We acknowledge the Climate and Ecological and Biodiversity Emergencies.
We acknowledge current science regarding human impact on our environment. We recognise current threats to our climate and planet and wish to do as much as we can to mitigate our own impact both personally and as a business.
Our declaration process was inspired by the B-Corp Play book on declaring an climate emergency and the work of Andy Middleton of TYF.
We have been making positive changes for years but we recognise that while we have made lots of changes, there is always more to be done. The following is a picture of where we are at and a benchmark for ourselves in the future. As funds allow we will continually look for ways to reduce our impact while continuing to sell the best quality product offering long term use and value for our customers.
- We buy 100% renewable electricity from Ecotricity.
- We have replaced all inherited fluorescent lighting with LED panels and bulbs including emergency lighting.
- Auto off movement sensor switch in storerooms.
- Timers on window display lights to switch off during the night.
- Buying energy efficient appliances, computers and electrical goods.
- We use gas from Ecotricity which is around 10% biogas. Ecotricity carbon offsets all of its natural gas.
- Heating and hot water is currently run off a combi gas boiler which we replaced for more efficient model in 2015. We will replace this in time with electric heating and hot water provision.
- Thermal blinds in front windows help conserve heat in winter and limits solar gain in summer.
- Changing radiators for more efficient models and removing those unnecessary ones has led to gas savings.
- Our office is poorly insulated requiring more heating in winter. This is a priority area for improvement. We intend to change our bathroom extractor for a heat exchanger. Our basement requires constantly running dehumidifiers which is a drain on power. Basement requires expensive work to improve.
- Driving: Business mileage totalled 2429 miles in the 12 months to end August 2019. Have now scrapped our 13 yr old turbo diesel and replaced with a smaller hybrid car.
- Flights: 2 return flights Manchester to Munich, July 2019
- We live close enough to walk to work and encourage staff to walk, cycle or use public transport. We provide a secure place for staff to store bikes and we have a bike repair stand and tools freely available.
- Staff commute distance is currently 6110 miles per year by car.
- Our packaging, stationary and consumables.
- We reuse packaging from goods inward and from other shops in our town.
- We have stopped using plastic bubble mailers and use card mailers instead.
- We use gummed paper tape (still some legacy plastic which we use occasionally).
- We buy custom boxes to fit our most popular products and minimise cardboard use. (we are looking at suppliers offering recycled card)
- We use recycled paper where possible and try to minimise printing
- We recycle as much as possible
- We use refill cleaning products from our local wholefood shop
- Mail order shipping
- We use DPD who are carbon neutral and working on sustainability https://www.dpdlocal.co.uk/content/about_dpd/csr.jsp
- We use Royal mail who do not currently offset their deliveries https://www.royalmailgroup.com/en/responsibility/our-focus-areas/environment/
- We use Parcelforce who do not currently offset their deliveries https://www.parcelforce.com/environmental-policy
- Using industry measures we will carbon offset all our outgoing shipping to the customer (including that already offset by DPD). We sent 2081 parcels Sept 18 to end Aug 19. At an average of 0.5kg of CO2 per parcel this is 1041 kg co2.
- Carbon offsetting.
It is always difficult to calculate and contentious as to what to include, we have made our best guess at our footprint based on electricity, gas, business travel, staff commuting, shipping to customers and other consumables. We will plant 24 trees now to offset 5 tonnes of carbon per year (4 trees per tonne) through treesforlife.org. These will be in a corporate grove. We will add 2 trees to our grove every month and provide a link so our customers and partners can do the same.
We have done our best to do this ourselves and included external factors not normally included in a standard carbon footprint for a retail business. We are not externally verified as Carbon Neutral, but we are more than offsetting the carbon we produce in running the business. You as a consumer may choose to offset the carbon in manufacturing the products you buy and shipping them to the manufacturers and distributors that we buy the goods from. If you want to offset some of the carbon produced for your products why not help rewild Scotland and plant a tree or two in our Trees for Life grove, https://treesforlife.org.uk/groves/84967/
|Carbon to offset|
|Gas||Offset by Ecotricity|
|Flights||One trip to Munich||0.73 tonnes|
|Business mileage||2429 miles||0.52 tonnes|
|Staff commute||6110 miles||1.3 tonnes|
|Shipping to customers||2081 parcels||1.04 tonnes|
|Shipping from suppliers||900 consignments||1 tonne|
|Other consumables||guesstimate||1.41 tonnes|
- Stocking and Product Choices
Our buying choices are increasingly made with the environment at heart. We try to stock quality, made to last products from ethical companies who manufacture with the environment in mind. Over the years we have seen many companies begin to make changes and we recognise that these changes cannot be made overnight but we ask questions of our suppliers along the following lines and informally. It is our intention, going forward, to formalise this process with a written questionnaire for all our suppliers
- Have they done any Environmental audits and what steps are they taking to minimise their ecological impact and carbon footprint.
- Do they use green energy.
- Do they have a policy on water use, minimising input and cleaning output primarily
- What materials do they use. Are they manufacturing using recycled materials eg plastic bottles, steel,
- Are they using environmentally friendly materials and production methods.
- What Packaging do they use, with particular questions on plastic bags and plastic point of sale (for on the wall presentation and information).
- Shipping method – do they ship by air, land or sea
- Length of warranty / longevity of product
- Are the product and packaging recyclable.
- Do they offer a repair service, especially for footwear.
- Do they operate a recycling service (ideally with voucher saving on replacements).
- Do they monitor fair working conditions and human rights for all employees and contractors
- Can they make a declaration on animal rights and protection relating to any animal products and materials used in production
- External Verifications we look for from our suppliers include
RDS (Responsible Down Standard)
Oeko Tex fabric standard
1% for the Planet
Organic Cotton and other materials
- Animal Welfare
- We favour products which use the best available materials for long performance and for the environment. This means we do make choices to stock products which may contain materials such as leather and wool which come from animals. We make every effort to make sure these products are produced by reputable suppliers using the highest standards of animal welfare. We try to stock animal free versions of these products where possible (Scarpa boots spring 2020, Horizon Coolmax socks, current season, Rab Cirrus, synthetic down replacement insulation, current season, etc) and will help customers to identify vegan products should they wish to make that choice.
- Mulesing free merino wool. We check that all the Merino wool we use has not come from flocks where mulesing is used.
- We insist any down in clothing we supply is certified to the RDS Responsible Down Standard
- We offer synthetic alternatives to down, such as wadding insulation and blown synthetic insulation, both of which perform better in typical wet British Conditions.
- We can’t find any info on animal testing on our current insect repellents and sun block so we have identified a supply of cruelty free options for 2020.
- Nasty Chemicals
- PFC’s. Lots of outdoor clothing has a water repellent coating made with PFC’s. PFC’s keep clothing water and stain repellent, however they are environmentally suspect and most outdoor brands are trying to eliminate them. Paramo and Fjallraven are PFC free, as are Mac in a Sac and most of our Sprayway offering. Rab (like Patagonia) have moved to 6 chain rather than 8 chain PFC’s (6 chain break down more quickly) and aim to eliminate PFC’s in the next couple of years. They are currently concerned (perhaps correctly) that the alternatives currently available compromise on performance. Goretex are this year (2019) producing the first PFC free materials with their Guaranteed to Keep You Dry product and we have some of those in stock in Sprayway jackets. We are trying to stock as little clothing as possible containing PFC’s and our entire summer range in 2019 was PFC free.
- Organic Cotton – our aim is not to buy any cotton unless it is organic, as non organic cotton is very heavily polluting and uses ridiculous amounts of water and creates droughts, much more than most synthetics.
- We are selling through all batteries except for those supplied with torches and will only sell rechargeable batteries to customers in future.
- We use eco friendly cleaning products throughout the shop and workplace.
- Greener Gear and Brands
- We signpost all gear and gifts we deem to be a greener option on our website.
- We have a web section highlighting our most ethical brands and suppliers.
- Charitable Work
- We were formerly a 1% For The Planet member, giving 1% of our turnover to environmental causes. Unfortunately, at the time, we struggled to find the cash each year. Under this scheme we supported a local carbon reduction charity, Llangollen and Dee Valley Low Carbon Trust. Our donations paid for a feasibility scheme for a local hydro electric generation project and a carbon reduction scheme for small businesses in rural Denbighshire. We have also supported tree planting projects in Asia which has offset many years worth of our emissions. To plant some yourself please go to http://www.plant-a-tree-today.org/ or https://treesforlife.org.uk
- We make efforts to support local environmental and trade organisations and their initiatives including Plastic Free Llangollen, Friends of the Earth and the local climate strikes.
- Plastic Free Llangollen
- We were a lead business in this campaign to make our town a Surfers Against Sewage certified Plastic Free Town. We had already moved a long way in single use plastic reduction. Our latest initiative is to not buy in any carrier bags. We are supplied used carrier bags via our local Terracycle collectors, so if you ask for a carrier it will have already been used at least twice, and you can re-use it many times.
- We have stopped restocking single use hand warmer sachets and will sell through.
- We offer refills of the most popular Nikwax cleaning and proofing products.
- We sell a variety of reuseable products to help customers cut down on waste and single use items
- Pint cups
- Wine glasses
- Take away coffee cups
- Water bottles and flasks
- Lunchboxes and meal kits
- Steel Straws
- Sporks and cutlery
- LED light sticks
- Rechargeable torches
- Solar lanterns and chargers
- We are a certified Real Living Wage Employer, paying an independently set real living wage for all of our staff. https://www.livingwage.org.uk/what-real-living-wage
- We issue staff terms and conditions, a staff handbook with various policies which we comply with, along with a comprehensive set of staff training resources.
- All our current staff have some first aid training, and in a couple of weeks we’ll have our first staff member trained in mental health first aid.
- Currently with HSBC who have poor ethical standards for their investments.
- We are considering Triodos for our meagre savings and Starling for current account as they don’t have a history of damaging investments!
- Web Hosting
- We are currently trialling sustainably powered hosting with Kualo
- We buy and stock good kit that lasts. But when it needs fixing we carry what you need to get your kit working again. Including glue, tape, patches, original spares and buckles. If you are using any kind of glue remember that cleaning is essential for long term repair success.
- When it comes to our own kit, if it can be repaired, we get it repaired.