GWP Group Commitments
A sustainable approach to packaging that does not compromise quality
GWP Group takes pride in being an environmentally friendly packaging company – allowing us to offer an environmental advantage to each and every one of our customers. Businesses and organisations that are just like yours.
This is seen in a proven record in helping the environment, through the intelligent design and manufacture of sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging products.
So whilst there has been an increased focus on the environment from media and consumers, working alongside GWP allows your business’ packaging to inherently minimise environmental impact.
Please continue reading below for further information on initiatives, certification and accreditations achieved at GWP – everything from ISO standards through to innovative, award winning packaging designs.
Ways in which GWP can offer your business an environmental advantage
There are a number of ways in which working with GWP can help you minimise your own business’ environmental impact.
For example, GWP were one of the first packaging companies in the UK to gain the ISO 14001 accreditation. We are also certified by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®). As is the supplier of the bulk of the raw material we use, Corrboard.
But this in itself is only a small part of our focus on minimising the environmental impact of your packaging.
By installing automatic waste collection as part of the manufacturing process and actively encouraging a waste-free process throughout the company, GWP are amongst the greenest UK packaging companies.
And, of course, your packaging is designed and manufactured using recycled packaging materials wherever possible, always following environmentally friendly processes.
However, the main advantage that GWP can offer your business – from an environmental perspective – is the ability to maintain a packaging design’s effectiveness and appeal, whilst reducing any impact on the environment
Environmental benefits at a glance
- Reducing the volume of material used by intelligent design
- Focus on producing re-usable solutions
- Use of recycled materials wherever possible
- FSC® Chain of Custody certification
- ISO 14001 & 9001:2015 Accreditations
- Full REACH Compliance
- Automatic collection of waste during manufacture
- Careful selection of board grades
- Purchase of materials from environmentally responsible suppliers
- Recyclable alternatives to plastic and foam products
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
GWP Group always look to take a holistic approach to sustainable packaging. As a result of this, the company looks to reduce waste in any way possible. However, most of the methods employed can be categorised in one of three ways.
1: Reduce: GWP always look to reduce the quantity of material used in your packaging design, without compromising performance. Less material used results in lower costs passed on to you, plus higher performance packaging also means more uses and almost completely eradicates breakages
2: Re-use: GWP is constantly seeking new applications for a range of reusable packaging products, for example within supply chain packaging and in-plant materials handling applications. GWP designers can create packaging that, through the use of intelligent design, can be used over multiple journeys with no degradation in performance levels.
3: Recycle: GWP continue to incorporate higher levels of recycled and renewable materials in all of your packaging designs, while also ensuring all of the solutions are as recyclable as possible.
Even small improvements in packaging can result in immediate and significant benefits to your business.
By enabling you to reduce both the overall level and amount of materials used in your packaging, it also allows for greater cost savings. This is seen not only in the packaging itself, but also its transportation and disposal.
Please use the links below for further details on how these 3 differing strategies can be used to improve the sustainability of your packaging.
Further information and strategies
Please see below for how GWP can help you implement strategies based on the 3Rs.
Chain of Custody certification
From December 2020, GWP Packaging has achieved Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Chain of Custody certification (Certificate no. FSC – C161914).
The award means that your business can source FSC certified transit packaging, ecommerce boxes and point of sale displays from GWP. This includes the rights to use the FSC logo on any of your packaging that is fully FSC certified.
FSC chain of custody certification verifies that FSC-certified material has been identified and separated from non-certified and non-controlled material as it makes its way along the supply chain, from the forest to the market.
To achieve chain of custody certification, GWP were fully audited to the FSC-STD-40-004 Chain of Custody Certification standard.
All sizes and organizational structures are possible for chain of custody certification, including single-site, multi-site, and groups of organizations, enabling certification cost optimization.
More about the FSC®
More than 25 years ago, the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio failed to produce an agreement to stop deforestation. In response, a committed a group of businesses, environmentalists and community leaders banded together to create a revolutionary concept: a voluntary, market-based approach that would improve forestry practices worldwide.
That meeting marked the birth of the Forest Stewardship Council. The organisation has since pioneered certification for sustainable forestry, and remains the most trusted sustainable forest management solution thanks to our committed and diverse stakeholders.
Supported by WWF, Greenpeace and The Woodland Trust (amongst others), the Forest Stewardship Council has certified approximately 213 million hectares of forests worldwide (accounting for 11 percent of all productive forests globally). Around 40 percent of the UKs’ forests are now certified by the FSC.
For further information, please visit the FSC website at www.fsc.org, or watch the short video below.
ISO 14000 Packaging Manufacturers
Accreditation for commitment to the environment
GWP Group are holders of the ISO 14000 accreditation for commitment to the environment.
This family of standards relates to environmental management of the whole business, enabling GWP to minimize operational impact on the environment. It also aids compliance with applicable laws and regulations, as well as fostering a culture of continual improvement.
ISO 14000 is very similar in its structure to the ISO 9001 quality management accreditation in that they both relate to internal process management rather than to the end product.
The requirements of ISO 14000 also form an integral part of the European Union‘s environmental management scheme (referred to as EMAS).
Ultimately, the standard provides a structure for GWP’s drive towards continuous improvement in the management of the company’s environmental responsibilities.
If you would like to discuss how, as ISO 14000 accredited packaging manufacturers we could benefit your business, please get in touch.
ISO 9001:2008 Accreditation
Besides ISO 14001, GWP are also proud to be accredited to ISO 9001:2015.
This is a quality management standard which is viewed as an essential part of the business and acts as a key ingredient in driving a fully integrated quality management system throughout the company.
It puts beyond question GWP Group’s ability to consistently provide packaging products and services which meet both customer and regulatory requirements and provides a solid building block towards the ultimate goal of absolute customer satisfaction.
Read more about the quality standards applicable to GWP Groups products and processes by clicking here.
Although not an environmental certification or standard, GWP have been recognised at the prestigious Starpack 2018 Awards, winning the Sustainability / Green Star Award (as well as best overall design) for packaging created for The James Dyson Foundation that significantly reduced material usage.
This Award reflects GWP’s focus on producing packaging that is not only lighter, uses less material and costs less, but that also has a tangible environmental benefit.
More info: www.gwp.co.uk/news/starpack-awards/
GWP Group Certification
- GWP Group is certified by SGS to ISO 14001:2004 on certificate number: GB97/10419.00
- Registered for: “Producer Responsibility Obligations – Packaging Waste Regulations 2007”
- Environment Agency Registration: EI201050142 (UK equivalent to EU 94/62/EC)
- Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of Custody (certificate number: FSC – C161914)
Environmentally Friendly Packaging Materials
Steps to ensure ethical souring of materials
GWP takes an ethical approach to sourcing any raw materials and products we use. This means not only working with carefully selected suppliers, but also complying with a number of other schemes and initiatives.
Please see below for further details.
The term “conflict minerals” is defined as columbite-tantalite, also known as coltan (from which tantalum is derived); cassiterite (tin); gold; wolframite (tungsten); or their derivatives; or any other mineral or its derivatives determined by the Secretary of State to be financing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country
Due to the nature of the business and operations – manufacturing of protective packaging solutions – GWP Group products do not contain any Tin, Gold, Tantalum or Tungsten. Similarly, products manufactured by GWP do not contain heavy metal.
Read more on this subject by visiting en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_resource
REACH is defined as the Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. It entered into force on 1st June 2007, and was implemented to streamline and improve the former legislative framework on chemicals of the European Union (EU).
The main aims of REACH are to ensure a high level of protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals, the promotion of alternative test methods, free circulation of substances on the internal market and enhancing competitiveness and innovation.
REACH makes industry responsible for assessing and managing the risks posed by chemicals and providing appropriate safety information to their users.
GWP Group ensures that both operations and supply chain adhere to the REACH regulations.
The corrugated cardboard used at GWP does not contain Substances of Very High Concern above 0.1% w/w as listed in the current regulations candidate list.
For further information of REACH Compliance, please visit the HSE Website www.hse.gov.uk/reach/
The Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) Directive (2011/65/EU) was transposed into UK law on 2 January 2013.
GWP Group does not supply any products classified as EEE therefore are out of scope; provisions of RoHS 2 do not apply.
For further info on RoHS, please visit www.gov.uk/guidance/rohs-compliance-and-guidance
Steps taken to minimise environmental impact
A key part of any manufacturing business is to minimise waste – not only to aid the environment but also to aid cost efficiencies which can be passed on to customers.
As a result – and with there being a particular focus on the presence of packaging in waste streams – GWP have driven a number of initiatives to minimise the overall impact on both our business and the environment.
Within the last 5 years, GWP has installed extensive systems and equipment to allow for automatic waste collection throughout the manufacturing processes undertaken, with every off-cut being fed, into an efficient semi-automatic baler for recycling.
Besides actively encouraging a virtually waste-free process company-wide, the collected corrugated cardboard / Correx® plastic material is compacted and baled into 420Kg bundles which are fully recycled by a number of carefully chosen partners.
This effectively means that approximately 450 tonnes of waste corrugated material are efficiently recycled each year.
Typically the recycled waste from our manufacturing process will be re-used as a form of cardboard by cardboard manufacturers across the UK.
Additional Waste Management
In the last year, GWP have changed our bins from a 40 yard skip to 5 industrial wheelie bin / 4 industrial recycling wheelie bins to promote better waste control throughout our business.
All our waste is transported of our site by licenced waste carriers and this is audited for ISO 9001.
The pallet exchange service we run with our customers also allows us to cut down on wood wastage.
However, we have also taken a more creative approach when looking for ways to reuse waste materials generated through our manufacturing processes.
For example, following the success of a design project with Swindon College, GWP Group has committed to donate a proportion of its waste cardboard, Correx® and protective foam to the Swindon Scrap-Store on an ongoing basis.
The material provided will be available for use by members of the local community for a range of creative or practical projects.
Donating waste materials to the Swindon ScrapStore also means that GWP Group has a more creative way of disposing of off-cuts and overs. It further enables the company to support the local community too.
More info: www.gwp.co.uk/news/events/repurpose-project/
Reduction of carbon footprint
Besides minimising waste and promoting recycling, GWP has also taken considerable steps to reduce our carbon footprint and CO2 emissions.
For example, GWP has recently invested £30K alongside a £5K green grant in order to upgrade the factory, warehouse and office lighting to LED.
Making these changes will see a reduction in energy usage by 114,000Kwh per year, and will also lower C02 emissions by 47 tons per year.
All lights and LED panels fitted are compliant to the new 2017 EC Directive on replacement of inefficient Lighting.
Besides this, when renewing company vehicles including our delivery fleet, CO2 emissions are one of the deciding factors in the selection process. Plus, we also aim to make your supply chain more efficient, reducing your carbon footprint and ongoing costs as well.
As a result, GWP also have sales advisors using electric / hybrid company vehicles.
Environmental benefits of raw material partnership
Being joint stakeholders in Corrboard – an independent manufacturer of corrugated material – also offers a number of environmental benefits.
Firstly, utilising the most modern – and therefore efficient – equipment currently in the UK has helped to reduce energy consumption used in the manufacture of the cardboard that is converted into your packaging at GWP.
Besides this, all deliveries of material are delivered without the use of pallets. As well as eliminating the materials used for the pallets themselves, by not using them it increases the amount of material that can be transported in one load by 10 percent.
This in turn means that 10 percent less vehicles are used to transport the material resulting in 10 percent less emissions as well.
And finally, on average the material we use (and therefore your corrugated boxes) are approximately 2/3 recycled fibre and 1/3 virgin material.
Besides the range of environmental benefits relating to material production, the Corrboard manufacturing plant also has an onsite Anaerobic Digester.
The 500 kW AD plant is located next to the main 30,000m2 manufacturing site. The £5.5 million investment will produce one hundred per cent of CorrBoard’s electricity needs – with any excess being fed into the National Grid. A large proportion of Corrboard’s gas needs will also be generated by the AD plant to fuel the Fosber corrugator’s boiler.
Anaerobic digestion refers to a series of processes where microorganisms break down biodegradable materials, such as cardboard, without oxygen. It is a very useful source of renewable energy. The process produces a biogas made up of methane and carbon dioxide. The biogas that is produced can be used as fuel in combined head and power gas engines.
Feedstocks for anaerobic digesters are generally biodegradable waste materials such as waste paper, grass clippings and waste food amongst other things.
For further info, please click here or watch the brief video below.
Forests / FSC
Alongside GWP’s Chain of Custody certificate, Corrboard and its supply chain are also certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
As detailed above, the FSC helps take care of forests and the people and wildlife who call them home.
As such, all of the paper based raw materials used at GWP originate from suppliers that are FSC approved. This in turn means that we are helping to ensure that forests worldwide are well managed and sustainable, with trees being replanted and not depleted.
GWP planned initiatives and goals
Besides this, GWP Group also has plans to install Solar Panels at our Cricklade production facility within the next 18 months.
For the main facility at Chelworth (Unit 20), this would generate 190,432 kWh in year 1, with carbon savings of 52,573 Kg. With total current electricity consumption (2017) of 440,646 kWh in 2017, this would potentially provide around 40% of GWP Group’s energy consumption.
By year 25, the panels would still be contributing as much as 160,888 kWh, with a cumulative saving of 1,209,633 Kg of carbon emissions.
The Corrugated Industry
A wider focus on environmentally friendly packaging
Although GWP undertake a wide range of environmental initiatives as a company, the wider packaging (and particularly corrugated) industry also places a great deal of emphasis on being environmentally friendly.
For example, there has been a long running campaign aimed at highlighting and raising awareness of the recyclability of corrugated packaging and cardboard boxes, cartons etc.
This has been partly driven through the creation of an internationally recognised logo which can be placed on any recyclable pack.
GWP look to support this campaign wherever possible, and with the agreement of our customers are happy to print the logo in a prominent / visible position on the packaging we manufacture.
This has the combined benefits of promoting the recyclability of the material, that GWP are environmentally friendly packaging company, but also the green credentials of our customers as well.
For further information on this and other recycling symbols for use on packaging, please view this guide here.
Corrugated cardboard packaging has a recycling rate of 91% in the UK. This is the highest recycling rate of any type of packaging in the UK. As a direct result, every four months an area the size of Greater London is saved from landfill.
Speak with an expert about your environmental concerns
GWP Group take pride in being amongst the most environmentally friendly packaging companies operating in the UK.
Crucially, the focus is always on creating packaging that not only minimises environmental impact, but is commercially viable, ethically produced and that will be tailored exactly to your business’ requirements.
Through doing this, truly sustainable packaging can be created.
If you would like to discuss how working with an eco-friendly packaging company could help your business, please do not hesitate to get in touch.