Aylesbury BOX Company | Environmental & social sustainability policy
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Environmental & social sustainability policy

Aylesbury Box Company
Environmental & Social Sustainability Policy

 

About Us

Aylesbury Box Company was established as a specialist cardboard packaging company in 1987.
From day one, a significant proportion of our corrugated cardboard was purchased from certified
sources. This ensures the responsible management of forests, where saplings are planted to replace
harvested trees and biodiversity is protected.

Having a sustainable product is not enough. Over the past decade, we have been actively investing
in ways to improve energy efficiency, waste management and processes. In 2021, our efforts were
recognised, as Aylesbury Box Company became a Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certified
business.

Our Vision

Underpinning our strategy is a vision that our activities should achieve positive social and
environmental outcomes for our clients, business partners, community, and employees.
We recognise that this is a tough challenge, yet know it is a commercial reality if we are to maintain
long term economic stability. We continuously strive to understand how to limit our negative
impact on the environment, integrate fully with Society and, therefore, do our part to ensure a
sustainable economy.

We understand that the Environment, Society and the Economy are interconnected and that a
holistic view is required to achieve a sustainable company.
All employees at Aylesbury Box are trained and empowered to achieve these high standards. We
are proud to have a broad policy to help us meet these standards. Therefore, it is in every fibre of
our being.

FSC® Certification

Embedded good practice throughout the manufacturing process, Aylesbury Box Company is FSC®
certified. With this environmental and social standard, we can prove that your paper-based
packaging is sourced and processed responsibly.

Introduction

Embedding Environmental Values into Packaging Design and Manufacture
Historically, economic activity has had a devastating impact on our environment. On behalf of our
customers and employees, we want to push positive change in the packaging industry. We aim to
focus on the sustainable life cycle of our cardboard and plastics and minimise our factory’s
environmental footprint today and into the future.

It all starts with good design. We aim to create sustainable solutions from the outset, use paper
from Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC(R)) certified sources, ensure reusability and encourage the
use of recycled materials. We consider the manufacturing process, the work environment and print
finishes, with the aim of minimising waste.

Packaging Design

Aylesbury Box Company trains our team, enabling them to actively engage with all stakeholders to
drive sustainability during the design process.

We promote paper over plastics in all of our designs, as we believe there are considerable
challenges to finding suitable recycling facilities for plastics. Furthermore, the understanding of
microplastics in our biosphere is ongoing and not adequately understood.

We recommend optimised packaging design; solutions with no more or less packaging than is
required to adequately protect and present goods. We are keen to help our clients remove the
need for unnecessary packaging, including fillers. We also advise on how to encourage our
customers’ clients to reuse or recycle packaging.

Sustainable Materials

All of our cardboard products are 100% recyclable and biodegradable, and we offer the same
options for our plastic and foam products too. By 2025, we aim to make all our plastic products
either 100% recyclable or 100% biodegradable (with a critical eye on what ‘biodegradable’ means
and the effect of microplastics on our Environment).

We source our paper products from forests with recognised international schemes to ensure no
wood comes from controversial and unsustainable origins. The vast majority of our paper-based
packaging consists of 80% recycled paper and 20% wood from sustainable forests. However, we
manufacture boxes made from 100% recycled paper too.

We comply with all environmental legislation administered by the UK Environment Agency,
including Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations and Packaging Waste Producer
Responsibilities. This compliance keeps us focused on reducing the amount of packaging produced.
It also ensures we consider how much packaging waste goes to landfill and increase the amount of
recycled and recovered packaging.

Our Commitment to Environmental Sustainability

Water-based Inks

We promote the use of water-based inks in all our print processes. In particular, we love
flexographic print because it uses 100% water-based inks. Full colour printing inks generally include
mineral oils and other non-biodegradable substances; however, 25% of our full colour print uses
100% water-based inks. Although lithographic printed boxes require us to use oil based inks, all of
our full colour print boxes are 100% recyclable. High gloss laminates often make our boxes tricky to
recycle, however we promote the use of biodegradable gloss laminates that fix this problem.

Sustainable Supply Chain

Our principal cardboard suppliers are Smurfit Kappa and DS Smith; both have achieved FSC®
Certification. They have demonstrated to us that they are leaders in our market regarding
environmental protection and sustainable practices, including low-water consumption.

Our energy supplier, E.ON, support Europe’s climate targets for carbon neutrality. They are
committed to environmental protection through a scheme to protect tropical rainforests in
collaboration with the LEAF Coalition and decarbonisation promoted by the UN Environment
Programme.

Sustainable Factory

Aylesbury Box has always recycled 100% of our cardboard waste – offcuts, rejected raw material,
damaged boxes – it’s all converted into paper in the UK, and some of it comes back to us to convert
back into boxes! Measured by weight, cardboard represents 98% of our waste.

Our office and miscellaneous waste products are collected and sorted by a local mixed-use recycling
plant where none of it goes to Landfill. Unrecyclable waste is incinerated and turned into energy.
In 2022, we will set up procedures and targets to smash the UK Government’s target of NetZero by
2050. We are committed to the continuous improvement of our positive and provable
environmental credentials. We will keep our customers, suppliers and employees informed as this
tough challenge firms up.

If you have targets for Environmental Protection, please make us aware of them. We want to help
you achieve them. Only by working together will we make inroads into the monumental task of
protecting the environment for the next generations.

Sustainable Travel

Our work involves driving to client meetings and deliveries. The majority of our sales team use
electric or hybrid cars to visit our clients. We also have a well-subscribed Cycle to Work scheme,
with a quarter of our staff pedalling to work.

Wellbeing and Work-life Balance

Health and Safety are at the heart of our operations. As responsible employer our primary concern
is to assess and mitigate the risks associated with machine and forklift operation, factory safety, fire
and working at a screen all day.

Following the outbreak of the Covid Pandemic in 2020, we listened to Government advice and
sought direction from our employees. As a result, we offer enhanced access to Mental Health
Support and wellbeing training.

We encourage all staff to get involved in what we do and add value. As part of this, a flat hierarchy
exists, and we have an open philosophy to our business reporting; we all know what we are doing
right and what needs fixing.

Where possible, we offer flexible work schedules so employees can attend hospital and dentist
appointments to fit with busy NHS schedules.

Our cycle to work scheme helps members of the team to incorporate physical activity within their
daily routine, bringing health and environmental benefits.

We offer fair pay to all employees. There are also clear and attainable progress options, through
training and experience, to develop skills and increase income; credit where credit is due.
In conclusion, we have a well thought out and comprehensive Values Policy at Aylesbury Box
Company and a strong and highly experienced Leadership Team that takes its responsibilities very
seriously.

Equality Diversity and Inclusion

We value, celebrate and embrace our diverse workforce. Aylesbury Box recognises that everyone’s
needs are different and aims to respond accordingly. All employees and prospective employees
receive equal opportunities. Ability is consistently recognised and encouraged to flourish and grow.
Aylesbury is racially and culturally diverse and our employees are representative of our community.
When recruiting, we look for transferable skills and attitudes that individuals have gained through
experiences and interests outside of the workplace. We are very proud of this inclusion, as a
diverse range of people makes us stronger.

Despite decades of successful inclusion, Aylesbury Box is embarking on a more formal set of
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policies between 2022 and 2025. Our Policy will be updated to
reflect changes.

Our Commitment to Social Sustainability

Volunteering, Community Involvement and Charity

The Aylesbury Box Company team volunteer our time and skills to charities and community
projects. We support similar-minded organisations and individuals with direct sponsorship,
financial contributions, providing our time for free and donating equipment and supplies.
We have donated cash to local, national and international charities. We have given sports kit to
local teams, supported local schools’ education programmes through Young Enterprise and
regularly providing materials to several local drama groups.

Supporting Local Business

Aylesbury Box has grown and flourished as part of the Aylesbury and Thames Valley business
community. For our first thirty years, nearly all of our clients were within 40 miles of Aylesbury.
The transformation of commerce by the internet has helped everyone in the UK find out about us.
This means we now send boxes all over the UK and further afield too.

However, supporting local businesses is important to our employees, fits well with our close
connection to our home town and is the right thing to do to reduce our impact on the environment.
For these reasons, 90% of our purchasing is with companies within 40 miles of our Factory, and we
aim to keep it this way. We also take paying our suppliers on time and on preferential terms
seriously; this is essential for their and our economic sustainability.

Roles & Responsibilities

To embed our sustainability goals outlined in this policy, Aylesbury Box Company ensure resources
and training are provided to every member of our team. This helps them to understand their role in
helping our company to fulfil its environmental and social responsibilities.