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Brand Consortia becomes UK’s First Carbon Neutral Plus Sign Maker

An Applegreen Petrol forecourt with visible branding.
Applegreen service stations who operate Welcome Break motorway services are one of several leading brands working with Brand Consortia.
The reception to the Enterprise Rent-A-Car offices
“We share the same values as our client Enterprise Rent-A-Car who is funding the planting of trees in the UK as part of its 50 Million Tree Pledge”

Sign and graphics specialist, Brand Consortia, is the first national signage contractor to achieve double-offset carbon neutral plus status.

Brand Consortia has brought sign making into the 21st century and converted the business operations to be not just carbon neutral, but carbon neutral plus.

The new accreditation will bring huge dividends to retail, grocery and forecourt businesses working with the leading national signage business.

A first for sustainable signage which involves investing in verified carbon offset projects, the Manchester based sign manufacturing business has not only achieved accredited net zero status but is in fact carbon neutral plus, having offset double its audited emissions.

Brand Consortia Director, Matt Mason, said: “We are delighted with the response from Carbon Footprint Ltd and it is brilliant to achieve this accreditation earlier than we expected. The initiative will bring immediate dividends to the brands working with us and to those in the grocery and forecourt sectors looking to control and improve their own sustainability.”

Brand Consortia works with a number of leading brands within the UK grocery, convenience, forecourt and vehicle rental sectors. Customers include Sainsbury’s, SPAR, AF Blakemore & Son Ltd, Enterprise Rent-A-Car (and associated brands), and Applegreen service stations who operate Welcome Break motorway services.

Mason said: “We are off¬setting double the carbon emissions that we generate in order to increase the number of social and environmental schemes we are helping to fund. Our chosen offset method is to support a tree planting scheme in England, Scotland and Wales because it ties in well with our partners. AF Blakemore do a lot of work in Wales, Sainsbury’s have stores all over Great Britain and like us are working towards a net zero target.

“Other businesses will say they are assessing, measuring and reducing emissions and that is great, but we are proud to say we have done something unique within our industry and we have achieved net zero operations today. We now offset more carbon emissions than we generate, making us not just carbon neutral, but carbon negative.”

Brand Consortia first introduced its Sustainable Sign Scheme in 2008, where the business would offset the CO2 released during the manufacture and installation of signage projects.

Mason added that no other company in the signage industry offered such a scheme at the time. “We calculate the energy and mileage used in producing, delivering and installing signage and use a bespoke formula for establishing the amount of CO2 released. We then purchase the appropriate amount of carbon offset credits and produce a certificate of sign and graphics carbon neutrality for the sites to display,” he said.

Longer term goals were then set and today Brand Consortia has its processes certified to a carbon neutral plus standard.

“We are working hard to push our commitments in tangible directions, such as using electric vehicles, swapping strong solvents for uv-cured alternatives, and embracing the use of remanufactured materials and sharing these passions with our clients,” Mason added.

Ben Hunter, European Brand Identity Manager from Enterprise Rent-A-Car has been working with Brand Consortia for four years. Hunter said: “Being audited and fully accountable by offsetting their emissions is such a positive step forward and makes us proud that our signage is more responsibly produced. Brand Consortia are a valuable partner who help deliver our brand. We see this achievement as very important as we partner with Brand Consortia with a carbon neutral future for the signage.”

More recently Brand Consortia looked to target growth with an expansion into indoor graphics and POS branding by investing £500,000 in upgrading significantly to an advanced flatbed printing solution in-house. This allows them focus on delivering high quality products with minimal environmental impact.

“Our market is in signage and large-format graphics such as external window displays but we are receiving increasing volumes of internal large graphics and POS branding work. Investing in more advanced print technology means we can efficiently support the expansion of our business,” concluded Mason.


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