Eco Credentials and Certifications for your Busines
No matter how big your business, ensuring you’re doing your bit to be kind to our planet and people can be pretty daunting. We’ve shared some of our certifications and accreditations and our advice on what they mean for your business.
We’re by no means experts when it comes to environmental policies and business practices, but we like to think we know a thing or two which can be useful. From day dot it’s been our number one priority to care about all of the people involved in our product and all of our processes as much as we care about our beloved beeswax wraps. To build a sustainable business that cares for the environment when making decisions and looks after everyone from our brilliant workshop team, to our suppliers, and our local community here in Nailsworth.
Here are a few of the accreditations and credentials we’ve collected so far, and what they mean for our business.
We write in much more detail about B Corp here, but in a nutshell this brilliant certification has provided us with a wide network of support over the past year, both in terms of environmental practices for our business and also in connecting us with like minded companies who we can collaborate with and offer a soundboard for ideas.
The certification is a long one, and the price depends on the size of your business which is the most fair and balanced approach to take. Whilst it did require both money and effort, it’s a globally acknowledged corporation and one that many consumers use as a benchmark when buying ethical products.
The certification allows you to use the B Corp logo on your packaging and communications, and the brilliant movement uses their own platforms and voice to share information about your business to their audience, making it a valuable marketing tool as well as an environmental marker.
The simple measurement B Corp uses in its certification helps you as a business owner understand your strengths and weaknesses, and has been so good in giving us a steer on where we need to improve as a business before we are reassessed next year.
This for us was a no brainer. Having worked in companies where employee wellbeing was at the bottom of the pile, we wanted our company to be different. Our brilliant team works hard to hand make all of our products and deserve to be rewarded for this. Not only that, but we owe it to our team to provide them with security and structure which is so often missing in the modern working world. Our Living Wage accreditation holds us accountable for both of these things, to make sure we pay a fair wage and ensure our contracts benefit our team as much as our business. We offer good holiday, paid volunteering days and security to allow our staff to feel safe in their roles.
But it doesn’t stop there. Like many companies selling goods and products, we work with suppliers both locally and around the globe who deserve this same support and protection. Whilst we cannot employ everyone directly, we can choose to work with the companies who care about their staff and pay for goods and services who operate fair and safe working environments for everyone.
The Living Wage accreditation has enabled us to attract some incredibly talented people to our team, and serves as a positive marker for conscious consumers to benchmark us against our competitors.
World Land Trust
One of our newest titles under our belt and all thanks to our wonderful print production manager Jenny! World Land Trust is a conservation charity which works globally on measuring and protecting habitats and wildlife around the world. In short, they protect our woodland, forests, rainforests and all of the wildlife that live within them to look after the natural ecosystems of the world. They work the local communities and organisations around the world to build and develop sustainable ways to protect these lands and the creatures within them, whilst giving back to people by creating jobs and looking after their community.
We achieve this by working with a World Land Trust certified printer, and paying a premium when printing our projects to not only offset the paper we use but also to offset all of the unavoidable emissions generated by the manufacturing and printing process. Obviously this increases the cost of our packaging, but it is a worthwhile investment and allows us to generate more good in running our little company.
The Planet Mark is a sustainability certification that measures all carbon across your company and sets rigorous targets over the following years to help you reduce your carbon footprint and refine your processes.
We provided The Planet Mark with as much information as possible to accurately measure our carbon. This includes everything from the number of train journeys we took as a business last year, to how much energy we offset with our solar panels. Once we’ve done this process, which is given to us as a handy checklist from the team, they then spent a week or two analysing the information and pulling together our current carbon footprint and specific targets to reduce it over the coming year.
We chose The Planet Mark both for their affordability (much like B Corp, the price depends on the size of your business), and because of the easy to follow targets and suggestions for reducing your carbon footprint once it’s been measured. By giving us easy-to-digest tasks and challenges which will positively impact our footprint, it makes a somewhat daunting challenge seem much more manageable. Their team also helps individuals within your company understand their personal carbon footprint and come up with their own goals to reduce it, which is exactly what our business is about and we know our team will love it.
Now we have our targets for the coming year we will give you an update on how we are getting on!
Made in Britain
A membership scheme which allows you to license their iconic Made In Britain mark on packaging, marketing, products and online. This scheme involves a small cost, again dependent on business size, but serves as a marker for consumers that you are confirmed and certified as the manufacturer of a British product.
Although this isn’t directly related to the environment, we felt it was an important marker in showing that our products were all handmade in the Cotswolds. Beeswax Wraps are increasingly being made using questionable materials in questionable environments, and we needed a marker to show to consumers that our product is made in Britain. It’s also a brilliant marker for consumers looking to support local businesses, buy homegrown products, and avoid the carbon footprint which comes with products shipped (or flown) from halfway around the world.
As well as what we’ve spoken about above, we’ve got a wish list of certifications and credentials we’d like to get, and would love to know about any you’d recommend for our business.
The first for us is the Carbon Literacy Project. First introduced to us during one of Patagonia’s Environmental Initiatives Evening, this is a small but powerful project which involves no cost but the commitment of time and dedication. It is a self-taught training accreditation that measures your carbon literacy (this can be done both as an organisation but also as an individual!) and empowers you to be able to help your company, employees, friends and family to become educated and carbon literate themselves. The aim is to educate and train as many people in your company and community as possible, whether you become accredited to teach others or pass on the knowledge to enable others to complete the process themselves.
Our goal is to train ourselves to be able to deliver carbon literacy courses to our suppliers, our retailers, our local community and anybody interested! If you’d like us to help you or your business, let us know.