QBS has been recognised as a channel champion once again in the global fight against environmental destruction -- taking the Sustainable Distributor of the Year / Service Provider of the Year titles at the CRN Tech Impact Awards.

Dave Stevinson, CEO of QBS Group, said: "This is a real recognition for the whole group and their tireless efforts to drive our carbon footprint lower by following our purpose of doing what's right for our people, planet and prosperity."

Stevinson said many thanks are due to QBS's employees and an extended sustainability team -- including B Corp's James Ghaffari, QBS non-exec director Anita Bitard, Crystal Doors' Richard Hagan, Greentech's, Ben Tolhurst, CRN/Incisive Media's Doug Woodburn, Seacourt's Jake Backus, Planet Mark's Steve Malkin and many others.

"An environmental, social and governance (ESG) rating will eventually become as important as the credit rating," Stevinson added.

"The channel has a real opportunity to lead from the front. Rather than paying lip service to the climate emergency, QBS has been one of the pioneers in moving to externally-verified net zero carbon as a core part of our sustainability narrative -- the result of four years’ hard work."

Doug Woodburn, head of channel research at CRN, said that the judges had been impressed by QBS's detailed presentation of its "radical" progress towards net zero and B Corp status.

"The distributor won praise for its brilliant leadership and investment in educating staff, as well as its commitment to influencing the wider IT channel industry," Woodburn wrote.

According to Canalys research analyst Blake Murray in a CRN / channelweb.co.uk article covering the awards, only roughly a third (35%) of channel partners have set themselves ESG targets -- underlining that QBS is blazing a trail.

"We track the IT titans - the top 16 tech vendors - and over the last decade they've all set sustainability targets and are increasing them. And rightfully so, because they do bear a lot of the responsibility," he said. "But on the flip side, partners really haven't set targets yet."

Canalys research suggests that 45% of the UK's 15,000-strong partner community will be setting targets soon. "There is definitely some change coming," Murray was quoted as saying.

QBS announced becoming the first carbon neutral distributor in the UK back in June, by way of independent verification via Planet Mark.

"We sought to demonstrate to our peers and other organisations that these things are actually possible, and achievable, in an economically successful and growth-oriented business," Stevinson confirms.