Here at Holland & Barrett, we don't just want to be 'good for you', but 'good for our planet' as well.
Being the UK's leading health food store, we have been "green" for years, well before it became fashionable.
Our Plan-it Green environmental project was launched in 2007. Summarised below are some of our policies, what we have done during the first five years and what we are seeking to achieve over the second five-year period.
CARE AND RESPONSIBILITY
Throughout our history we have supported the manufacture and supply of the products we sell in ways which help to protect the world's natural resources and habitats.
- We encourage all our suppliers to adopt an ethical policy when sourcing raw materials and in the treatment of their workforce. We have introduced a preferred supplier programme, which recognises those suppliers who embrace our views.
- We have a dedicated team of auditors who regularly monitor the care, quality and responsibility exercised by our suppliers. Their aim is to maintain and improve the standards at each audit.
- We only use environmentally friendly cleaning products at our premises.
- We insist that all of our products are free from genetically modified organisms and are non-irradiated.
- We are the only national retailer to have introduced an entire range of toiletries which is free from parabens and sodium lauryl sulphate. We are committed to selling products free from chemicals which may be bad for our customers or for our environment.
- We were recognised as a key sponsor to achieve the successful re-introduction of the blue butterfly in Britain.
Our aim is to be carbon neutral; reducing our carbon emissions and, if they cannot be eliminated, investing in carbon offsetting programmes.
- We have worked with The Carbon Trust to measure and reduce our carbon emissions. Financial support will be given to organisations which provide carbon offsetting measures, such as local tree planting programmes.
- We have installed "smart" electricity meters in our stores to evaluate the energy we consume and enable us to lower our carbon footprint.
- The electricity we buy is generated from 100% renewable sources.
- Our distribution fleet is deployed in ways which avoid the vehicles making journeys whilst empty. We use the fleet to return store waste to our own recycling centre.
- By limiting the speed of our distribution lorries to 52mph, we have saved over 10% in fuel consumption.
- We aim to source over 95% of our products from suppliers in the UK. This will considerably reduce the need for sea and air freight.
We will ensure that over 90% of the packaging for our own label products is recyclable and, by 2012, we will at least halve our landfill waste.
- Our original 2012 targets have been met and exceeded. During the first five-year period, the amount of waste we recycled increased by over 70%.
- We have invested in our own recycling centre based at our main distribution depot in Burton On Trent. This processes 95% of all our recyclable waste.
- An electronic communications' system has been introduced with all of our stores. Over 90% of our internal communications have been converted from paper to electronic form, resulting in a massive saving in paper usage.
- All of our advertising materials used in stores, our catalogues and our magazines are printed on renewable materials. The packaging we use for transportation purposes is also re-used or recycled.
- On 1st January 2010, we were the first national retailer to commit to having no plastic bags in our store. 'Bag for Life' products, including cotton and jute, will be cost neutral to ensure that they are affordable to our customers.
A company-wide scheme has been introduced, inviting employees to contribute their own ideas for energy saving and environmental improvement. Here are some examples of the measures suggested which we have implemented:
- Set computers, printers, etc. to go to "sleep" after a few minutes.
- Print and copy double-sided to reduce paper use.
- Purchase furniture that is made of recycled products, and recycle or donate once it is no longer needed.
- Locate dedicated paper recycling bins throughout the offices.
- Have reusable ceramic mugs for coffee or water, rather than disposable ones.
- Where disposable cups are necessary (e.g. depot and production facilities), invest in the 'Save a Cup' scheme.