CLIMATE CHANGE AND CARBON:
As a company that relies on a climatically sensitive crop for our business, we are acutely aware of the potential negative impacts of climate change on our business. We also recognise that ethics and sustainability go hand in hand, since many of the worst effects of global climate change will impact the communities where we work most severely.
Hotel Chocolat has taken many steps to ensure we are doing our part as a responsible company to mitigate against climate change. As a vibrant and growing company, we will continue to work towards expanding our sustainability profile, so keep an eye on this page for updates or sign up for our emails.
REDUCING ENERGY USAGE FROM I.T. AND ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT
We have replaced all head office electronic equipment (including PCs) with gold Energy Star rated appliances; this has improved the energy efficiency of our appliances by up to 90%.
We have replaced store level servers with a centralised virtual server in our head office. This has led to a significant decrease in energy usage in store. We are also currently exploring software solutions to enable us to manage our tills and PCs in-store remotely. This will mean an end to tills and PCs left running out of store opening hours and will lead to a reduction of carbon emissions from our stores of approximately 5 tonnes per annum.
All of our stores are fitted with air curtains to control loss of energy through open doors. We carefully control the temperature in our stores and due to the nature of our products, we never waste energy heating our stores too high!
We have installed energy management systems in our warehouse unit. Lights are switched off automatically when not in use, sensors adjust the brightness of our lighting according to how much light is coming in through our windows and the temperature is controlled so we are not cooling too much in the summer or heating too high in the winter.
Almost all packaging is now sourced from the U.K. and E.U. Packaging was previously air-freighted from East Asia so this has led to a significant reduction in emissions and an improvement in the ‘carbon footprint’ of our products. We manufacture almost all of our chocolates in our own U.K. based factory – again reducing the carbon footprint of our products.
REDUCE, RE-USE, RECYCLE – MANAGING OUR WASTE
Packaging and the associated waste are both potential major contributors to our environmental impact. Recognising this, we have taken a number of steps to reduce the amount of packaging we produce, create packaging which is functional and attractive and recycle as much or our waste as possible.
The width of the materials used in our non-rigid card boxes has reduced by 200 microns, a reduction of almost 50%.
We now source close to 100% of our card and paper packaging and shop bags from Forest Stewardship Council FSC certified sources. This ensures that all our paper and cardboard products are made from sustainably managed wood pulp.
We have designed much of our packaging to be re-useable (see for example our hat boxes)
Where possible, packing materials (bubble wrap, cardboard outers) are returned to our Warehouse facility for re-use. The warehouse also has its own waste compactor and is close to achieving its ‘zero to landfill’ goal through re-using and recycling all waste produced
All cardboard and paper products are widely recycled. All tins and glass are widely recycled. We use PET and HIPs for our plastic packaging, PET is widely recycled, HIPs is also recyclable but some locations lack facilities to recycle it. Open-cell black padding found in some of our boxed chocolates is recyclable. Our rigid board boxes are not recyclable, however they are made from 100% recycled material. Our cellophane wrappings are not recyclable.
FIND OUT MORE
We are a dynamic growing company, and we have a wide range of ethical and sustainability projects lined up for the near future. Sign up to our email newsletter to keep up to date with our latest developments.