Our mission is “to become the worlds most sustainable packaging company” and it’s a goal right at the heart of our operations and ethos, influencing everything we do.
Back in 2018 we began our ‘net zero’ journey by planting just under 7,000 trees in Cumbria, to offset our Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions. It’s important to us to reduce our emissions as far as we can, and then we finish the job by capturing the remaining balance in the offsetting scheme (see Figure 1).
We’ve introduced a whole raft of green initiatives to help achieve our ‘emissions mission’, including wind turbines, solar panels, electric car charging points and LED lighting across all our sites. In addition, all Reflex sites use green electricity, from non-carbon sources as well as an expanding hybrid car fleet. We also have a zero-to-landfill waste scheme at most of our UK sites.
Figure 1. Reflex Carbon Reduction & Offsetting
We chose to partner with Forest Carbon, joining companies like Marks & Spencer, Microsoft and Nationwide who are also partners of the scheme. Forest Carbon support the creation of new woodlands in the UK for organisations wanting to mitigate the impact of their greenhouse gases. They do this by converting high intensity arable land into sustainable forestry, which also provides additional benefits such as; flood mitigation, improved water quality, and a haven for wildlife.
The trees at our first woodland in Cumbria are a mix of Sycamore, Birch, Hawthorn, Hazel and Douglas Fir, and our latest project in Scotland includes over 43,000 trees, which is projected to capture the next 3-4 years’ worth of carbon emissions.
It’s a diverse and predominantly native broadleaf woodland and has to be managed in a particular way, including gradual thinning and re-planting. This will create a coastal temperate rainforest in years to come, with a make- up of Aspen, Beech, Birch, Cherry, Hawthorn, Oak, Rowan, Sycamore, Willow, Norway Spruce and Scotts Pine- so a nice mix!
In addition to the obvious benefit of carbon offsetting, the management of the forest has considerable other benefits including, wildlife and community, as this project has also created public access by recovering an old road that had previously been lost to agricultural use.
We sent David Liversuch, Group Compliance Manager and Melissa Aplin, Marketing Manager on a road-trip to Colintraive, Scotland, to visit the latest project. David has been leading our sustainability initiatives for the past 5 years and is instrumental in driving our environmental agenda.
Here’s what David had to say about the latest project:
“It was important for us to visit the projects and fully understand the task in hand. We have been working with Forest Carbon for over two years now, and although the projects are certified under the governments UK Woodland Carbon Code, we like to see the woodlands for ourselves and fully understand the benefits they are creating” – David Liversuch
Reflex proudly achieved “Beyond Net Zero” in 2019 and is determined to continue with our drive to be the worlds most sustainable packaging company. The future includes plans to continue to build upon this, continuing to create woodland and planting many more trees along the way, while finding innovative ways to further reduce our carbon footprint.
Find out about some of our other ongoing sustainability initiatives here.