Sustainability and Downey
Sustainability has been at the forefront of conversations in recent years and global awareness around the topic has grown significantly. More than ever, consumers are using their spending power and voice to effect the change they want to see in the world and respectively, luxury brands are also taking a stance on social, economic and environmental issues. Corporate social sustainability is becoming non-negotiable for brands and suppliers. Companies small and large are feeling the pressure to be both reactive and proactive in their sustainability strategy, and the print industry is no exception.
Print companies are reshaping their business models to align long-term commercial and environmental goals and benefits. Over the past years, we at Downey have adopted significant sustainability practices and have been constantly working on implementing others .
FSC (Forest Stewardship Council®) Certification
Downey is proud to be FSC certified since August 2018. FSC certification is a significant and a special accolade for Downey, as it means that we have full awareness of our supply chain, ensuring that all the materials we use for our stationery, invitations, bespoke packaging, and corporate brochures come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.
Working towards gaining ISO 14001 certification
To fully comply with the ISO14001 Environmental Management Standard Downey is working on improving the organisation’s procedures and approach to environmental concerns. This includes the following.
- Responsible procurement: managing the supply chain and continuing to source environmentally friendly materials – recyclable pigment, metallic & holographic foils, only FSC certified paper stock, eco-friendly soy and vegetable-based inks and glue that are easy to recycle
- Minimising and managing waste – recycling in-house; using registered waste removal companies who are committed to sustainability; focusing on reduce, re-use, and recycle activities in the factory and offices
- Resource use and efficiency: focusing on measuring and reducing energy and resource use - using LED lights in the factory and offices, turning off power completely at nights; carry out documented daily, weekly and monthly machinery checks, ensuring that air pressure in the print units’ pneumatic cylinders is maintained to minimise air usage; cross-training/multi-skilling factory staff to provide flexibility in the workforce; optimising logistics/transport to reduce our carbon footprint and using local suppliers to be more efficient and cost-effective
- Education and training: educating employees on sustainability practices, climate change mitigation and adaptation and reinforcing the message on a regular basis; scheduling regular toolbox talks on safe and efficient use of machinery and equipment; organising COSHH training to employees
Corporate social responsibility
We at Downey are also focusing on putting responsible, ethical policies in place to support employees and the local community as well as the environment. We do this by
- prioritising the impact our business has on the environment in line with working towards the ISO14001 certification
- protecting the interests of all stakeholders, such as employees, customers, suppliers, and the communities in which the businesses operate
- investing in the local community - supporting local sport and educational activities, donating unused paper to local schools
Sustainability of skills and craftsmanship
Craftsmanship is deeply rooted in Downey’s heritage and plays a fundamental role in British luxury. It evokes the timeless quality and excellence of bespoke, exquisite products. The durability of meticulously crafted luxury items holds a promise and allows customers, who pursue exclusive experiences and memories, to feel integrated into a brand’s identity.
Investing in and appreciating the work of highly skilled craftspeople shaping a sustainable future, elevate the status of artisan careers. A smooth transition to a sustainable economy, aimed at eliminating waste and encouraging the continual use of local resources, is dependent on timeless crafts and protects the existence of British luxury brands. We believe that craftsmanship will remain an essential component of future societies.
The more we embrace sustainability, the more we change the product and retail landscape and respond to the demand of our customers. We are committed to be true advocates of sustainable practices, let it be advising on the choice of print or packaging materials, resource and waste optimisation or sustainability of skills. Not only are we passionate about creating the highest quality bespoke luxury products but we can also offer you new avenues and options to put your business on the path to sustainability.
by Agnes Bobvos
Thursday, 2nd April, 2020