Our commitment to sustainability - In Kind Direct

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Our commitment to sustainability

sam

Our Quality and Sustainability Manager

Hi everyone – I’m Sam, the Quality and Sustainability Manager at In Kind Direct. Part of my role is looking at how we can reduce our environmental impact, as we help more communities to thrive. I’m delighted to share with you below some things we’ve been working on, and some ambitions we have lined up. But first, for those who may not be familiar with ESG – here’s a little explanation: 

Understanding ESG

ESG stands for Environment, Social and Governance. It essentially extends the traditional sustainability issues of just environmental impact, to also include good governance practices and social factors. Here at In Kind Direct, we believe that improving lives shouldn’t cost the earth.

We recognise the need to continually evolve and provide more help to communities whilst actively reducing our environmental footprint.

 

boxes stacked on top of pallets

What does this mean for me?

As part of our network of charitable organisations, you play a vital role in this journey. Already you have helped divert 38,500 tonnes of products from waste.

You may have noticed that we use recycled cardboard in our packaging filler, to ensure our products are well protected whilst cutting down on our single-use plastics. We have also switched to paper-based tape, which will save 903 km of plastic from being used per year – roughly the distance between London and Inverness.

We have partnered with Foxway, a leading provider of refurbished technology, which is available for organisations in our network to access. Over the last year, our refurbished tech initiative has saved 78,000 kg of CO2e, the equivalent of taking 700 cars off the road when compared to buying new.

Furthermore, last year our logistics partners DPD delivered over 20,000 parcels in Electric Vehicles (EVs) to our network. This saved over 4,000 kg of CO2, the equivalent of planting 25 trees.

We’ve also been reducing the number of pallets we send out, which produce more carbon emissions to send and are not as easy to accept by some organisations in our network of charitable organisations.

Internally, we’ve shifted more to online meetings and to group physical meetings to reduce travel beyond the office. 

“In recent weeks we have been trying to promote an environmental “plastic free” initiative.  The shampoo bars are ideal – it means that we can give these away as a “starter initiative” and encourage folk to consider using them instead of buying plastic bottles of shampoo.”

Salvation Army, Chelsea

Sustainability within our charitable network

Our network of charitable organisations is always inspiring us with their commitment and dedication to supporting their communities, but it has also been heartening to see how many organisations are eco-conscious and driven to reduce their impact on the planet, too.

We think that sharing knowledge and information is a hugely helpful and important tool in discovering more ways to act more sustainably, so we want to share ideas from our network to help more organisations consider simple and creative ways to integrate sustainable practices into their day-to-day.

Take a look at our latest case study on Norfolk Clubhouse to see how they’ve given their In Kind Direct packaging a second life!

Tracking our carbon footprint every month

As we grow and help more communities thrive around the UK, we know we can’t increase our carbon footprint at the same rate. To track our impact, and help us identify ways to proportionally reduce our footprint, we have created a monthly environmental metric. We believe improving lives cannot cost the Earth.  

We have selected a range of emissions sources that we either have direct control over, such as energy use, waste, commuting and business travel (on the left of the diagram), or that we have a strong influence over, such as deliveries to and from our warehouse (on the right of the diagram).  

This metric tracks the equivalent tonnes of carbon emissions (tCO2e) in our operations, per 1000 orders we despatch. To give you an idea, in 2023 we sent out over 50,000 orders!  We have set initial targets that we do not want to exceed, and will be monitoring our progress monthly going forward. 

Our ESG Ambitions: pledging for a better tomorrow

We are committed to minimising our carbon footprint by reducing our energy consumption and adopting sustainable practices within our operations.

You can expect to see more environmentally friendly changes coming over the next 12 months, as we look to further reduce our use of single-use plastics and work with our corporate partners to increase the number of eco-friendly products available on our catalogue. We will continue to work with our logistics and delivery partners towards more sustainable solutions to deliver products to you too.

 

For further reading, have a look at the blog on our interconnected approach to sustainability from Charlotte, our Partnerships and Impact Director, on the Charity Digital website.

We’re always here for a chat!

I've been inspired by the transformative power of the organisations who use our products. If you would like to discuss ESG, or the things your organisation is doing to improve your own sustainability, then let us know - looking forward to hearing from you!