We pride ourselves on the work we do to consider the environmental and social impact that we have beyond that of a publisher. As part of our commitment to creating and maintaining a truly ethical supply chain, our work is focused on four key areas: materials, environment, safety, and sustainable supply chains. We are taking positive action towards a sustainable future to help us to reach our 2020 goals and beyond.
We are committed to the ethical sourcing of materials throughout all of our supply chain and actively prevent deforestation through the responsible sourcing of paper and board used in our products, and are steadily working to reduce our use of plastic.
- In 2019, 87% of our paper was Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) certified and we are on track to reach our 2020 goal of 100% FSC. We believe FSC is the gold standard in certification schemes promoting responsible forest management and protecting the rights of indigenous populations.
- We do not use any illegal or unsustainable wood fibres in our products.
- The WWF Timber Scorecard assessed businesses on their product sourcing policies and performance, continuously awarding us the highest rating of 3 Trees.
- We removed 4.2 tonnes of plastic in 2019 from our UK distribution processes (a 46% reduction).
- Our distribution team is investing in sustainable supply chain initiatives to further reduce plastic from our warehouse and distribution network.
- Our goal is to further reduce use of single-use plastics in our products, distribution and marketing. We are currently auditing our value chain and will set a global plastic reduction target in March 2020.
- We want to increase the volume of recycled content used in our export packaging and will set a target in March 2020.
We work to minimise our impact on the environment, whether that is in our supply chain, our warehouses or in our offices.
- We have monitored our carbon footprint since 2014, and are on track to meet our reduction targets for direct emissions of 10% by 2020 and 20% by 2025. We are doing this by moving to renewable energy sources and increasing energy efficiency in our offices, amongst other activities.
- Our UK locations, where more than 50% of our colleagues are based, switched to 100% renewable energy sources in 2018.
- Our Germany office made the switch to 100% renewable electrical energy in 2015.
- Colleagues in both the UK and US offices have formed volunteer committees, who work towards improving the day-to-day environmental habits and culture of our workplace.
- Our volunteer committees continue to develop new initiatives to promote a greener workplace.
- We ask our suppliers to have ISO 14001 certification, the international standard for environmental management systems, and will require them all to have this by the end of 2020.
- We will publish our carbon footprint and set a science-based reduction target. We have committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
- We will ensure all of our global offices are sourcing 100% renewable energy by 2022.
Ensuring product safety is integral to the design, development and manufacture of all of the products that we create. We have a long established and effective Global Compliance Programme in place, which has been developed to ensure conformity with all applicable current regulations for the markets into which we regularly sell.
- We have a dedicated resource for product safety, setting policy and processes to ensure that our products are physically, mechanically, chemically and environmentally safe and compliant.
- We monitor international safety legislation, and ensure that requirements are incorporated into our policies and processes.
- We have created and maintain a live ‘product safety manual’ that is regularly reviewed by our internal legal teams and verified by our third party testing partners.
- We ensure that our suppliers use only compliant substrates and materials.
- We use independent fully accredited third party safety testing providers to verify physical, mechanical and chemical compliance.
- We seek to actively eliminate harmful chemicals in advance of legislative changes (e.g. we stopped using Benzophenone in 2015).
As founding members of the Book Chain Project, we will participate in their proactive chemical elimination programme when it launches in 2020.
Sustainable supply chain
We take positive action to respect human rights and are committed to ensuring fair labour throughout our supply chain.
- All suppliers are required to adhere to our Supplier Code of Conduct and our Manufacturing Labour Policy, ensuring that all our products are made without infringement to human rights or local laws.
- Suppliers in higher risk areas are required to participate in an annual ethical audit as part of our ongoing assessment of performance to ensure they continue to meet our standards.
- We perform a number of spot checks and site visits throughout our supply chain each year.
- We work with suppliers to promote sustainable compliance, helping them to build capacity and drive up standards.
- When non-compliances are identified, we work with suppliers to resolve issues. They should show continuous improvement and implement a corrective action plan within an agreed timeframe or we will cease our relationship.
- Our Modern Slavery Statement is published annually.
- We have been members of the ICTI Ethical Toy Programme since 2017.
- We are a Living Wage Employer, and we adhere to the principles of our Code of Conduct.
- We only work with suppliers who have signed up to the Book Chain Project Code of Conduct, an industry-wide environment and labour standard.
- We have shared ethical guidelines specifying minimum compliance requirements for subcontractor and outsourcers in the suppy chain.
We are supporters of the Book Chain Project’s health and safety project.