November 8, 2022, by Postgraduate Placements Nottingham

Carbon transparency and cost accuracy

Tim Barbary, Company Director at Benchmark Consulting Ltd talks about his experience of hosting University of Nottingham postgraduates through the Researcher Academy’s award-winning placements scheme

Benchmark Consulting Ltd has been supporting the packaging industry for over 10 years providing commercial estimating, financial measures, and workflow management software to some of the largest producers of plastic, glass, and paper-based materials. We also provide ‘should cost’ consultancy to some well known FMCG and Pharmaceutical businesses. Our solutions are granular, accurate and transparent such that every packet can now have its own cost and carbon footprint.

Back in 2018 we embarked on an idea to calculate the carbon footprint along with the cost and price of packaging materials. As, quite simply, where there is a commercial cost in manufacturing there is also a carbon footprint. Our very real challenge however was how we might do so.

A packaging warehouse

Identifying a legitimate and independent research partner was critical and we found connecting with the University of Nottingham (UoN) was ideal.  UoN proposed their Postgraduate Placement scheme. This scheme was perfect as we were able to employ a talented PhD researcher Jorge Llamas Orozco and subsequently two MSC marketing and social media students Isabella Hargreaves Cronshaw and Nivashnee Moodley for rebranding our business. All for limited periods of time. We launched our carbon footprint modelling in March 2021 and remain the only software supplier in the world able to calculate both the price and the carbon footprint (CO2e) from source to factory gate of the packer / filler.

Our relationship with the UoN has continued into 2022 with an IT architectural design placement MSC student Nathan Gilbert Grosvenor who has helped us redesign our website such that it will be more user friendly. We are currently researching the ‘end of life’ of packaging materials (the CO2e values of material waste collection, sorting and recycling) with Yumna Shahid her MSC is in business and management.

The result is that Benchmark enable’s holistic informed decisions as to what might be the right cradle to grave solution for a business’s profit and the planet.

Whilst these workplace placements have been varied in each instance the students have provided extensive literature reviews, produced detailed analysis, and cost benefit analysis where appropriate. In return each student has received real work experience, as they have produced and delivered presentations at internal and external meetings both online and face to face.

Throughout these placements the students and I have received excellent support from the faculty e.g. with Jon McKechnie (Professor of Engineering Sustainability) and throughout from the Postgraduate Placement team, enabling Benchmark to confidently build measurable environmental solutions alongside its commercial tools.

I unreservedly recommend The University of Nottingham Postgraduate Placements scheme as it offers valuable opportunities to put into practice high level theory with real life situations and challenges in a seamless and often innovative ways.

If you are an organisation interested in hosting a postgraduate placement why not contact the Researcher Academy on Linkedin?

Posted in PlacementsResearcher Academy