Barnardo’s is the largest national children charity in the UK, protecting, supporting, and nurturing over 380,000 children. They have over 630 shops across the UK where people can shop, donate goods, and volunteer.
Barnardo’s 2025 strategy aims to build a positive future for all children. Environmental sustainability is a crucial element as they look to create a safe and healthy environment for today’s children and future generations. Their sustainable procurement policy help drive environmental improvement by ensuring Barnardo’s:
- Work with suppliers who share similar standards
- Use natural resources efficiently
- Avoid waste and protect our biodiversity
- Tackle climate change both by reducing direct carbon emissions and indirect carbon emissions by looking at our supply chain
- Source renewable energy sources
- Recycle materials in all stores
- Opt for “green” services
- Monitor the use of environmentally sustainable materials, such as FSC timber/packaging
In 2021, Barnardo's began planning the expansion of its retail stores and launching larger concept stores within retail parks across the UK. They wanted to ensure their new stores were as sustainable as possible and was looking for a range of products that would help maintain an elevated level of cleanliness whilst supporting their environmental procurement policies.
In May 2021, Barnardo’s stakeholders were introduced to BioHygiene, a sustainable cleaning range based on Biotechnology, BioHygiene.
Manufactured in the UK, the naturally derived cleaning range would help Barnardo’s reduce transport by up to 63%, carbon emissions by up to 90% and single-use plastic by up to 64%. The low-hazardous range would also contribute to the overall health and safety of Barnardo’s employees, volunteers, and visitors to their stores.
BioHygiene identified a range of products that would help Barnardo’s move towards environmental cleaning with the following benefits:
Barnardo’s recognise their spending decisions are important in helping to tackle climate change. They look to invest in products that are derived from natural sources and don’t have an adverse impact on the planet.
Many traditional cleaning products contain ingredients from the petrochemical industry. They begin their lives mined from the ground before being converted into chemicals such as Formaldehyde, Kerosene, Mineral Acids, Phosphates, Solvents and many more. Most of these chemicals have a large carbon footprint due to the processes of attaining them.
BioHygiene uses renewable and sustainably sourced ecotechnology and biotechnology that achieve superior cleaning performance without causing environmental damage. Eco-solvents are made entirely from renewable, bio=based resources that replace and reduce conventional solvent and hazardous chemicals and achieve a neutral or positive CO2e impact. A combination of Ecotech and Biotech ingredients, including plant extracts, microbes, enzymes and fermentation extracts, all with favourable ecotoxicity profiles and low health hazards. Extraction of raw materials is carried out in Europe, reducing transport-related CO2e from sourcing ingredients by 90% compared to chemical technology.
Reducing indirect carbon emissions through supply chain and transportation are also key focus areas for Barnardo’s. The residual cleaning action derived from BioHygiene’s highly concentrated formulas enabled Barnardos to extend the time between each clean, resulting in less product being used. Less product means fewer deliveries, helping Barnardo’s reduce its CO2e from transportation by 63%. Using a local supplier also helps reduce the number of miles each product must travel, resulting in less energy, less air pollution and lower CO2e.
BioHygiene’s main cleaning product, All Surfaces and Floor Cleaner, is suitable for use across all areas of Barnardo's stores – from windows and display cabinets to floors and door handles. The multi-purpose cleaner reduced the number of cleaning products Barnardo’s used by 68%, helping to streamline their cleaning range and supporting their goal of using green suppliers and services that help to reduce both cost and environmental impact.
Recycling is a high priority across all Barnardo’s sites, including shops. They are commited to avoiding waste in order to protect the planets biodiversity, and ensure a bright, clean, sustainable future for children.
It is believed that over 90% of plastics originate from oil, natural gas, and coal – all unrenewable and damaging to the environment. If no changes are made, the plastic industry will account for 20% of global oil consumption by 2050.
Plastic bottles take around 450 years to decompose. 7.7 billion plastic bottles are used across the UK every year, and it is thought only 45% of these are recycled, with the remainder going into landfills or the ocean.
By opting for products with high dilution rates and multi-functionality, Barnardo’s were able to cut their single-use plastic waste by up to 64%. PCR packaging and FSC cardboard come as standard, further supporting Barnardo’s requirements of environmentally sustainable materials.
Employee and customer safety is a top priority at Barnardo’s. Ingredients found in many traditional AND eco cleaning products are irritants and can cause harmful side effects. If a product is misused and encounters skin, it can cause skin irritation leading to rashes. Should a product get splashed into the eyes, it can also cause eye damage.
BioHygiene uses a synergistic combination of renewable and sustainably sourced ecotechnology and biotechnology that are kinder to the planet and users. Formulated from naturally derived ingredients, such as organic acids and plant extracts, they carry no hazard classifications when diluted, making them infinitely kinder to anyone visiting a Barnardo’s store.
Following health and safety best practices is crucial to protect staff and customers from the risk of injury or ill-health. Knowing the importance of user safety, BioHygiene offered to train every Barnardo employee on the safe use and handling of products via a bespoke video, online portal, and face-to-face support.
Trialling the products
Barnardo’s wanted to sample BioHygiene products and services across five retail stores in Liverpool ahead of launching their new stores. Employees received full product training from two members of the BioHygiene team to ensure everyone was aware of the safe control and handling of products, plus the core environmental benefits of the new range.
After the initial trial, ten more sites across the UK received sample packs. To ensure all employees received the same level of training, Barnardo employees received access to BioHygiene’s online portal that includes a host of tools and resources, including product videos, product user guides, and safety data sheets.
Following the trial, a starter pack was donated to all 630 retail stores, amounting to a £6000 donation. Each store received access to the bespoke training video and portal access to ensure all employees were confident in using and storing products.