Clarion Housing Association

Clarion Housing Association reduces carbon footprint and drives sustainability

Partner Case Study: Clarion Housing Association

Clarion Housing Association partnered with Lyreco to help reach its sustainability goals, curating green products and consolidating deliveries.

The challenge

From 40 UK offices, Clarion manages more than 125,000 residential homes, making them the UK’s largest housing association. “At Clarion, we embed sustainability across all of our operations,” says Susan Sturla-Joy, Clarion’s Facilities Finance Coordinator. Like many conscientious companies, Clarion is committed to reducing its impact on the environment, and they turned to Lyreco to help them in their mission.

Clarion wanted to address their procurement process to drive social value to help improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing in the communities it operates in.

Switching to eco-friendly product alternatives would greatly improve Clarion’s environmental impact. However, sustainable products are generally more expensive. This presented a further challenge: how to boost sustainability while minimising increased costs.

Clarion also wanted to address the frequency of deliveries and subsequent environmental impact. 

Clarion would need a trusted partner with the experience to help reduce their carbon footprint and the expertise to help implement changes. Leadership from both sides would need to be involved from the outset to ensure all stakeholders were both aware of the processes and were invested in their adoption. It was essential that methods and influence reached all corners of the company to ensure employees switched to making larger orders less often to reduce Clarion’s CO2 emissions.

The solution

Lyreco and Clarion worked closely to define areas for improvement.

Consolidation was the first task. Lyreco analysed which products were being used on a daily basis to ensure only those most frequently ordered items were available for Clarion employees to order. By controlling the spend and reducing the core list to fewer than 150 products, Clarion was able to invest in environmentally-friendly alternatives.

After greener alternatives had been identified, Lyreco supplied Clarion with samples of the new products so that the teams could test everything before implementation.

Lyreco built Clarion a bespoke mini catalogue including only the new 150 sustainable products. This removed the ability to purchase unnecessary and non-sustainable products unless approved by the Facilities Finance Coordinator and Account Manager.

Lyreco could see that the highest driver of spend and carbon footprint was paper. Lyreco consolidated the range and Clarion switched to a 100% recycled alternative. Carbon-neutral paper was also made available so Clarion employees still had a choice. 

Consolidation of supply and providing sustainable options was only half of the solution. Changes to the way deliveries were made would reduce the daily CO2 emissions of the Clarion vans on the roads.

The next-day delivery option was amended to once every fortnight for larger locations and twice a month for smaller locations. Clarion communicated the changes to deliveries and product range with employees, asking them to plan ahead and place larger orders, less frequently.

Early-stage leadership involvement was crucial to implementation success as it meant that changes were communicated to all employees and reinforced by managers. This also encouraged feedback, with employees able to express needs and concerns.

The results

“From concept to implementation, it took just over a year to introduce the changes,” explains Clarion’s Facilities Finance Coordinator, Susan Sturla-Joy. “The entire process was carried out smoothly, particularly the extensive in-house testing of paper. It was really important for us to ensure that the paper was compatible with our printers as it is a much-used product within the association. We haven’t had a single issue – not then, not now.

We wanted to focus on being environmentally friendly and this has been the biggest positive to come out of our partnership with Lyreco. They have supported us throughout the journey and ensured that the changes have been received positively, right across the business.

Let's work together