The global transport system is estimated to account for 14% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. To help prevent climate change and reduce our carbon footprint, we’re innovating to promote lower carbon transport and distribution throughout the journey of our products.
It all starts with how we pick our products ready to dispatch to customers. We’ve invested a lot in voice-picking technology, so our warehouse colleagues now receive digital instructions through a headset while they work. This makes our picking more efficient while saving paper. We’ve set a target for our distribution centres to become 100% paperless by 2023.
Reusing or recycling saves carbon emissions by preventing the need for more new packaging to be made. So when our customers make an order, we prioritise packaging their products using boxes that we reuse from our suppliers. If that’s not possible, we use FSC®-certified, recyclable shipping cartons.
We’re always looking for ways to reduce our use of plastic. For example, we have replaced the plastic tape with a more sustainable ‘paper-based’ alternative, ensuring our packaging is fully recyclable, after they have kept our products safe in transit.
Sharing the Load
Maximising shipments is a great way to reduce journeys and carbon emissions. We always maximise space within each container prior to despatch and work with our forecasting and planning teams to send them at just the right moment. We’ve also join forces with our brokered suppliers (companies supplying ranges our customer requires through us) to combine deliveries from our UK distribution centres direct to customers.
To transport products from Asia – where the majority of our cards are made – to our three UK distribution centres, we’re working with a sea freight company (Kuehne+Nagel) that shares our sustainability ambitions and offers climate-neutral transport solutions. Once our products are on the road to customers, we make sure they’re transported by a distribution partner (Parcelforce) with a strong commitment to high environmental standards.