Sustainability is a hot topic at the moment, and for a calendar-making company that uses a large volume of materials to create their products, it something at the forefront of our minds at Carousel Calendars. Using recyclable materials, reducing independence on plastics – we are making commitments to do better here, as well as continuing to uphold our high standards in regards to ethical trading and the use of FSC paper.
Reducing the use of plastics, particularly single-use plastics, is something that all companies need to be looking at. Our products use polypropylene (PP) or polyethylene (PE), both of which are currently accepted in many recycling centres, but our key goal is to reduce the use of packaging entirely. We are working on products that use no plastic packaging, and these 2020-dated titles were launched in January 2019 at the NEC Spring Fair. Titles that will be available as plastic-free will include the new Sea Change title, selected Emma Bridgewater and National Trust products and the WWF Amazing Species wall calendar.
As a further example of our commitment to reducing plastic, for 2020 we are removing all plastic from our boxed calendars – doing so will result in an amazing overall reduction of over 4,000kg, which is about the same weight as three and a half average-sized cars!
Our ultimate aim is to make all of our packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 or earlier.
Ethical trading and the environmental performance of the suppliers that we use is something that we care about deeply, and have focused considerable effort on this, seeking to uphold standards as we work on a global scale to produce our products. Our policy is to only work with suppliers that have been through a two-pillar SMETA audit and our own personal audit. The SMETA audit is an expected standard, but it only provides us with a snapshot in time, whereas conducting our own means we can see everything first hand, and in knowing our business well we know what issues and problems to be aware of.
Paper for 95% of our products is sourced from FSC accredited suppliers. We completed our first timber tracker document in 1996, after the 1995 Plus Group was formed by some key UK high street retailers. It used to be exceedingly hard to get information on paper from the mills and pulp suppliers, but the global acceptance of FSC standards since means that FSC pulp is available in most print centres around the world and there is rarely a reason not to use FSC accredited papers. Our products all bear a label on the back showing their FSC accreditation, and we will seek to add additional information to our products about the sustainability of all that we sell, so customers can always make an informed purchase.
We are committed to doing better in terms of our impact on the environment and are honest about the areas where we need to improve. But through research, trial and error, and listening to feedback from clients and customers, we are hopeful that we can play our part in protecting the future of the planet.