here.


As a significant manufacturing and distribution business, BOC have serious challenges with regards to improving their environmental credentials, however, as a result of this, it is clear that BOC and Linde take their responsibilities very seriously, are clear about this commitment, from policy, to goals, to measurement, with a clear focus on continuous improvement.

BOC also recognise the importance of supporting the customer with achieving sustainable working. In customer projects BOC analyse and calculate possibilities to save energy and reduce the environmental footprint.

By utilising the contracts the University holds with BOC, you can be confident that the business strives to work in a sustainable manner, which is consistent with our own objectives. 


Who are DHL?

Deutsche Post DHL Group is the world’s leading logistics and mail communications company. At locations in over 220 countries and territories worldwide, a workforce of some 510,000 employees generated revenues exceeding €57.3 billion and EBIT of approximately €3.5 billion in the reporting year. 

The principal company of the Group is Deutsche Post AG, a listed corporation domiciled in Bonn, Germany. Each of the Group’s four operating divisions – Post - eCommerce - Parcel; Express; Global Forwarding, Freight; and Supply Chain – is under the control of its own divisional headquarters. DHL has consolidated internal services such as Finance, IT, Procurement and Legal under Global Business Services. Group management functions are centralized in the Corporate Center.


As a primarily freight and logistics company, DHL’s key sustainability concerns and improvement areas fall on their fleet in the environmental and climate change area of sustainability. DHL’s fleet includes aircraft, lorries, vans and bikes.

DHL have a climate change mission, with interim goals to measure achievement. These are listed below.


In 2017 we set an ambitious new climate protection target to reduce all transport-related emissions to zero by the year 2050 – our contribution to achieving the two-degree goal established at the 2015 UN Paris Climate Conference (COP 21). 

Four interim goals for 2025

To help turn this long-term vision into reality, DHL have established four interim goals for 2025:

  • To increase carbon efficiency by 50% compared to 2007 levels
  • To make 70% of pick-ups and deliveries with clean-energy solutions such as electric vehicles
  • To have over 50% of sales incorporate Green Solutions
  • To train 80% of employees to become certified GoGreen experts. Also join with partners to plant one million trees each year.

In terms of aircraft, over the last 5 years, the DHL fleet has expanded from 168 to 190 major freight aircraft. Alongside this however, the proportion of the fleet that achieves the highest environmental standard (CAEP 6) has also dramatically increased.

Additionally to combat noise pollution, during this time, the fleet has also dramatically increased the proportion of vehicles with a chapter 4 classification. The DHL air fleet focusses heavily on alternative fuels in addition to working towards recognised environmental standards, however the benefit of this is yet to be quantified.

DHL’s road fleet consists of more than 92,000 vehicles worldwide and the focus is on reducing fuel consumption. The first goal is to reduce by not using- ie if an additional journey is not required, don’t make it. The DHL team focus on route planning and smart use of the fleet to reduce the need for as many journeys.

Today, over 48,000 of DHL’s road fleet conform to Euro 5 or Euro 6 classification, which are good emissions standards. In addition since 2014, the fleet has had the range of energy saving modifications applied to vehicles enhanced by almost 50%, from 19,019 modifications to 27,850 modifications in 2016. These include options such as increasing the aerodynamics of vehicles, adding telemetry systems to encourage environmentally friendly driving and alternative drive systems.

Alternative drive systems in particular have been applied to 4,200 vehicles in the fleet, a number which includes 2,500 street scooters- DHL’s own electric delivery vans which have a range of 120km. In Germany, the group employ almost 5,000 bicycles on delivery routes to avoid the consumption of fuel.

In terms of the groups bases of operation these are also now powered where possible by environmentally friendly sources. In fact 68% of energy used on the group’s buildings comes from environmentally friendly sources.

All of the DHL group activities are audited and verified by a number of external awarding bodies, such as the Dow Jones sustainability index and the FTSE4Good scheme.


DHL work through ‘mission 2050’ to reduce their environmental impact of operations to 0 by 2050. By using DHL as our preferred courier, you are ensuring that the university partners with a like-minded business which is concerned about the environment in which we live, and the sustainability of its operations.