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PAS 2060 - Virgin Wines Journey to Carbon Neutrality

08 December 2022
Watch NQA’s Sustainability Assurance Manager, Amber Dixon, joined by Virgin Wines Head of Stategic Change and Governance, Jessica Anderson who has recently completed their successful verification to PAS 2060. Also joining them, is Steve Burt, NQA's Field Director who completed the verification.

This recorded webinar is a great opportunity to understand why Virgin Wines decided to go for PAS 2060 verification, with some top tips from both themselves and NQA to support other organisations who want to go through this journey.

No matter what sector you operate in, your organisation can use the PAS 2060 standard to strengthen relationships with customers and contribute to the long-term stability of life on Earth.



0:02 - AMBER: Good afternoon everyone, I hope everyone's well and having a nice Friday and thank you for joining us today on our webinar. So we're joined with Jess from Virgin wines, Jess is Head of Strategic Change and Governance and we've got NQA's Field Director Steve Burt with us as well.

0:22 - My name's Amber and I'm NQA Sustainability Assurance Manager. So Steve has recently carried out a PAS 2060 verification to Virgin Wines which is why we're here today and what we're going to be talking about.

0:37 - Just a reminder that the session is recorded and it will be circulated after the webinar takes place.

0:45 - Any questions throughout the webinar there is a chat box which you should see in your side panel,so if you pop any questions throughout the chat box and then we can pick that up at the end of the webinar we have some time for questions and we'll go from there but hopefully we'll answer the questions as we go through.

1:03 - Right, so to begin Jess, Steve are you okay to give us a brief overview of Virgin Wines in both of your roles if you want to start Jess first.

1:12 - JESS: Sure so I said I'm Jess I'm the Head of Strategic Change and Governance at Virgin Wines we recently became a listed company on AIM last year which means are focused on sustainability is definitely increased,

1:29 - it's a very clear topic with investors, so I started looking after sustainability only about 18 months ago which is hopefully a good thing for anybody who's new to this.

1:43 - We are an online wine retailer, so we have no physical locations but we do have two warehouses and the head office and we import wines from all over the world and package them up in

1:57 - our warehouses and then we distribute them across the UK. So that's kind of a bit of an overview of kind of what our company looks like and we've got about 190 people working for us at the moment.

2:07 - AMBER: Amazing, busy then especially at this time of year JESS: Yeah they're also working hard in the warehouse right now for sure.

2:14 - AMBER: And Steve, so Steve's NQA's field director as I mentioned and he also conducts our PAS 2060 audits but Steve if you want to give a bit of an overview on your role in NQA that would be great.

2:26 - STEVE: Good afternoon everybody, happy Friday. As Amber said I'm Stephen Burt the Field Director here at NQA, so my main responsibility is looking after all of our Auditors within the company. NQA are a UKAS accredited certification body

2:44 - so we do lots and lots of work around Carbon and Environmental Management System standards and Energy Management System standards as well. So my own background, you know, I've had a long career

3:00 - in Environmental and Energy and Carbon management going all the way back to when I originally did my Master's Degree in Environmental Management Technology back in the sort of early 1990s,

3:13 - and then I was an Environmental Consultant for a while and then eventually joined NQA primarily doing Environmental and Energy and Carbon audits but more recently really Amber and myself have worked together to develop the Carbon Verification Services

3:34 - here at NQA and I am one of the verifiers as well that delivers the Greenhouse Gas Inventory Verification work and the Carbon Neutrality Verification work. AMBER: Yes very busy as well aren't we Steve? So yeah, amazing thank you. 

3:52 - A good place to begin then, Jess if you could talk a little bit about sort of how your journey began with carbon, why you were looking at PAS 2060, how all of this really kick-started for you and for Virgin Wines. Sure, so our journey to undertaking PAS 2060,

4:13 - I guess it started with as I mentioned I just took on the role, I mean previously whilst we looked, you know, we tried to be a sustainable company there was no one person that actually looked after and I think that's probably where a lot of companies are that they don't have a

4:27 - dedicated resource and actually worth noting that this is only one small part of my job, so I understand how hard it is to put the time towards that for smaller companies.

4:39 - But when I was kind of putting together our sustainability roadmap obviously Net Zero is the big thing that everybody's focusing on that's obviously quite far down the line for a lot of companies and it certainly is for us we've got a Net Zero target of 2045.

4:56 - So I started looking at what we could do in between then to try and help us to get to that point and get us in kind of good stead. So Carbon Neutral obviously comes up in lots of

5:08 - places so there is I guess some element of kind of people can attack it with a little bit of greenwashing, so when I came across PAS 2060 I thought well this is fantastic because one, you know, you

5:21 - get the certification, so any kind of claims, there's just so many places you can go online and spend £10, you can get you know Carbon Neutral within the space of half an hour,

5:31 - so what I loved about this is it you know it has a proper verification process, and the fact that it focuses on carbon reduction and the following years was also

5:43 - another plus point because it really tied into what we were trying to do and it felt like a really fantastic stepping stone for us to be focusing on for the next couple of years, and I guess so I started giving a few things in and NQA come up and I actually spoke to quite a few companies but you guys are fantastic. Henry who I spoke to originally

6:06 - I think God knows how many times I send him questions and Amber you were incredibly patient the whole way through, so yeah, so that's why I kind of ended up going for you guys because it is a complicated process and if you are a single person in a company with

6:21 - no team you really want a company that you can rely on. So, that's kind of why I ended up falling with you guys and that's why you got stuck with me and all my questions for so long.

6:36 - AMBER: No that's great to hear, we do speak to a lot of clients in a similar position and definitely what you said around sort of having that stepping stone because we all have a target of Net Zero and this is a direct step in that direction, so yeah I think that's definitely

6:54 - what we're seeing it's good to hear that comes through. I mean with that in mind we know that there are different types of Conformity assessments that you can have with PAS 2060. Steve do you want to talk a little bit about sort of what those are and why NQA go for

7:10 - and provide independent third party certification, sort of the value in having that. STEVE: Yeah absolutely, so Amber's quite right, you know, NQA's business is Conformity. You know, we do certification audits, we're a UKAS Accredited Certification Body.

7:27 - We've got, you know, a wealth of expertise in Environment and Energy and Carbon, we've audited and provided services around ISO 14001 and ISO 50001 for a long time as well. It's great that Jess mentioned the topic of greenwashing because I completely share the

7:51 - the aim to challenge the greenwashing that takes place out there, particularly early around Carbon Verification work and Carbon Neutrality work. So NQA we
8:03 - had the opportunity to take part in a UKAS pilot program for accreditation for PAS 2060.

8:14 - We jumped at the chance to do that because you know everything that we do we like it to be as robust as possible and as thorough as possible in the sort of independent verification

8:27 - and certification work that we do. All of the services that NQA provide are accredited by our regulator UKAS - United Kingdom Accreditation Service and we didn't want to proceed down the

8:40 - route of doing anything around carbon without having that accreditation. So at the minute we're one of only three organizations in the UK that have gone through that process with UKAS,

8:54 - we have been given the rubber stamp but not the accreditation certificate yet but it's on the way while the pilot program gets finalized. So we're in a great position to help business to

9:09 - work towards carbon neutrality and exactly as Jess said, as a step towards the ultimate goal of Net Zero itself. We've seen that there's a lot of changes taking place out there at the minute as I mentioned you know I've been banging on the Carbon and Energy drum for you know 25

9:29 - years now and it's really, I'm pleased to see that the the industry beginning to you know follow and take notes. So the UK government recently released their strategy for Net Zero, a big

9:45 - part of that will be regulatory changes over the coming years which will encourage business down the road of looking at their carbon, if you can monitor and you can measure your carbon then

9:57 - you can help to manage it and ultimately to reduce it as well, PAS 2060 plays a big part in that side of things. We also see a lot of supply chain pressures now as well so you know one of the

10:10 - activities that Jess undertook with Virgin Wines was to look at what their suppliers were doing.

10:18 - So in time supply chain pressures will become more at the forefront and we'll see a greening of the supply chain taking place. But if it's independently verified that is clearly the most robust way to do it. PAS 2060 at the minute is the only, it's a British standard, but it's the

10:37 - it's a publicly available specification, but it's the only sort of internationally recognized standard for Carbon Neutrality at the minute. We'll see a new ISO standard, ISO 14068,

10:51 - will be launched in the next couple of years or thereabouts. So the the the specifications for Carbon Neutrality will remain as robust as they are at the minute and indeed get stronger as well.

11:06 - We also offer a service for Greenhouse Gas Verification, so data that's provided for Carbon against ISO 14064-1. Jess chose not to use that standard as a means of achieving PAS 2060 instead she used greenhouse gas protocol which is also an excellent tool for

11:32 - working towards PAS 2060 as well. But put it simply PAS 2060 at the minute it's the best framework that's available for Carbon Neutrality. One of the key elements to it is the fact that

11:48 - it requires a reduction in carbon emissions over the verification cycle, so it doesn't just rely on companies calculating their carbon and offsetting their carbon, it also encourages

12:04 - it or requires a reduction in carbon which is obviously the major step towards Net Zero as well. PAS 2060 also mandates what needs to be included in the carbon calculations, it

12:18 - mandates the standards that are acceptable for carbon offsets as well, so we have to be of a certain standard, and it also provides detail on what can be excluded from your carbon calculations and under what circumstances that can and can't be justified. So it's a really

12:38 - thorough standard it's the very best that we have at the minute in terms of carbon neutrality and using that standard and gaining independent third-party accredited verification

12:51 - to that standard, is really one of the the major steps that any business can make towards a Net Zero.

12:59 - AMBER: That's great thank you Steve, that was really informative. Looking back towards Virgin Wines' journey with Carbon Neutrality just you mentioned that this is one part of your role and probably

13:12 - a lot of other things that are calling for your attention at the same time. How did you manage sort of the preparation side of it and the project management in preparing for verification?

13:28 - JESS: Okay so I came to managing this project, I mean I won't lie it really was a one-man band

13:37 - the entire way through, so that's one thing I can say to people is you know don't worry you don't need to suddenly put a whole team of 10 people on this, you can do it yourself.

13:47 - I think from start to finish in terms of time scales I kind of started putting the a kind of GHG emission report together at the beginning of February and that was completed about September time. Obviously because you have to, the year that we ended

14:04 - in the end of June so obviously it was a couple of months I had to wait for things like invoices to come through. I mean one of the things I would say that I didn't do that I would recommend is get

14:13 - everybody in the business on board because what you have to do is you have to get a lot of data from people, there's a lot of relying on teams to be able to feed things through to you whether,

14:22 - it's a lot of the time, it's your Finance team or things like invoices, so one of the things that I would do again is I'd probably try and get and the awareness in the business

14:33 - as a whole at the beginning rather than having to keep explaining to people every time I speak to them while I'm doing this project and sorry it's me again, I think I would probably just be a

14:42 - bit more like okay this is going to be a good six months and I'm gonna ask a lot from all of you and I realize it's probably a bit random some of the things I'm asking you but bear with me this is why

14:53 - we're doing it and what we'll achieve. Because I did find I spent a lot of time individually telling people why we're doing it when you're asking for random invoices from couriers from like

15:04 - nine months ago. But I downloaded the standard and I chose to do the GHG protocol because the guides are free and online on the website so in all honesty this was a complete self-taught, I

15:16 - used the PDF and I used the online PDF of the GHG protocol because it gives you a guide of what's in each category and there's a calculation, separate calculation guide, so it kind of tells you

15:27 - how to calculate it. So there was a lot of trial and error some some areas of Stephen looking out for when I got overly complicated in areas, but it's just about being really organized.

15:40 - It's just making sure you take your time and read the stuff that's there and like I said try and get a bit by from around the companies that can people can give you things in a reasonably timely fashion because it's very frustrating if you're asking for

15:54 - stuff and having to wait for weeks for it. So again this kind of being able to get people on board does help if they don't think it's the most important thing that you're asking

16:03 - for, it's good to let them know that there's a really positive outcome and I try to fit it in on a spreadsheet and try to be very kind of logical about these things,

16:17 - and just try to be very organized. So one of the things that really helped was and I think I'm sure we'll talk about it later when you get to the audit, is you need to have the evidence, so it's logging everything and filing it in a way that you can easily get back to these things.

16:30 - So yeah I think it probably best part of nine months from start to finish that we that we actually did but you know it is it can be a little bit time consuming at points but I think again if you've got teams around you then that's great it's

16:51 - not, I wouldn't say it's complicated, I just say it was, you just have to be organized, you have to be patient I mean doing it is because the best way once you get going you can get a bit on

17:00 - a roll and a lot of the time once you've worked out what you need to do it's just a lot of data entry actually so but there's so many great guides out there. Obviously I 
think Steve

17:09 - mentioned that you can use an ISO and that way of doing it I use a GHG protocol but the website was great so that's a good place to go if you if you want to follow that because there's so

17:17 - many you know online like webinars that they've got recorded and really thorough guides so that's a good free place to start and I think the standard to download is only a couple of hundred

17:29 - pounds so in terms of you know resource and kind of initial outgoings it wasn't very costly for us as well which as a smaller company again is quite important because we don't have

17:40 - big budgets that we can spend on sustainability initiatives at the moment unfortunately. I know again and as I keep saying many people watching will probably be in exactly the same boat so and I

17:52 - did do this alongside kind of my other job so I'd say probably spent 50% of my time on this if that gives you a bit of an idea of kind of how long you need to, how much kind of effort you need to put in.

18:03 - AMBER: I think what's nice is that it, well we'll talk a little bit about it in a couple of questions time but, when you go to repeat the verification process you know what to expect you have all of those

18:17 - procedures in place and as you mentioned you can get people involved and it's going to streamline it for you moving forward, 

18:22 - so everything's a lesson coming out of it the first time around isn't it? JESS: Sure and this year it's great because I've 

18:30 - got the template and all I literally I'm doing now is is kind of data entry it's really fantastic now, the initial year is always going to take a bit longer but now I know what I'm looking for, I've got the processes set up with teams, so to

18:43 - save bugging Finance they save all the invoices and the folder that I can access and things like that. So over time I've you know who I've got to get the things from we've got a process set

18:53 - up so all that you know sometimes I was running around just trying to work out where to find the data because it's just a random bit of data that you've never asked for in your life but yeah this

19:02 - year, so far is great I mean I now know what I need to do and I just monthly upload all the information it doesn't take me any time at all, so that's something that's really handy. AMBER: No definitely definitely and Steve 

19:16 - with that in mind sort of for this stage of the verification process looking at planning and preparing is there any sort of tips that you would advise to clients that was in the position that Jess was in obviously she's mentioned being organized for anything that you would

19:33 - advise as a lead verifier in those preparation stages that we haven't spoke about.

19:38 - STEVE: It is all in the preparation when it comes to these verifications and Jess did an amazing job of pulling it all together whilst also doing your day job as well and you know when we do the

19:54 - verifications we speak to different people when we're in the the client premises so you know with Jess we spoke to the facilities people, we spoke to the finance people, we spoke to

20:05 - you know people even about their commuting habits back and forth from the office and that type of thing. So it's important the preparations key it's important as far as

20:15 - possible to share the load as well you know Jess was new to this greenhouse gas side of things and managed to you know gain out a really solid understanding of it quite quickly.

20:29 - It's good if you can make it work this way as a coordination role so coordinate your colleagues getting them to gather the data that the finance team for example, commercial team for

20:42 - example, the facilities teams for example, gather in the data that you need if you can work it that you coordinate the gathering of that data and pull it all together, that's the very best way to do it.

20:56 - It's also worth thinking about engaging with your suppliers as well, because one of the things that Jess found out when she was talking to the couriers who are a big part of Virgin Wine

21:10 - service delivery mechanisms was discovered that one of the careers that was used were already independently verified for PAS 2060. So you know they were already taking responsibility for

21:23 - their own carbon emissions that already offset those carbon emissions so by engaging with the suppliers Jess was able to demonstrate me as part of the verification that some of those had already

21:37 - been offset by another party in the supply chain and that was verifiable information because they'd gone down a robust independent verification route for that. So always worth engaging with suppliers,

21:51 - definitely always worth keeping robust records because the the main element of the verification itself is obviously to scratch the surface of the data that we're presented with and look behind it for the original source of that data whether that be you know delivery

22:09 - notes, waste transfer notes, electricity invoices, gas invoices, whatever it might be but we'll always test the data really thoroughly that we see. So having the records to hand that

22:23 - you used or were used to produce that data in the first place is absolutely essential because we'll always go back to the original source of the data to verify that it was correct as well.

22:38 - Another important point which Jess did really well was to present the data really concisely, in a nice simple as far as it can be easy to use spreadsheet. So we had everything

22:54 - that we needed it was in one place and it was very clear and concise and easy to follow as well so that that made the verification process much easier and much more streamlined. Another

23:10 - important thing to do is and Jess touched upon it, is not to procure any carbon offsets until the verification process is complete. So the the final figure, the tons of CO2 equivalent figure, which

23:28 - a business will come up with to demonstrate their carbon emissions that number will inevitably change throughout the verification process us sometimes to a high degree sometimes they're much

23:40 - lesser degree. So it's a good idea not to procure the carbon offsets until that final number has been agreed upon between us as a verifier and Jess as the client in this case so wait until it's all

23:53 - over prepare thoroughly to start with and wait until it's all over before procuring the offsets.

23:59 - AMBER: Definitely no that's great thank you. So moving away from these sort of preparation stages and looking at the verification, the fun part, Jess is smiling because she's thinking nope.

24:14 - A lot of our attendees today have sat on some of our previous webinars, sort of looking through the journey of PAS 2060 and how that looks with NQA so they may be familiar with the

24:26 - terms pre-verifications, verification but for those that aren't Steve could you give us a brief overview of what the stages of verification look like? STEVE: Absolutely so, there's three stages from NQA's perspective, 

24:40 - there's three stages to the verification itself. As Amber said we call them pre-verification and then verification and then post verification stage, so I'll explain it to those. The pre-verification tends to be a short duration visit the aim of

24:59 - that really is just to make sure that there's no big gaps in the data, there's no big gaps in the records, there's no big gaps in the documentation and the aim of that is really to

25:11 - assess the state of readiness to go forward to the main verification stage itself. So it gives an opportunity for us and it gives an opportunity for Jess to just make sure that everything's going

25:25 - to go well when we come to the main verification itself. In the case of Virgin Wines we did that in July 2022, I think it was I remember it was a very hot sunny day so it's supposed to be in the

25:37 - summer time and then that went extremely well because of Jess's preparation for that, so we progressed then to the main verification stage which we undertook to cover

25:52 - all three sites the Norwich head office, the Bolton warehouse and the Preston Warehouse. We did that those visits as a combination of virtual site visits and

26:07 - actual on-site visits as well so the main verification as I mentioned previously is really about scratching the surface of the data that we're presented with, speaking to people at

26:20 - various levels with various responsibilities in the business and getting back to those original source records where the data's come from and verifying that it all matches up.

26:34 - We take a risk-based approach to what it is that we look at, so you know we don't usually set out to try to sample 100% of the data that we're presented with we take a risk-based

26:50 - approach to that and we'll sample to begin with the highest emitters that are in the data and work our way through all the scope ones, scope twos and scope threes which are

27:03 - the different categories of direct and indirect emissions and you know sample as much as we possibly could. In the case of Virgin Wines it was so well organized by Jess that

27:15 - we were actually able to sample close to 100 of the data that we were presented with so we've got you know the large emission sources verified first and we were able to work our

27:27 - way through to the point that we were pretty close to sampling 100% of it at that point. So once the verification is complete, the next stage is to undertake a post verification.

27:41 - So the requirement for that actually comes to NQA via a standard called ISO 14064-3 which is the iso standard that controls how we go about doing the verifications and there's a

28:01 - requirement in that for an independent review after the verifications taking place. So we call that the post verification visit, it's really about embraces approach, it's one of my

28:13 - colleagues who's also a qualified greenhouse gas verifier but hasn't been involved in the

28:20 - verification process itself and they basically do a review of the work that's been undertaken, make sure that all holds together, make sure that we've covered everything that we need to cover

28:34 - and at that stage we were able to issue the verification opinion statement, which is really the certificate that verifies that carbon neutrality has taken place.

28:46 - AMBER: With that in mind just you want to run us through how your pre-verification and verification how you found that, did you have any challenges, did you find it hard work? JESS: Sure, so going for the verification process I mean I'll point out that 

29:06 - I'm really awful at trying to remember where I got, where I put everything so actually I was very organized but that's generally not because I

29:14 - thought I'd need to be that organized it's just because, you know when people are sending you stuff I thought well, I'll never remember so I'll save it in folders of you know, scope one Norwich,

29:23 - you know, category five Norwich, Bolton, Preston and as it was, as luck had it, it was the most life-saving thing ever because it meant I could go straight to where it is and get it.

29:36 - I wrote a lot of notes, that's one thing, because you're doing this over a long period of time when you get to the verification you kind of something you did six months prior

29:45 - I found having notes when you're doing the work if you've got any notes it's quite good. But I found the verification wasn't, I think it was actually quite, we had

29:53 - quite a laugh at some points, it was fine, it wasn't as scary as I thought I was expecting some kind of mean scary order to rock up and I got Steve so I think I was quite lucky really, but

30:03 - the pre-verification was really handy. it made the world a difference because we were able to sit and I was able to show him kind of right well this is where we're up to and this is how I'm doing it and at that point you know Steve was able to kind of point me to a few

30:19 - things that maybe I just need to tweak or now I said I've ever got the right information here and he was able to do that which is great. So it kind of gives you that real confident edge that

30:29 - you're going the right direction and places where you're not or you haven't got the right level of data you know you can you've got time between then and the actual verification to sort it.

30:39 - The one thing I would definitely recommend not that you would I'm sure anybody listening would do this but you have you have got to be really transparent and really upfront with this,

30:48 - so if there's any kind of trying to push things things through and hope it will be hidden the data and people won't know and as Steve said he was coloring my colleagues in the warehouse and

30:58 - asking them rendering questions and you know that they're going to tell you exactly what actually, you know, what's what really so you do you know not that I'd imagine anybody would be trying to

31:07 - to do anything on the the dodgy side but make sure you have clear notes, make sure you're

31:12 - transparent and if there's anything you're really not sure about in the verification, you know, when you're doing the prep and stuff make sure that you know you kind of have that conversation with your

31:20 - auditor because you know it is just another person who's trying to get the same kind of resolution

31:26 - with you, that you know they're working with you not against you. So you know you can have quite open conversations, but yeah I think it went quite well overall and it wasn't,

31:37 - you know, it wasn't that many days either which is quite nice and and being able to go and do

31:42 - it a little bit kind of hybrid, so some on site and some off-site was really convenient because you're in Edinburgh Steve and I'm in Norwich so we're really close to each other so it's really

31:51 - handy to get yeah, so that was great, so I kind of walked around with my teams on my phone all day looking like an absolute nutter going around and showing him pictures of our radiators and

32:02 - and stuff like that. So again another thing you might want to brief your team about before you do that but that was really convenient it was really helpful so and there were a couple

32:11 - of things where I'd gone wrong because I think I over complicated a few things and Steve was

32:16 - able to say actually you know you know you need to use these kind of government emission factors like not the weird American ones that I found. Stuff like that so you know if you

32:25 - do go wrong and don't quite get it you've got time to go back and change it which was helpful and so I you know managed to make sure in the end between the different verifications I managed

32:36 - to correct everything and then get it re-verified which was very helpful. So it's not a make or break if you don't get it there and then which is quite helpful

32:43 - AMBER: No that's great and I mean Steve from a verifiers point of view is there 

32:52 - any sort of looking back and reflecting on Virgin Wines' verification? Was there any sort of challenges or anything that you thought worked well or sort of feedback that you can give looking back from a verifiers point of view on that?

33:08 – STEVE: It was a dream verification to do, Jess had prepared it's so precisely and so well organized that it really did, you know, it was the most straight-forward one that I think I've ever done, and may even ever do as well

33:25 - JESS: I haven't paid him to say this by the way STEVE: It was just beautifully organized all of the records in place, you know, all of the data really clearly presented and Jess herself you know considering

33:40 - this isn't her background her understanding and how quickly she got her head around,

33:46 - the different categories in the greenhouse gas protocol and the different requirements in the PAS 2060 was superb. So it really was a dream one to do and the company themselves

33:59 - obviously highly committed to the process which makes it much easier for everybody both Jess and myself to have that sort of senior level support in the business to strive towards

34:12 - carbon neutrality and Net Zero as well and Jesse's own willingness and commitment to, at

34:22 - one point I asked her we were doing a virtual site tour in Norwich and there was a the water meter was down in a manhole somewhere so that's just to climb down and have a look at it and our

34:33 - commitment was such that she did climb down and and take readings from that water meter for me with her phone with the torch on, it was health and safety wise it was safe and I wasn't there a

34:45 - really good at myself but it's Jess's commitment took me that really straightforward the organizational side of it made it straightforward and the way the data was presented

34:57 - made it all really straightforward. So yeah a dream one to do, was really great. AMBER: Well I was going to ask for any examples of activities 

35:05 - throughout the verification but you've just given us a good one. I'm sure Jess will look back out fondly and hope that she doesn't have to do next year.

35:15 - JESS: Yeah at that point it definitely was getting a few weird looks from people but yeah don't

35:22 - have to know I don't think I don't think that's a that's a definite part of everybody's PAS 2060, that you have to get down man holes but yeah it certainly was part of mine.

35:31 - AMBER: So Jess sort of looking into the future and away from the verification coming

35:40 - out of the back end of it, have you seen any benefits that have come from this or anything that you may feel come out of this? I'm aware that this is still quite fresh for Virgin Wines but anything that you've seen, any stats or anything that you're hoping to see 

35:56 - for Virgin Wines? JESS: Sure in terms of benefits, I mean the first one that I think is great is

36:01 - from a staff perspective it's something kind of tangible that people can really see and it gives

36:08 - me a great thing to go out and talk to everyone about because it's like you know woohoo we've

36:14 - done this and how did we do it and what does it mean and it really gave me a good platform to,

36:20 - kind of, to talk to everybody in the business and I think it's really peaked their interest.

36:28 - I know people are having more conversations with me from their different teams about what they can do to be more sustainable so from that perspective initially that's great. We've gone

36:36 - out to our customers about it and we put it in our annual report from an investor perspective and we've got some really great feedback from kind of customers emailing in and

36:46 - and saying this is great, and you know customers coming back and asking legitimate questions but

36:52 - and that just opens the door to you know kind of two-way communications with your customers as well which is great. You know I think some people came back from some really

37:01 - hard-hitting questions about what we're doing and and that's fine because the point is you can have these conversations it's better to have those conversations and say well hey fine we aren't

37:10 - doing everything that we couldn't do but we're on our journey and I think every business is using that phrase of being on a journey and I think as long as you're on it and you're trying

37:19 - your hardest and you are taking those steps then you're going in the right direction and yeah. So we've had some, you know, we've been able to put it over our website so in terms of the benefits absolutely I think it, I think it's from a communications perspective it's really got it

37:35 - out there and we were the first online wine really to retailer to get certified carbon neutral so you know that's it's always fantastic from a kind of you know competitive edge perspective to

37:48 - have that really. So hopefully in terms of as a player in in the wine market you know we could be seen as one of the leaders in trying to be more sustainable and I think that's

38:00 - really important these days because people want to shop with a sustainable company, people want to work for a company that's sustainable, people want to invest in a company that's sustainable.

38:12 - But yeah from the staff perspective I think it's just really kind of revitalized everybody and I'm

38:17 - starting to see loads of really cool initiatives in their own teams and that helps if now it doesn't feel like I'm kind of so alone in this it kind of feels like everybody's taking on that this

38:27 - is a group effort and we all need to do our little bits and that's really nice

38:33 - so that's definitely helped. AMBER: So that sounds great and I guess one of the things with PAS 2060 is you both sort of mentioned when we was chatting about it to start is that

38:44 - you have to have this year on year reduction so it's inevitable that you're going to have those benefits and actual reductions in your emissions as well so as you go through your repeat

38:55 - verifications that we'll be interesting to see and sort of how that lands from that side of things as well, so it's nice that it fans across sort of commercial and sort of employees and

39:08 - staff and also sort of tangible stats as well so yeah I know that's really good to hear. Looking at repeat verification and we've mentioned that a couple of times today, Steve if

39:21 - you could briefly explain what we mean by repeat verifications of what that looks like so for Virgin wines going into 2023 and for other clients that might be going for it in consecutive years.

39:32 - STEVE: Yeah so it's really, you know, a reconfirmation that the requirements of PAS 2060 remain in place

39:42 - and that Virgin Wines remain in conformance with those requirements as well. So it's very much a similar methodology that we undertook for the the main verification itself however,

39:56because in the first year of PAS 2060 for any client it's allowed to offset your carbon emissions, subsequent years you have to reduce your carbon emissions and offset the residual

40:12 - carbon emissions. So very similar process to the main verification however what we will look at next time around is the achievement of the carbon reductions themselves and the

40:25 - commitment to ongoing carbon reductions for the following year as well. We'll do some further checks around making sure that you know the activities that lead to the greenhouse gas

40:40 - emissions haven't been offshored or transferred elsewhere out with the scope of the PAS 2060 verification side of things and that there hasn't been political carbon leakage taking

40:54 - place to other you know parts of the world or other countries that type of thing as well.

41:01 - We'll also make sure that the paperwork the documentation is needed for the system, the qualify and explanatory statement and the carbon management plan, make sure that

41:12 - those have been reviewed and they're updated from the remain valid and also do a check on the retirement of the offsets that were initially used as well. So very similar process

41:25 - but a few additional bits and pieces around the improvement in carbon performance to make.

41:30 - AMBER: So Jess we've spoken a little bit about how you prepared for your initial verification and I

41:38 - know sort of as you mentioned getting more people involved and how you're looking to do that for future. Are you in the process now of looking I think you you do a calendar year so

41:50 - it will be sort of coming up, how are you preparing for that and looking for next year's verification?

41:56 - JESS: So in terms of paying for the kind of repeat verification, one, because like I said previously because we've done you know I've got the format and I know it works and I've got the

42:10 - process in the place to get the data, that side's quite easy, what we try to do is once we started last year, starting to see where our big admission factors are we tried to really look at kind of I guess low hanging fruit because there'll be some everywhere in every business and

42:25 - have conversations about how we can hit that. So we start to put in places we've recently added LED lighting into our warehouse, we're getting LED lighting in our head office here coming

42:37 - shortly and things such as like you know we have forklift trucks and we've changed that to

42:42 - electrics there's lots of things that you know might seem on the surface really really small but they have such a big impact so we've just been so I've been spending time kind of speaking to

42:53 - to each area and finding out how we can just make those tiny little tweaks that, you know, that aren't

42:58 - necessarily really costly but you know because we have to have forklift trucks so what's the difference in price if they're electric and things like LED lighting whilst it's initial outlay

43:09 - you know you do get it back in energy saving which I think anybody at this minute would be would be really thankful to have so it's it's a well-timed thing as well. So I think

43:18 - I think a lot of the time it's going through and finding those low-hanging fruits and finding those maybe not so costly things that can just have that kind of you know really good day-to-day

43:27 - impact but I think because I've been working with so many people over the last year trying

43:32 - to sort it and because I've really engaged with people since we achieved it, people are definitely more open to having those conversations with me I don't feel like I'm having to start from scratch

43:40 - and go well I'm doing this project and this is what it is they kind of know and people

43:46 - are actually coming up with with ideas of their own as well and putting those forward, which is really helpful because I didn't have that. Now I'm getting people a warehouse going well

43:54 - did you know if we did this and this and this we know it would definitely save us some energy I don't know how much but why don't we look into it and that's great. So it's another thing

44:03 - it hasn't it doesn't have to be costly you know we're doing quite well and be able to make really big really big impacts just from a few small kind of quite cost-effective changes so,

44:13 - fingers crossed will will be able to hit the reductions that we've planned for for this year. AMBER: No it sounds fantastic and you've got loads of great things happening and I mean after your

44:25 - re-verification maybe we'll have to put another webinar in to see how it went and no pressure.

44:31 - No but seriously thank you both for joining on this webinar today we're reaching the end of it now so just to say thank you for answering my questions. One last question

44:43 - from me for both of you to sort of wrap up and then we'll see if we have any questions from the audience is one top tip from each of you in implementing and verifying PAS 2060.

45:00 - JESS: I'll go first. Don't panic it looks really scary on the surface and I think this is why some kind of consultancies can really rinse companies these days, it looks really scary and I won't

45:12 - lie there are some seriously panicked moments I really like a drag in a few people in this office that's sat next to a very panicked Jess at the beginning, but actually you just realize that you

45:22 - can break it down try not to focus on the thing as a whole and actually just focus on each section as like manageable chunks and actually like I said it's reasonably logical when you actually start

45:33 - getting into it. It looks really scary um but it can be done, so you know for small companies out there with people lacking resource or don't have any you know big sustainability budgets, we don't

45:44 - even have a sustainability budget we kind of do it on the fly, so it can be done it does make a really massive impact, I think it can be, you know, really really good for businesses

45:56 - get that kind of competitive edge and show that they're doing, they're taking sustainability seriously. But just don't panic it's long and there's a lot of work but it's not scary when you break it down. AMBER: Amazing thank you and Steve you're one top tip?

46:14 - STEVE: One of the things that I think probably made the process go so smoothly with Virgin Wines was Jess's early dialogue and engagement with us at NQA.

46:30 - So you know from the earlier stages when she was initially thinking about it, you know, Amber and I had a few online discussions at that stage well 

46:42 - before the pre-verification just to make sure that you know everything was gonna go according to plan and that worked really well, so early engagement with the verification body good idea.

46:53 - JESS: Actually yeah because I spoke to you guys back in, it was January, so I kind of made the decision to do it and yeah you are right actually because you guys were quite helpful just to ping things through so yeah they did help. AMBER: Amazing right well, thank you both again they're really good tips.

47:10 - I will just check our chat box but I can't see that any have come through assuming because I've been firing questions at you myself so hopefully we've covered everything.

47:24 - So no there's nothing on there, so to finish thank you again thank you to everyone listening. We hope everyone has a lovely weekend and a happy Friday and just a reminder this is

47:35 - recorded and we will send that out at some point next week so thank you again.