ACI Group receives accreditation for
“delivering high social value”
by challenging status quo

June 2023

ACI Group Ltd (‘ACI Group’) has become the first UK distributor to achieve Level 2 of the esteemed Social Value Quality Mark (SVQM) by delivering high social value back into the UK economy.

As a leading distributor working with some of the largest global food, pharma, industrial and road brands, ACI Group has proven that for every £1 spent, £0.34 of social value is created for the UK economy – an impressive feat for a company operating in the imports sector.

Social value is the overarching term used to define the positive impact generated by a company’s operations, on local economies, communities and the environment. To demonstrate this, ACI Group made a series of pledges that were aligned with measurable key value indicators (KVIs) and verified by a team of independent practitioners who uphold the highest levels of rigour, quality and trust. This enabled the company to ensure that all claims were legitimate, robust and clearly evidenced over 12 months.

Karsten Smet, CEO of ACI Group, commented on the achievement: “Last year, we took a pivotal step to begin our journey to become a more sustainable business with the first level of the Social Value Quality Mark. By achieving Level 2, we have already made in-roads to delivering on those promises and are now helping our suppliers to consciously recognise their impact on the environment too.

“For ACI Group, the accreditation is about building a workplace culture that can support a sustainable economy. It’s not just about reducing our impact on the environment, it’s about building this into our company DNA and changing the way we operate for the good of our people, our partners and our planet.

Over the last year, we’ve engaged in three community projects and donated more than £12,000 in materials, equipment and resources. Over half of our supply chain have been assessed against their environmental credentials so far and we’ve worked to upskill 88 suppliers to ensure they have Quality Certification in place. On top of this, we’ve also trained our staff so that almost 70% hold industry recognised qualifications. In terms of staff wellbeing, we’ve provided access to comprehensive physical and mental wellbeing programmes and donated more than £1,000 over the last year to support these.”

As an award that aims to cultivate and recognise the highest known standards in values-led business, the SVQM measures an organisation’s commitment to a series of pledges regarding social, environmental and economic impact.

Last year, ACI Group pledged to reduce its carbon footprint. In 12 months, the company has saved over 12 tonnes of carbon by championing more sustainable methods of distribution – the equivalent of 23,000 miles driven in an average car1. In addition, it has also increased its non-hazardous and biodegradable chemicals portfolio by 3.5% by partnering with suppliers who meet and comply with ACI Group’s social value assessment.

Richard Dickins, MD of Social Value Quality Mark, said in support of the accreditation: “Congratulations to ACI Group, which becomes the first UK distributor to achieve Level 2. The company’s transparency with suppliers and customers, and commitment to building a sustainable yet profitable business, has enabled ACI to make significant progress in its social value.

“Transport continues to be the largest emitting sector and is responsible for 26% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the UK2. In this context, we are pleased to see a continued focus on carbon reduction and look forward supporting ACI’s journey as they build for the future.”

Having launched in 2015, there are four levels of accreditation to the SVQM, with each acknowledging an increasing level of commitment. ACI Group is now working towards a Level 3 accreditation.

Karsten Smet concluded: “Our continuous work with international suppliers and local communities will be key to going the distance with Level 3, which is where we can begin to add real tangible value in our industry. By considering how we can offset negative values, like our carbon emissions, we can understand where our processes must change and adapt in the value chain. We want to be seen as positive disruptors – and the SVQM accreditation is key to this strategy.”

For further information about the Social Value Quality Mark, please visit:

To find out more about ACI Group and its activities, visit:

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