‘It’s the right thing to do, which is why it’s free’ – new ‘Carbon’ platform aims to give sustainability leg-up to 1,000 UK resellers

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'It's the right thing to do, which is why it's free' - new 'Carbon' platform aims to give sustainability leg-up to 1,000 UK resellers

A consultancy run by a gang of former HP execs is aiming to give the mass UK channel a leg-up on sustainability through its new platform.

Headed up by a quartet of HP alumni including former UK channel boss Trevor Evans, Consenna today unveiled ‘Carbon’, a free-to-use platform featuring a menu of self-serve, sustainability-focused marketing campaigns, training and education.

Evans joined Consenna as MD in 2019 after a spell at Apple, in the process reuniting with former HP colleagues Douglas Jeffrey and Paul Thompson, the former of whom founded Consenna in 2009. Another HP alumni, Simon Yates, has since joined in the role of product management director.

Talking to CRN, Evans said that Carbon is designed to appeal to smaller resellers who lack the inhouse clout to respond to rocketing customer demand for sustainable IT solutions. He cited research suggesting that at least 60 per cent of customers are now willing to pay more for a sustainable product or service.

“What we’re trying to do with Carbon is make it possible for every partner, in short order, to have products, services, campaigns, collateral, training – all the things that ordinarily a customer would ask for – at their fingertips in an unbiased way,” he said.

“It will appeal to companies who know their customers are asking for [sustainable IT solutions], and know their competition can offer it, but don’t know where to go in their company to provide it. We’d like to almost be that extended person in their office sat virtually at the click of a mouse. That’s our vision.”

Carbon will point reseller sales staff towards solutions in areas such as carbon offsetting and recycling, Evans indicated.

“It will have some go-to-places for a channel sales person to respond to a customer and say ‘I can provide this sustainability thread to the products I’m providing. I can tell you their carbon impact and give you a way to offset it, if that’s what you want to do’.

“We know there are some relatively good practices emerging in some areas of the channel to promote that, but we want to be able to offer it to the broader spectrum. Why should a particular reseller be at a disadvantage in their portfolio offerings just because they don’t know where to go?”

Consenna is aiming to enlist at least 1,000 resellers to Carbon by the end of the year. A distributor is likely to be recruited in the coming days, Evans added.

Positioning itself as a “provider of products and services to vendors that enable them to better leverage the channel”, Consenna’s headcount has risen from three to nearly 20 in the space of two years, with Evans brought on to help expand its repertoire.

It counts vendors such as HP, Lenovo, Microsoft and Fujitsu as its customers, but Carbon is both free and vendor-agnostic, Evans stressed.

“The reason Carbon evolved is because it’s the right thing to do, which is why it’s free. We feel strongly this is something our industry needs to address and we want to play a small part in that,” he said.