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Global commitments, local action

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Reducing our impact, right across the supply chain

Our true environmental impact as a business in the UK is determined not only by the performance of our own operation, but by the overall effect of our whole supply chain, taking into account the products we make and sell as a business, and how our customers use them. 

As a global group, we are continually reducing our environmental impact under the Brother Group Environmental Policy, which spans the whole life cycle of our products and aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs). This runs from the raw materials that make our products and the way they are designed, through logistics and supporting our customers’ and suppliers’ green goals, right the way to our recycling and re-use commitments.

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The circular economy

The principles of the circular economy – that is, designing out waste by reducing it, re-using waste items where possible and recycling any left-over material – are at the centre of everything Brother does. We are committed to what we call the 5R approach across our whole supply chain. Along with the traditional three ‘R’s mentioned above, we add ‘refuse’ – opting wherever possible to avoid purchasing environmentally harmful materials – and ‘reform’: always looking for changes we can make to improve our environmental performance.

Toner cartridge recycling

Our cutting-edge recycling facility Brother Industries UK in Ruabon, North Wales takes thousands of used toner and ink cartridges and re-uses or recycles their constituent materials and components. We have been refining our processes since 2004, so now up to 87% of returned cartridges, by weight, are reused or recycled. 

Each time we refurbish a print cartridge in Wales, or our sister recycling site in Slovakia, it produces less than half as much CO2 than it takes to make a new one. This sustainable end-of-life solutions service for our consumables enables us to strive for the environmental protection embodied by the Brother Earth philosophy. This service is also available free to all our customers.

Join us in protecting the environment

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Zero waste to landfill

We are proud that towards the end of 2019 we achieved our target of being 100% zero waste to landfill across our UK operation. This achievement has allowed us to pass on the guarantee to our customers that the Brother toners they send us for recycling will result in absolutely zero waste. 

At the same time, we have stepped up our CO2 reporting to customers that recycle with us, so that the information can be fed into their own sustainability data – something that is becoming increasingly important as sustainability plays more of a role in buying decisions across the board. In fact, research shows that four in every five (83%) consumers believe it’s important or extremely important for companies to design products that are meant to be reused or recycled. Taken as a whole, these initiatives are driving continuous improvement in environmental performance not only across our own business, but those of our customers and suppliers too. 

*Source: Accenture, April 2019

We have achieved strong environmental accreditations

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Helping customers deliver sustainability

Just like us, we recognise that many of our customers have their own sustainability goals. Alongside our product offerings, our managed print services (MPS) are an important way we’re helping our customers to reduce the environmental impact of their print fleet. 

Our MPS offering helps our customers to understand and monitor their printer usage so that it can be made as efficient as possible. This includes reducing the unnecessary consumption of paper, toner, ink and energy. We frequently carry out fleet audits for customers to ensure their hardware is fit-for-purpose and correctly deployed, and we also produce regular reports and on-demand data access to our larger MPS customers to give them maximum visibility on their printer usage. In this way, we are helping to cut wasted energy and materials from thousands of working environments across the UK every day.

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Reducing our impact

We have two fully electric cars on fleet, enabling a reduction in our CO2 emissions for company car drivers.

We also continue to encourage all company car drivers to take fully electrical vehicles to reduce our CO2 emissions and environmental impacts.

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