Everything we do is deep-rooted in honouring nature. From our designs to the longevity of our craftsmanship. So, it’s no surprise that we feel a strong responsibility to preserve the planet that feeds our inspiration.
Three years ago, we set out to ensure the same care and consideration that we put into our furniture is taken during our sourcing journey. Since we made our initial sustainability pledges in 2020, we are proud to have achieved the following:
We’ve planted over75,000 trees
We aim to plant more trees than we use, while working with accredited planting schemes and partners, such as Ecosia.
We’ve removed over90% of polystyrene
from our product packaging.
This means 95% of our cabinetry packaging is now polystyrene free.
Where we use engineered wood, our direct Chinese suppliers are now using 100% certified materials from responsibly managed forests. We are in the process of making this change for our other suppliers.
All our homeware packaging is recycled, and our furniture packaging follows a closed-loop system - the cardboard we take away during delivery is recycled into new packaging.
We’re proud to have achieved our 2022 goal of sending zero waste to landfill. All our waste is now recycled or goes to energy.
Firstly, what are carbon emissions?
They are the release of carbon and other greenhouse gases (CO2e) by human activity that contribute to climate change.
How to reduce carbon emissions
To envisage our future pledges, we have calculated our annual CO2e emissions for 2023 – which we’ve successfully reduced. This is measured using three scopes:
Our direct emissions
(e.g company vehicles, fuel combustion)
➚ 323 Tonnes (FY22)
Increase due to due to bringing in more deliveries in-house.
The indirect emissions produced by others that we consume (e.g purchased gas and electricity)289 Tonnes (FY23)
➚ 271 Tonnes (FY22)
Small increase due to reporting, but on track to reach our renewable goal.
The emissions we are indirectly responsible for (we have included our shipping, deliveries, business travel and waste)4592 Tonnes (FY23)
➘ 5012 Tonnes (FY22)
420 Tonne decrease from FY22.
Having expanded our Scope 3 measurements since 2022, the calculations currently combine shipping, deliveries, business travel, waste and now our UK staff’s commuting emissions. Though we’re proud of our achievements so far, our sustainability journey is still just beginning. We plan to continue increasing these measurements as we progress towards a greener future.
We also make sure to only work with licensed foresters, sawmills and lumber merchants, so the risks of illegal timber getting into our supply chain are negligible.
Our signature Cotswold quality ensures all our furniture is thoughtfully designed and built using superior craftsmanship. Our master joinery intricately interlocks for maximum strength and longevity, so that every piece can be enjoyed for years to come.
We are proud to have planted 75,000 trees. With many of our staff planting saplings in their garden nationwide, we are now sourcing tree-planting partners to help preserve more of our woodlands.
We recognise the ever-growing urgency for more regenerative consumption, so to progress further we are embarking on new, refocused goals. Based on the footing of our annual CO2e emissions, we aim to:
We have now moved 20% of our electricity usage to renewable energy and are on track for the remaining contracts to change to renewable energy between now and Oct 2025. All new sites acquired are coming on board with renewable energy supply.
What does net zero mean?
The balancing of CO2e emission with its removal. Our priority is to go as far as we can to reduce our CO2e emissions and then offset those that are not removed
We are expanding the emissions we're reporting under Scope 3 adding our staff commuting data this year to move forward in understanding our complete environmental impact. Alongside this we are looking at ways to reduce the overall emissions, collaborating with third-party couriers to find alternatives to high emission fossil fuels.
We are striving to meet our pledge to replant more trees than we currently use. As part of this, we are in the process of sourcing further tree planting partners for 2023, and in the meantime our total number of trees planted to date – 75,000 – have sequestered more than 35 tonnes of carbon.
Does planting trees reduce CO2 and why should we plant more trees?
Trees prevent global warming by capturing and storing harmful atmospheric carbon while releasing oxygen. Woodlands not only help to fight climate change but also support natural habitats, prevent flooding, and contribute to cleaner rivers and air.
We are proud to have achieved this, with all our waste now being either recycled or going to WtE (Waste to Energy).
This has been a great start for us but we don’t want to stop there, in line with the principles of the Waste Management Hierarchy – which sets out to prioritise preventing waste in the first instance, with re-use and recycling rightly coming as preferred secondary alternatives to disposal (see below). While we’re proud of our achievements to date, we're confident that we can better this and want to significantly reduce our waste overall.
Our original target was to eliminate 100% of polystyrene from our packaging by end 2022. We are proud to have achieved 96% against this target. We have just 40 products remaining in our collection where we are still looking for alternatives – these are accessory lines with glass which are proving tricky. We will continue to work with our suppliers to eliminate the remaining polystyrene by the end of 2023.
To increase the volume of waste we recycle, we will continue to encourage our Packaging Removal Service. We now include this as standard on all large item deliveries.
What is Circularity?
A model for consumption that keeps resources in use for longer while reducing waste. For example, we have created our first circular economy by recycling our baled cardboard and, in turn, purchasing back the cardboard packaging used in our accessories.
We want to be a more inclusive, trusted and sustainable business and are working hard to achieve B Corp status. B Corp is a holistic framework that focuses on the entire business, operation and supply chain. Rewarding companies for the impact actually made by them, rather than set out by them through pledges or promises. This makes B Corp a highly credible and valued set of principles for consumers, employees, partners and media.
While we are focused on where we need to improve to achieve B Corp certification, this takes a lot of time and effort. Our target is to achieve certification in 2024.
What does BCorp Certified mean?
Certified B Corporations are at the forefront of a global change to only use inclusive, accountable and regenerative practices. To qualify we must show an honest measure of our entire social and environmental impact. This means achieving a high standard of charitable giving, supply chain standards and employee benefits. Learn more about the BCorp movement.
We are devoted to minimising our overall impact on the planet - that’s why all our sustainability pledges have emission reduction at their core. As we continue to evolve and reflect, we promise transparency every step of the way.
A sustainable culture flows throughout The Cotswold Company, with our Green Friday monthly initiatives encouraging accountability both at work and at home. In fact — per year, our staff suggestions have seen:
plastic 500ml & 5 litre bottles removed from our stores
plastic cups removed from our warehouse operations
toilet rolls swapped for 100% recycled toilet paper
staff sent wildflower seeds to help important pollinators like bees and butterflies
A positive reflection of how seriously we take sustainability as a business, we are proud to announce the appointment of our Green Ambassadors.
The eyes and ears of sustainability issues and improvements, helping to embed this way of thinking and ensure that every member of the business is considering the environmental impact of their actions when focusing on their day-to-day tasks.
All the data listed on this page is correct as of 21.04.2023. As our sustainability journey continues, we will of course keep you updated, together with any new projects, plans or promises.
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