skinflint was founded on a commitment to sustainable business - our mission to protect the environment is something we consider at every stage of our journey. Over the last ten years, our founding principles have led us to officially declaring a Climate Emergency and to sign the Better Business Act, calling for a cleaner, greener and fairer future for all. Our B Corporation Certification confirms that as a company, we advocate for environmental change daily - we always consider the impact of our decisions on all stakeholders including our people, customers and communities, alongside the environment. Our Sustainability Policy has been developed to enable us to better manage the environmental aspects of our operations. We will always take full responsibility for our carbon footprint and will never engage in a ‘greenwashing’ attempt to make our company emissions appear lower than they are. We see this policy as a platform for continual change - to monitor, reduce and improve our sustainability performance and raise staff awareness. The following policy document reflects our company ethos as a business, and as friends of the environment.
Becoming carbon neutral
To become carbon neutral we have measured the carbon footprint of our organisation, and reduced this wherever possible through rigorous examination of company practices. Whatever is leftover is then offset through a gold standard carbon offsetting organisation. These projects and charities are administered by the Woodland Trust, the Gold Standard Voluntary Emission Reductions scheme and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) Carbon Offset Programme using Certified Emission Reductions (CERs). We are currently in the process of being audited for 2020s reporting year.
Sustainability Policy Aims:
-Educating, training and motivating employees/stakeholders to carry out and continually develop our environmental policy.
-Involving all employees in regular meetings to ensure our commitment to environmental change and improvement is implemented.
-Continually trying to reduce our waste, water usage and preventing waste pollution, minimising our environmental impact.
-Being accountable for our business operations by working with reputable carbon auditors and using gold standard carbon offsetting schemes.
-Complying with relevant legal and other environmental requirements.
-Supporting the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) including targeting SDG8 ‘Good Jobs and Economic Growth’, SDG10 ‘Reduced Inequalities’, SDG12 ‘Responsible Consumption and SDG13 ‘Protect the Planet.
-2018 Impact Report
-Travel ; Distribution Policy
-Hazardous Waste Disposal Policy
-Environmental / Local Purchasing Policy
-Corporate Travel Policy
At skinflint, our business model has always revolved around the ethos of product circularity. This is the result of making conscious business decisions to only ever salvage and restore vintage lights (rather than producing new and adding to the waste pile), as well as making conscious decisions that benefit our planet as well as our employees.
To tackle future waste and to preserve the heritage of these lights, we have introduced our Full Circle initiative. The scheme allows customers to trade in their skinflint lights after a year of ownership in exchange for a 50% discount off a future purchase, thus closing the loop on the lifecycle of our lights. Returned items are then repaired, restored and recertified by our experts and placed back into the market.
By offering this form of circularity not only do we increase the lifecycle of the products, but we prevent them from being scrapped, or at best recycled, with each phase of circularity, thus decreasing the environmental impact of their initial production and resource.
This is our commitment to sustainability, keeping lights out of landfill and in use forever.
Product Packaging - Reduction
In an effort to reduce the environmental impact of packaging we utilise a range of single wall cardboard boxes which have been independently tested by the Packaging Industry Research Association (PIRA) and proven to outperform a standard double wall equivalent. Our boxes significantly reduce environmental impact – both stronger and lighter than conventional cartons, they have been developed in association with WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) in an effort to reduce the amount of packaging ending up in landfill. They have the following unique features:
- Increased strength over previous double wall boxes.
- Recycled content ranges from 60% to 90%.
- All of our single wall boxes are vegan friendly.
- Kite Packaging, are making a real change, and set targets to reduce plastic usage by 120 tonnes by the end of 2019. They achieved their target and continue to set sustainability targets, like becoming carbon neutral in 2021.
- As yet we haven't found an alternative, more sustainable option, that provides an adequate level of protection for our lights.
- We regularly review our packing materials/processes and alternatives to bubble wrap.We use plastic bubble wrap made from low density polyethylene. Polyethylene consists of a minimum 50% recycled external products.
- We encourage reuse of bubble wrap throughout our workshop to help protect the lights.
Energy Consumption – Reduction
As of 2020 we switched all of our gas and electric energy contracts to a 100% green tariff through Good Energy. We also aim to reduce energy consumption further by employing the following energy saving measures:
- All computers and monitors are switched off when not in use.
- All monitors use a low-energy screen saver activated when the computer is not in use for longer than five minutes.
- All electronic equipment including computers, lights and machinery is switched off when the studio is not in use.
- All windows and internal doors are kept closed in the winter to avoid the loss of heat.
- When not necessary lights are switched off and we use low energy consumption bulbs.
Waste Management - Reduction
- Promotional literature and reports are produced electronically and made available, wherever possible, on our website.
- We continually research ways in which we can encourage a paperless office, this was particularly useful during the Covid-19 pandemic as the majority of the office was working from home.
- Carrier bags and boxes are saved to be reused as required.
- Paper is reused – and if required, draft documents will be printed if strictly necessary and on the reverse (unused) side.
In addition to the core business activity of recycling lights, we also recycle the following:
- White paper, mixed paper, newspapers and magazines
- Glass & plastic
- Aluminium & steel
- Light Bulbs
- We are members of the National Packaging Waste Database - Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), as we have a responsibility to ensure any electrical waste is disposed of and recycled appropriately.
We actively encourage the use of bicycles and provide a cycle to work scheme for our employees, providing safe bicycle parking spaces where possible. For those for whom this is not possible, we clearly outline the different public transport options available to staff and visitors to our offices.
We are looking at options to switch our company van to more sustainable battery electric vehicles. We make business journeys only when necessary, travelling by train (nationally and internationally) wherever we can - and will continue to do this even when we have an electric vehicle.
Although we can’t promise our suppliers are always perfect, wherever possible we select them based on their environmental and ethical credentials. Our strategy is to work with as many suppliers who are committed to making real improvements.
For our wifi we us Zen Broadband who are a carbon-neutral company, B Corp certified, and committed to becoming Net-Zero by 2028. They are a great demonstration of our commitment to creating a more sustainable future. working with like minded companies. We use them in the studio and are very happy with their service and broadband speed.
Objectives and Targets
As a company we are aligned with the Paris Agreement’s global framework for tackling man-made climate change as set by the UN: “Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees celsius, as soon as possible to achieve a climate-neutral world by mid-century” (as cited in ‘The Paris Agreement’ on the UN’s website: https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/the-paris-agreement). As part of this we aim to meet the Agreement’s long term goals agreed upon by world ministers and leaders from 195 countries including the UK. These goals are reviewed and revised every five years, with the next Climate Change Conference (known as COP26) set to happen in October 2021, and we will revise and reset our goals accordingly.
We are actively reviewing our supply chain’s environmental policies with a view of partnering with businesses that share our vision of becoming carbon-neutral, including businesses that are plastic-free.
Leading by example, we have also committed to conducting regular voluntary company carbon audits, in which we have pledged to take immediate action to cut our carbon footprint to become a carbon-neutral business as soon as possible, and at the very latest, by 2025. We plan to reduce emissions year on year and to continue to monitor, measure and implement the carbon management hierarchy (avoid, reduce, replace, offset) to reduce impact and adopt new carbon-neutral technology wherever possible
Responsibility and Monitoring
Achieving our company goal of becoming carbon-neutral is a step in the right direction, even with the smallest positive change. Sustainable changes take a team effort to become a reality, but it takes motivated individuals within the team to commit to influencing that change.
Our Operations Manager, Cara Bettinson will be responsible for maintaining and implementing our sustainability policy and ensuring annual carbon audits are undertaken. However, all our employees have a responsibility in their department to ensure that the aims and objectives of this policy are met.
As a business, our target is to work even harder. Our company Carbon Audit in turn will drive and develop our Environmental Audit.