Danilo share their environmental initiatives and details on their tree-planting partnership with Ecologi.
Concern for the environment isn’t new but with the likes of Sir David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion bringing plastic contamination of the earth’s oceans and our overall impact on the planet to the forefront, we have seen an increasing amount of activity from retailers, end consumers as well as within the greetings card and licensing industry, to understand our environmental impact and explore ways to be more sustainable.
From a retailer perspective, there have been some great eco initiatives come through from the grocers, which we’re delighted to see. For example, Waitrose, Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s, ASDA and Morrisons have all pledged to reduce plastic levels and move towards recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging. Sustainability has also been outlined as a key strategic focus for many high street retailers such as Paperchase, Scribbler, Waterstones with many more joining them.
We have also seen a significant rise in the public’s passion for reducing waste as well as a high demand for recyclable/sustainable products and packaging. A Nielsen study of consumer attitudes across 60 countries found that 65% of consumers worldwide would pay a premium for products offered by eco-friendly and socially responsible companies. Future Forecast recognises the increasing levels of environmental concern in the next generation with 1 in 3 children now think about the effect of their actions on the environment, up from 1 in 4 in early 2018. And according to a recent Independent Retail Barometer, 83% of Independent retailers believe that environmental considerations have affected card buying decisions over the last year, up a significant amount from the previous year. All of these show the importance of sustainability to consumers.
So, with environmental concerns very much at the forefront, work is underway in both the licensing industry and the greeting card industry to investigate ways we can continue to improve our environmental practices. This year saw the first ever Sustainability in Licensing Conference 2020 (SILC) which was staged digitally, across two days – November 24 and 25, 2020. An amazing success, this conference bought publishers, retailers and licensors together to share and discuss current practices and visions for the future. Understanding that we must all work together as a key part of moving forward and we are delighted at Danilo to have joined forces with Carousel Calendars and other key partners, including retailer Calendar Club and Avonside Publishing, to create an informal working group which will share product development and packaging ideas to help reduce the industry’s overall environmental impact. We are also continuing to work closely with our licensing, retailer and supplier partners to further improve our practices.
At Danilo, sustainability is one of our main strategic pillars, and while we are pleased with what we have achieved over the last few years, there is more that we can do to achieve our objective of being Climate Positive by 2024. From a business perspective, we have carried out an environmental audit, recycled any leftover stock, converted to full LED lighting in the office and the warehouse, and set up an internal green team to drive further changes. Product-wise, we are trying to minimise excessive outer packaging and eradicate unnecessary shrink wrapping. So far, we have reduced cello wrap on cards by 85% and on calendars by 30% (leading the way with our BBC Earth and RHS ranges). We are also moving towards our products being 100% recyclable and plastic free, such as our desk block calendars which are completely plastic free this year. We have added labels to our 2021 calendar and diary range to show the recyclability of our products, to make sure this is as clear as possible to consumers, with plans to add this to all our greetings cards, gift wrap and gift bag ranges. In addition, we have cut back and will continue to do so on using glitter, foil and non-recyclable finishes on our cards.
But one of our favourite initiatives this year has been our tree-planting partnership with Ecologi, where for every £5 spent on our website www.danilo.com, we plant a tree. We are delighted that we have now planted over 15,000 trees since it first started in September! We host these in a virtual online forest, which anyone can view, so people can visualise the number of trees we’ve planted to date. We are now looking to roll this scheme out to more of the business next year and cannot wait.