Q&A with Sustainability Consultant Mark Allison

Mark Allison Consulting was founded in 2021 and although they are new, they have worked with a broad range of companies including some of the UK’s largest brands over the last 30 years.

Mark Allison believes the normal rules of business do not stop when it comes to sustainability, pragmatic solutions still matter. That is why he makes sure that your strategy, operations, and customer value proposition do not simply address sustainability concerns but maximize the opportunities they present. Mark Allison Consulting helps develop these opportunities by integrating sustainability into your strategy which gives you a competitive advantage, builds public trust, enhance brand value, and positions you as a progressive, purpose-driven business.

What is your role with BCFA?
I am an independent sustainability consultant supporting the BCFA and its members with pragmatic advice on sustainability, ensuring each member meets its environmental compliance. I have our expertise in diverse areas of sustainability and change management which are key enablers) for businesses to plan, implement, assess, and communicate their sustainability initiatives.

How did your experience in sustainability in manufacturing begin and how did it progress?
Some might say I was thrown into the deep end when I entered the world of manufacturing. I started my journey within the world of fluid engineering working for a company specialising in agitation, mixing, separation, and application technologies. I was tasked with reducing the company’s environmental footprint through reductive measures in the areas of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and waste management. To Develop a product life cycle analysis helping to provide innovative, efficient, and eco-friendly solutions for business and customers which lead to an increase in efficiency and a lower carbon footprint.

Why is it important for manufacturers to address the sustainability of their business?
Sustainable manufacturing practices is the most significant environmental initiatives that needs to be undertaken by the manufacturing industries. Its aim is to preserve the environment, and improve the quality of human life, conserve energy and natural resources whilst performing manufacturing activities. The emergence of the value creation concept means economic value no longer counts as a single factor for measuring manufacturing performance. More than ever, consumers and governments are holding manufactures accountable for the environmental impact of their offerings. Whilst increasingly environmentally aware consumers are demanding sustainable products.

Have the ways in which manufacturers address sustainability changed in recent years and what changes do you expect to see in the future?

Yes! Before the demand for sustainable products manufacturing approached the challenge to sustainability defensively, rather than a forward-looking way. The implementation of sustainability initiatives was fragmented and lacking on many fronts. However, the industry has moved forward by building sustainability into the very foundations of how they manufacturer products. The race to net zero and having a circular economy is accelerating across industry sectors. and UK manufacturers are embracing the opportunity to transform what they make and how they make it, to achieve sustainable growth and future proof their businesses.

Why might a manufacturer choose to work with a Sustainability Consultant?
With growing emphasis on business sustainability, the role of sustainability consultants is becoming critical in helping businesses develop and implement sustainability strategies and practices. I have expertise in diverse areas of sustainability and change management which are key areas for businesses to plan, implement, assess, and communicate their sustainability initiatives.

Simply put a Sustainability Consultant is able to:

1: Identify how the manufacturer is currently performing – that what they believe to be sustainable practice is actually sustainable
2: Look at ways of improving what they are already doing – through the whole supply chain
3: Make suggestions and identify areas for new initiatives that meet with current and future requirements
4: Work with businesses to help implement changes across the whole of the team – from the CEO to the cleaning staff.

Can you tell me about the Sustainability Health Check you offer the companies you work with?
Our sustainability health check is a gap-analysis of a business’ operational set-up and gives you an independent objective assessment. This initial review comprises a site visit to meet key staff and to determine how existing policies and processes are being implemented. This includes an examination of how economic, environmental, and socio/ethical sustainability principles apply to your business so that organisational objectives can be “sustainability-proofed”. Our approach ensures that sustainability is embedded in your core strategy and strengthens your business brand.

How can our readers sign up to receive your monthly newsletter?
Members can be placed onto a mailing list by contacting us directly on mark@markallisonconsulting.com.

Contact Mark Allison


About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
View all posts by Alys Bryan →