We are committed to identifying and managing the environmental impacts associated with our business activities.
Our aims are to increase efficiency and reduce our environmental impacts per unit of sales. The most significant of these include:
- Carbon emissions due to the consumption of energy at our facilities
- The use of paper in our printed catalogues and packaging for our products
- The generation of waste
- Water usage
Our environmental performance is managed through a Group-wide reporting and measurement process. We encourage businesses to gain the ISO14001:2004 Environmental Management Standard where this supports our business objectives.
Energy consumption and carbon emissions
We have participated in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) since 2008 and in the 2016 CDP Climate Change Report were ranked top of the FTSE 350 'Information Technology' sector with a climate change score of A-.
The Group complies with the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme as well as with Article 8 of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) (2012/27/EU). Our UK business has gained accreditation to the Certified Emissions Management and Reduction Scheme (CEMARS) and the Greenhouse Gas Data Verification standard, ISO14064-1.
Energy reductions and the use of green energy are helping to reduce our emissions, and we continue to invest in energy-efficient lighting systems and energy management systems. We also work closely with our providers of third-party logistics to assess the CO2 emissions due to our use of their services and those of their subcontractors. Further understanding of this will allow us to work with them to reduce the CO2 emissions and thus the carbon footprint of the distribution supply chain.
Waste and recycling
Our primary waste streams include card, paper, wood and plastics, and general commercial waste. We proactively reduce and manage these with waste recycled or diverted from landfill to incineration and energy recovery where possible. The use of reusable transit packaging and the inclusion of buyback clauses in supplier contracts for surplus and obsolete products are also helping to reduce waste quantities.
Packaging and paper
We continue to seek opportunities to reduce the quantity of packaging consumed per order, and to train packaging teams on the importance of the efficient use of materials in preparing customer orders.
We work closely with our pulp and paper suppliers and printers to reduce the environmental footprint of our catalogue, which is now reprinted every two years. The pulp for the catalogues is sourced from either Sustainable Forestry Initiative or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) accredited forest management schemes, with printing carried out in ISO14001:2004 certificated facilities.
Our water-conservation measures include awareness campaigns and proactive maintenance regimes to prevent or rectify leakage. A number of our sites have implemented specific water-saving initiatives with improved monitoring and awareness helping to reduce water use per head.