Green Marketplace Launch 7th October


Overview of the day

Over thirty five invited guests joined with the @UK team at the training centre in Aldermaston to celebrate the official launch of @UK PLC first green marketplace on 7th October 2010. @UK PLC Chairman Ronald Duncan, opened the presentation and explained his personal enthusiasm for green policy that stems from his days as an Olympic Ski Racer, skiing on a melting planet, along with his involvement in the development of the BASDA Green XML and how that led to ground-breaking work that demolished the barriers to organisations going green.

Dr Richard Barraclough, outlined the science behind the development of the Green Marketplace and the GreenInsight tool in an interesting presentation that demonstrated how detailed the GreenInsight reports are, and how the Green Marketplace has already impressed with over 3.6 million products classified to e2class.

Basingstoke and North Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust, Head of Strategic Procurement, Brian Pinnell explained how GreenInsight had transformed the the Trust’s ability to measure the supply chain’s environmental impact.

Lyn Duncan, CEO, announced the very first customer of the new Green Marketplace, in Findel Education Supplies, and congratulated them on their new found status as the first catalogue to become entirely carbon neutral.

Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries, Mr Richard Benyon, also the local Member of Parliament, officially opened the Green Marketplace by saying;

“@UK PLC have utilised ground breaking research by University of Reading, Goldsmiths University of London and the Stockholm Environment Institute at York to create @UK PLC's e2class product database.'

“As Minister for the Natural Environment I look forward to seeing industry continuing to contribute to the arena of assessment and measurement tools for environmental impacts, and increasing uptake by business.”With that, the Minister cut the green ribbon and announced the @UK Green Marketplace open for business.


Ronald Duncan, Chairman @UK PLC

Welcome to the official launch of @UK’s Green Marketplace. My personal experience of global warming way goes back to ski racing in the 1980's and chasing snow round the Alps as we raced on a couple of inches ice. I have watched the glaciers melt and an industry being decimated. However, I did not think I could do anything about it.

This changed in 2006 when the RSA set up a personal carbon trading scheme for fellows. We were easily able to chop our carbon footprint, but it was clear that the calculators were facile and only covered gas, electricity and travel, with the big unknown being everything else.

In 2008 BASDA launched its green charter inspired by John Doyle of the European Union who believed that software was the solution to environmental analysis, and I started work on BASDA Green XML as a way of transmitting the environmental information.

However, it was only this year when we started to collaborate with CenSA that we found a way of getting accurate scientifically valid carbon footprints for every item that we analysed.

This changes everything!

Suddenly we can all know the environmental impact of every purchase, and suppliers can choose to offset everything knowing exactly what it will cost. It is only when you know the cost that you can make the savings.

Ski Racing an Industry in meltdown

Now for some fun, this is what Ski Racing was like

If you want some more fun.. (Klammer Kitz 1984)

But now to be serious (World’s Highest glacier melts into History)

When I was a kid I used to look down from the chairlift in Hintertux into this massive bottomless crevasse.  You could see about 60ft into the depths.  Now I know that it was at least 80ft deep, because there is no longer any glacier just rocks like in the video.

Some people take the view that change happens and warming is OK.  Vladimir Putin's view was that a bit of warmth in Russia would be good.

But oil and gas will still run out and we need to move to an electricity supply that is generated without carbon. Carbon will run out so we will have to change our behaviour, regardless of our views on climate change.

RSA and Personal Carbon Trading

As I mentioned, the RSA set up its personal carbon trading scheme for fellows back in 2006 and I joined in looking at my carbon emissions. Even looking at only the electricity and car travel was transformational. I wrote a quick Bye Bye Gas Guzzlers article for the RSA, and we personally traded in our XK8 and Subaru Outback for a pair of Toyota Prius Hybrids. We still have our Prius Hybrids.

These simple changes along with changing light bulbs slashed our carbon footprint, reduced our running costs and we got a cash back for swapping from the Jag and the Subaru to the Hybrids.

What was clear that whilst individually we had a great financial deal, and reduced our carbon emissions, how much greater the effect would be if we could get our company @UK PLC, and all its customers to join in.

BASDA Green Charter

When John Doyle from the European Commission came and presented to the BASDA AGM in 2008 he inspired us to set up the BASDA green charter. @UK PLC signed up to the green charter, and I took on the task of developing BASDA Green XML. It became clear to me that three things were required to make green accounting mainstream.

  • Mainstream finance systems supporting it in their applications.
  • A universal electronic messaging format that could transfer the information.
  • A universal set of carbon footprint information that would allow systems to know the carbon footprint of every item being traded.

At this time two BASDA Members, Microsoft and Access UK now support carbon accounting in their mainstream finance systems - Access Dimensions and Microsoft Axapta products - with many others in development.

The universal electronic messaging format (BASDA Green XML) was a real challenge because a lot of the green information was very woolly. For example, there is no versioning or proper spec for the Green House Gas Protocol. (One of the integral bits that everything else is built on!).

However, BASDA Green XML was developed despite the challenges and is available at

Everyone said determining Universal Carbon Footprints was impossible!

And yet, we have managed to do it as a result of combining two significant scientific breakthroughs:

  • The Application of Input-Output analysis by the ISA (Integrated Sustainability Analysis at University of Sydney ), SEI (Stockholm Environment Institute at University of York) and CenSA (Centre for Sustainability Accounting), and
  • The development of SpendInsight by @UK PLC, University of Reading, Goldsmiths University of London and Coding International.

SpendInsight has now analysed over £ 100 billion in spend and accurately classified over 3.6 million products. This gives us the confidence that we have seen enough products to have a universal set of carbon footprints. The @UK PLC marketplace only has around 3 million products, so we have a few more to get on the marketplace and provide carbon footprints.

I would like to thank our partners for their help since this was a joint 3 year effort, and without them we would not have made the required breakthroughs, and CenSA for all their work to provide the other half of the equation with the detailed study on sustainability analysis.

During the day we will be showing you the results of GreenInsight our sustainability analysis system and demonstrating purchasing an item and having its environmental impact offset.

Thank you very much for coming to our launch program.

Richard Benyon’s Speech

I am delighted to be here today. Technology is leading the way and showing exactly how organisations across the public and private sectors can easily and cost-effectively remain faithful to their green agenda.

A collaboration between @UK PLC and BASDA (Business and Accounting Software Developers Association) has delivered a tool for Carbon Accounting.

BASDA members Access Dimensions and Microsoft Axapta have solved carbon accounting in mainstream finance systems and the introduction of the BASDA Green XML standard has gone a long way in standardising the green electronic messaging system, and the @UK Green Marketplace now provides organisations with a cost-effective means of assessing high level carbon footprints, and organisations’ carbon footprint.

I'm also delighted to be able to announce today that Findel Education, the largest educational supplier - known for brands such as GLS, NES Arnold and Hope Education - have led the way by becoming the first Carbon Neutral organisation, on this the UK's first green electronic marketplace.

@UK PLC have utilised ground breaking research by University of Reading, Goldsmiths University of London and the Stockholm Environment Institute at York to create @UK PLC's e2class product database.

Of course, it is not just about carbon footprinting, we support business in being aware of other environmental impacts such as embedded water and biodiversity.

As Minister for the Natural Environment I look forward to seeing industry to continue to contribute to the arena of assessment and measurement tools for environmental impacts, and increasing uptake by business.

The @UK Green Marketplace is now part of a set of Software Industry Standards developed by @UK for the Software Industry Association BASDA to that the technology can be widely rolled out. See Launch of Software Industry Standards for Sustainability - BASDA Green and BASDA Utilities XML

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Why Choose @UK?

  • Green Marketplace with over 1 million users
  • Get analysis results fast: fully-automated
  • Guaranteed savings & Immediate business plan
  • Full granular, line-item level reporting
  • Products, categories and suppliers responsible for your procurement carbon footprint
  • Over £120 billion analysed to date
  • Over 290,000 companies formed
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@UK PLC is the leading ecommerce marketplace, with over 1 million users. We believe that @UK PLC has significantly more users than all the other UK marketplaces combined, and that we are probably the largest transactional b2b marketplace providing integrated eCommerce and eProcurement worldwide.

@UK PLC is the first large volume green marketplace with over 3 million products that have carbon footprints. @UK PLC supports businesses from start up through to being members of the fortune 500, and is a leading Company Formation & Company Registration Agent with over 290,000 Limited Companies formed.


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'The project was particularly exciting as it allowed for joint work with leading academics at the University of Reading and Research scientists at @UK PLC. This is one of the largest and most innovative KTP projects ever undertaken and we are very excited by the results. We believe that the new tool is groundbreaking and has come at exactly the right time to help public and private sector organizations achieve savings.'

Professor Mark Bishop, Department of Computing

'It's really useful because we can look at the information from all different angles and it's so easy to use,' says Ms Hamilton. 'It will help us rationalise and standardise our suppliers and products, which in turn means we can get better prices.'

Vicki Hamilton, The Head of Procurement and Supplies for the Outer South East London Shared Procurement
London Procurement Program


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