At Pennine-Pack, we recognise that we all have an impact on the environment and that there are things that we can do to reduce some of the negative impacts of the way that we do business. In order to help us to have less impact, we have signed up to the Investors in the Environment programme. We were the first company to be accredited in Yorkshire (Silver standard in July 2012) and have been accredited to the Green standard since August 2013.
Through this programme we have formalised our Environmental policy and started to measure some of our impacts so that we can see when we are getting better.
We have always looked for low impact products (like FSC certified paper) and ethical products (like fairtrade tea and coffee) and we wanted to do more to reduce our impact.
Two areas where we could make a difference most quickly were the amount of paper that we use and the way we travel to meet our customers.
We would like to be a paperless office and we have introduced , an electronic newsletter, paperless billing and an almost paperless registration process. We also upgraded to a double sided scanner and printer so that we can minimise paper use.
We have also looked at how we travel to meet customers and suppliers. In 2011, we took a Toyota Auris Hybrid car which has improved fuel consumption from less than 40 miles per gallon to almost bang on 50 miles per gallon (which is not easy with all the hills that we have to drive across in West Yorkshire) We are also looking at ways to increase use of public transport, but most of our customers are located on business parks which are not convenient to effective use of public transport, so we are still working on that one!
As part of this we are reviewing our carbon footprint which has been an eye opener to say the least. We look at our carbon emissions at three levels: those we control like using the car, known as direct emissions; those we cause indirectly, which includes the pollution caused at the power station when we turn on a light, known as indirect emissions; and the third group which are emissions caused indirectly, which might include emissions caused by running mobile phone masts, known as other indirect emissions.
- Scope 1 (Direct emissions) - Use of car contributes ~2t of CO2 emissions per year
- Scope 2 (Indirect emissions) – energy used in our shared office ~3t of CO2 emissions per year
- Scope 3 (Other indirect) - Emissions caused by recyclers exporting packaging to recycle in China – an extra 3,800t of CO2 emissions in 2011 because we purchased recycling certificates for material recycled in China and not in the UK.
From this figure, we resolved to purchase more recycling certificates for our customers from UK based recyclers, whenever possible and to offer a new service to certify that their share of waste packaging was recycled in the UK, if they wanted to sign up to our new Ethical Compliance.Ethical Compliance will:
- Guarantee that your share of packaging handled is recycled in the UK
- Guarantee that the people who recycled the packaging to generate your PRNs enjoyed EU minimum standards of employment and Health and Safety.
- Save the amount of oil that would have been used to transport your share of packaging waste around the world to be recycled
- Reduce the ‘Carbon Footprint’ of recycling your share of packaging waste (this would be considered to be a scope 3 emission in your carbon footprint)
- Encourages UK recycling
- Make the PRN market less vulnerable to swings in the global marketplace
Please click here to go to the Ethical Compliance page.
Please click here to go to the downloads page where you can find our environmental policy.