Sustainable systems to help reduce our environmental impact

We're developing sustainable systems to help reduce our environmental impact

Over the years, we have spoken to hundreds of teachers and school leaders around the world about what they look for in a school supplier. With time constraints, work pressures and a whole list of different priorities, the answer that comes back is a common one. They are looking for reliability, service and quality.

In addition to the above however, climate change is increasingly being discussed and is therefore an increasingly important focus. Put simply, school leaders and teachers are looking to get the resources they need in as environmentally friendly way as possible.

In our latest blog, we discuss the ways in which we are looking to reduce the impact our business has on an ever-changing planet.

A warehouse management system that increases efficiency and accuracy

Whether it’s a one parcel order, a multi-palleted project or a complete consolidated school or classroom refit, each order is processed and fulfilled by our class-leading Nottingham Logistics Centre.

Housing thousands of resources, our logistics centre provides over 300,000ft2 of warehousing space, giving schools confidence that they can get the resources they need, exactly when they need them. All orders are managed by a bespoke warehouse management system, allowing them to be picked quickly, whilst ensuring traceability at every stage.

We have recently introduced an automated conveyor system, with 1.5km of conveyor belts as well state-of-the-art wearable devices. This means our team can process more orders, more accurately, helping to increase efficiency. On average, orders are now processed in around 2 – 4 days and we’re able to cater for the exacting requirements of International schools.

We are also continuing to invest in energy reduction initiatives such as LED lighting and energy management systems to further reduce our impact.

An award-winning packaging solution helping to reduce our environmental impact

With thousands of orders shipped around the world each year, it’s essential for us to minimise the amount of packaging we use. To help us achieve this, we have invested in four PackSize machines. These machines enable us to ensure every order is packed in a bespoke sized box.

This innovative, on-demand packaging solution also means all cartons are made-to-measure resulting in an average box size reduction of 46%. All card used for making our boxes is FSC certified and the small amount of packaging infill we do use is not only FSC, but all natural, 100% renewable, recyclable and reusable.

The implementation of PackSize has resulted in:

  • 45% reduction in cardboard
  • 46% reduction in our carbon footprint
  • Carbon emissions cut by 160 tonnes
  • 20,000 less vehicle miles used a year

Across the business we are also proud to have achieved a zero waste to landfill status.

Working alongside industry partners to manage our global footprint

With customers in over 130 countries, it is important for us to work with specialist partners across every aspect of our business. It is also essential for us that these partners take their responsibility for social and environmental matters seriously.

Working alongside our shipping partners, wherever possible, our experienced International team will consolidate orders into consignments, helping to reduce journeys and optimise efficiency.

Whether its deliveries coming into our logistics centre or customer orders going out, we work closely with award winners in both sustainability and corporate social responsibility matters to ensure the journey is managed as efficiently as possible.

Accredited systems and processes delivering safety, service and standards

We’re proud to be certified to ISO9001 (Quality Management), ISO14001 (Environmental Management) and OHSAS18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Management).

These standards form an overall integrated management system which is present across our entire operations functions. As advocates for continuous improvement, we embrace these standards and year on year benefit from the values they bring.

Our adherence to these UKAS accredited standards also gives us confidence that we are measuring ourselves against the very best. What’s more, it demonstrates our commitment to not only our quality, health, safety and environmental objectives, but also to best practice standards and sustainability.

To find out more about the ways in which we are looking to reduce our environmental footprint, speak to our team today.