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Royal recognition

12 January, 2024

As fishmongers, locksmiths, premium fashion brands, and champagne connoisseurs line up to court the new king’s favour, the question on everyone’s minds is whether they will meet the tougher environmental standards.  

Last week it was announced that approximately 570 of the total 800 existing Royal Warrants need to be renewed, and with more rigorous sustainability requirements expected under the new king, feathers have been ruffled. A Royal Warrant of Appointment is a document that permits a company to use the Royal Arms on their products, packaging and advertising. It is granted for up to five years as a mark of recognition for the ongoing supply of quality goods or services to the Royal Household. Not only can a Royal Warrant increase revenue by 5%, but it can also enhance brand recognition. James Hygate who owns Green Fuels, a company providing sustainable biodiesel for use in the Royal Train (still the only train in the world to run on 100% biodiesel), says: “Everyone who has a warrant is very proud of it. For us, it’s been really helpful, helping us to raise our profile overseas as it provides a badge of credibility”.  

The application process requires businesses or individual craftspeople to disclose their sustainability policy and action plan, including water use, carbon emissions and waste management information. However, under Charles III (who has been vocal about his passion for sustainability for decades) stricter requirements and more rigorous audits are expected. For example, Bronnley, one of the original British perfume brands that previously supplied soap to the Queen, lost its warrant from Prince Charles. They suspected this was because they weren’t as sustainable as they should have been and have since looked at their operations and eliminated single-use plastics. This is a great example of how the soft power of Britain is being used to push companies further along their ESG journeys. 

We welcome the King’s new stricter requirements, holding companies to account and promoting sustainable businesses by awarding those doing good with a badge of credibility. 

By Charlotte Pounder

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