Bunzl believes that positive actions with respect to Corporate Responsibility are not only desirable in their own right but are also of potential economic and commercial benefit to the Group. We measure and monitor our social and environmental responsibilities across the three areas of our value chain in order to maintain high levels of corporate responsibility.

Supply Chain

Ethical sourcing

Bunzl is a service provider not a manufacturer. The vast majority of the products we supply are sourced locally by our businesses taking account of customer preferences and our own policies. Each of our business areas is responsible for implementing appropriate processes to assess key suppliers’ compliance with the relevant CR standards covering both social and environmental risks. At Group level Bunzl works with its key suppliers to ensure that they meet the same CR standards we have set for ourselves. We have contacted our Top 50 suppliers by value to ensure that our CR aspirations are compatible.

Our Global Sourcing and QA/QC Asia team, based in Shanghai, carries out audits on Bunzl’s Asian suppliers to ensure compliance with international standards. Where those standards are not met, our auditors work with the suppliers issuing a plan of actions required and then monitors the implementation of those actions. In 2016 our professionally qualified auditors completed 449 audits of Asian suppliers testing the factories’ production capabilities, quality systems and social accountability compliance, including social and environmental risks.

Bunzl has identified a number of Zero Tolerance Issues covering areas of social risk including child labour, failure to pay minimum wages and compliance with working hours regulations. Our auditors devise an improvement programme based on their findings and will work with the purchasing teams within the relevant operating businesses to ensure suppliers understand the importance of implementing the improvements identified. Bunzl believes that by using our own audit team we are in a better position to work with our suppliers to achieve the standards we require. The Board of Bunzl plc is notified of all suppliers who fail to meet our standards in these areas of zero tolerance and receive regular updates on progress against their improvement programme.

In 2016 we appointed consultants to complete a quantitative analysis of material social risks in our worldwide supply chain. Suppliers were ranked against Human and Labour rights identified in internationally agreed standards. The analysis provided a greater insight into how risks varied across the supply chain based on geography and product. However, our supply chain is dynamic as we respond to customer requirements and we will be using the outcome of this analysis as the basis to develop further our understanding and management of CR risks within our supply chain.


Bunzl endeavours to partner with suppliers who actively support their local communities. For Bunzl Australasia, indigenous engagement is central to many of their key corporate accounts. Having been a previous recipient of an award for Up and Coming Member of the Supply Nation Awards, Bunzl has sourced a range of green products from indigenous companies, including a range of hair and skin products and a range of paper cups made from sustainable materials with Aboriginal art designs.



Our business relies heavily on the skills and experience of our employees. We value the commitment of our employees and we are continuing to invest in initiatives that promote employee health and wellbeing.

Positive culture – The results of our 2016 employee survey demonstrate the positive culture that exists among Bunzl employees.

Julie Welch, Director of Group HR, said “Despite the good results, we don’t intend to rest on our laurels and we will work together throughout the business to ensure progress on the aspects that matter most locally”.

Ethical culture – Bunzl has a series of e-learning modules explaining key responsibilities of employees in the area of CR covering bribery, facilitation payments, conflicts of interest, modern slavery and many more. All of our management and sales and purchasing staff across the Group are required to complete these modules which are available in 13 languages.

Campaigns have been run to highlight our whistle blowing process ‘Speak Up’ which sets out the process employees should follow if they wish to report any concerns relating to a failure within the business to adhere to the standards set out in the Business conduct/Code of ethics policy. Speak Up posters are displayed in all our facilities and their presence is checked as part of our Internal Audit and Environment, Health & Safety audit processes.

Diversity – Helen Cockerham, Managing Director of Bunzl Retail Supplies in the UK and one of the most senior female managers in the Group, recently made a video on her experience on developing her career to share with Bunzl’s EveryWoman network. Bunzl has a workforce which comprises c. 65% men and 35% women. In management positions these figures change significantly with 90% of senior posts taken by men and 10% occupied by women, a common issue for business organisations across the world. To support redressing this balance, Bunzl is working with an organisation called EveryWoman. The EveryWoman network is an online portal which offers women in management roles a wealth of online personal development tools and resources. To date Bunzl has 50 women and two men participating in the EveryWoman network, representing every business area across the globe. The group takes part in virtual activities every three months, hosted each time by a different country and aimed at developing a collaborative approach to women in business. Helen commented “It was a pleasure to share my thoughts and experience. I hope it will help women to be ambitious and confident that their contribution and development is vital to ensuring a diverse, balanced and successful business”.

Learning & development – Our employee survey results demonstrate that our people are passionate about our business and we aim to give them the right support to progress in their careers. Bunzl believes developing our people at all levels is key to ensuring long term organisational success and delivering our strategic aims. We run management development programmes at Group, business area and business levels and support employees to undertake professional development. In our North America business area the talent development team has introduced the DRIVE (Delivering results, Innovation, Customer Value and Leadership Excellence) programme. In Continental Europe the Bunzl Ambassadors Club facilitates collaboration and personal development. UK & Ireland has set up a focus group which has identified five strategic pillars to develop an holistic, interlinked approach to the growth of Bunzl people. The learning and development pillar covers a number of established formal training courses and they have recently introduced YELP (Your e-learning Portal) offering a wide range of online courses. The remaining pillars are aimed at creating a work environment which nurtures people in their professional development. Australasia’s Sales Road VIP2 programme is aimed at developing skills to better understand customers’ requirements and so become more effective partners. Whilst, in Latin America the leadership development programme covers core topics including leadership, innovation and digital revolution.

Health & safety

Employee well-being - Health and safety remains a priority for Bunzl and it is our aim that no employee or other person should be injured as a result of our operations. We measure and report our accident rates and set targets to reduce the number of lost time accidents.

Our North America business area has implemented pre-shift stretching programmes as a way to reduce manual handling injuries. This type of initiative has already proved successful in Brazil where Prot-Cap run a weekly exercise and fitness programme for all employees which aims not only to promote health and well-being but also to educate employees on appropriate manual handling techniques to be used in the warehouse.

Safety of our fleet - Following a successful pilot project, the use of in-cab telematics has been extended across France Hygiene’s commercial fleet which is our largest fleet in Continental Europe. The GreenRoad system enables drivers to monitor their own driving behaviour using the traffic light indicator on top of the dashboard. In addition, our fleet managers can isolate specific locations, times and tasks that are hotspots for increased risk and develop risk-reducing corrective solutions. Drivers are coached to improve their driving style based on reports from the system and of course their own observations. This is a great example of sharing best practice as the pilot in France is built on the successful implementation of the GreenRoad system in UK & Ireland.

UK & Ireland have implemented a project to fit commercial vehicles with multiple cameras, side proximity sensors and audible left turn and reversing warnings to improve road safety both for our drivers and other road users, as well as to reduce vehicle damage.

They have also introduced a Safe Urban Driving course comprising practical cycling and a classroom based session designed to provide our commercial drivers with first-hand experience of being a vulnerable road user.


Helping local communities - Bunzl companies have a proud history of coming to the aid of their local communities when they are in distress and are committed to supporting communities where they operate.

In May 2016 a fire that swept through Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada, destroying homes and buildings, left in its wake a massive clean up problem. The local Bunzl branch played a key role donating many products used in the clean up including work gloves, dust masks, garbage bags and toilet tissue.

North America’s branch in New Orleans donated food and cleaning supplies to agencies supporting flood victims after phenomenal rain in August 2016 caused catastrophic flooding which submerged thousands of homes and businesses over a 200-mile area. The branch also worked with their customer Associated Grocers of Baton Rouge to collect clothes for affected employees and communities.

UK & Ireland has a long standing relationship with the charity In Kind Direct which specialises in providing food, hygiene and disposable products to vulnerable communities. In 2016 several Bunzl businesses donated stock with a total retail value of £45,500. Their efforts went towards supporting 419 community organisations across the UK. Since Bunzl’s first stock donation in 1998, it is estimated that more than £1 million in total retail value of products has been donated.

This year, Bunzl Catering Supplies, part of UK & Ireland, expanded its charitable partnerships to include Fareshare. Fareshare redistributes unwanted and surplus food to front line charities across the UK working to support the homeless and vulnerable communities. Last year Fareshare redistributed enough food for 18.3 million meals. Bunzl Catering Supplies support this worthy initiative by making monthly donations of tea, coffee and other perishables, hygiene products, toilet rolls, hand towels, napkins, paper and plastic cups.

Charitable Donations

The Eden Project - An educational charity focusing on the interdependence of plants and people is based in Cornwall in the UK. The Eden Project houses the largest rainforest in captivity, stunning plants and exhibitions in massive Biomes. Bunzl has provided donations to support the development of Phase Two of Eden’s new Rainforest Canopy Walkway to help research the content and stories for the exhibit and construct the Rainshack, Misting system and Cloud Bridge.

Buglife - To quote Sir David Attenborough “If we and the rest of the back-boned animals were to disappear overnight, the rest of the world would get on pretty well. But if the invertebrates were to disappear, the world’s ecosystems would collapse.” In 2016 Bunzl sponsored Buglife charity’s ‘Urban Buzz’ initiative providing a habitat for pollinating insects in an urban setting. The project is on the site of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the city of Birmingham in the UK.

Supporting our fund raisers - One of Bunzl’s key CR objectives is to support fundraising activities championed by our employees in aid of charities and projects that support their local communities.

Bunzl staff go the extra mile for good causes - Bunzl in France entered 24 runners to compete in the Paris Marathon raising funds for Les Blouses Roses, a charity which recruits volunteers to visit sick children and older people in hospital. In Spain a team from our Barcelona branch took part in the women’s largest sporting event in Europe, a fun run in aid of cancer research. In all 29,000 women participated in the run, collectively raising over €500,000.

Bunzl employs superheroes – employees from Bunzl in Ireland put on their superhero costumes to raise money for the Carers Trust which aims to support adult and young carers.

Environment and climate change

Greenhouse gas emissions - Bunzl’s operating companies across the globe are committed to supporting initiatives that reduce carbon emissions. We set annual targets for the reduction of carbon emissions and publicly report on Scope 1 & 2 (direct) carbon emissions through our annual report. For the last two years we have reported on those Scope 3 (indirect) emissions over which we have most management control. We are supporters of CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project) and have for several years completed their climate change questionnaire. In 2016 we achieved a CDP Score of B which was above average for our sector.

Fuel consumption – Our vehicle fleet is our most significant contributor to carbon emissions. We aim to minimise this through fleet renewal, planned preventative maintenance, driver training and the use of telematics systems in our major commercial vehicle fleets. These systems identify poor driving behaviours which result in inefficient fuel consumption and help prevent excessive engine idling time. For example, in UK & Ireland, where all our commercial vehicles have telematics fitted, the systems we use include GreenRoad which provides feedback through a small traffic light indicator on top of the dashboard to alert drivers when they are not using the best driving techniques. The cost of implementation of this system was more than offset by the savings in fuel achieved through highlighting how driving practices were impacting fuel consumption. Reports from all the telematics systems allow managers to provide coaching on driving styles.

Bunzl’s one-stop-shop strategy saves delivery miles – Bunzl sources and consolidates a broad range of products to offer our customers an efficient one-stop-shop thereby minimising the number of deliveries and fleet miles required. Two recent examples of how Bunzl’s strategy reduces carbon emissions from vehicle miles can be found in Continental Europe. Bunzl in Central Europe has extended their relationship with Tesco where they were supplying a full range of non-food consumables throughout the Czech Republic, to also supply Poland. Bunzl Czech’s capacity to supply a wide range of products meant the number of suppliers Tesco uses for disposables and consumable products in Poland has reduced from 30. In Spain, Bunzl Cleaning & Hygiene have signed a new contract with ISS to provide a wide range of janitorial consumables. Prior to the new contract, ISS was using 24 separate suppliers to service sites across Spain.

Wherever possible we use empty vehicles from our commercial fleets in North America and UK & Ireland to collect stock from our suppliers on their way back to the branch. This means that we are helping others to save miles for vehicles that would have been required to make those deliveries whilst reducing dead miles for our own vehicles.

Reducing emissions from electricity consumption - We routinely monitor our electricity consumption levels at all our sites and are constantly looking for ways to operate in a more efficient and sustainable manner and to reduce CO2 emission levels. We have a strategy of leasing warehouses so that our footprint is flexible to meet the demands of our customers. The growth of our business, both organically and through acquisition, means that the size of our footprint, and consequently our absolute electricity consumption, can increase but it also offers the opportunity to consolidate facilities and invest in upgraded warehouses. Lighting accounts for more than 80% of our electricity consumption and we complete cost benefit analyses of lighting renewal projects. An acceptable return on investment will depend not only on the price of electricity but also on the size of the site, operating hours and the outstanding period of the lease. These analyses are reviewed regularly to take account of advancing technology which can significantly impact the cost of implementation, making the return on investment more attractive. In 2016 a further 12 sites were upgraded providing annualised savings of more than 2 million kWh. The reduction in electricity consumption following installation of upgraded lighting can easily be seen when looking at the read-out from the hourly meter for one of the UK & Ireland sites where savings have been achieved against the previous year of more 35% or 925,000 kWh.

We have also installed voltage optimisers at a number of our sites where this energy saving technology can be shown to make a difference. The voltage optimiser is installed in series with the main electricity supply to systematically regulate and clean the incoming power to bring the voltage supplied into a building in line with what is required to run the lighting and other equipment.

A number of our sites in UK & Ireland and Continental Europe are now transferring to green energy sources where this is available and makes commercial sense.

Minimising waste - Throughout our operations, Bunzl encourages the reduction of waste to landfill and incineration through reuse and recycling schemes. Bunzl has a policy of separating the waste produced by its branches wherever this is supported by the local waste collection and disposal infrastructure.

2016 saw Bunzl Catering Supplies and Lockhart Catering Equipment in UK & Ireland transform their perception of waste. By working collaboratively and forging new partnerships with recycling and reuse specialists such as Smurfit Kappa, Giffords Pallet Recyclers and Trade Compliance, both Bunzl businesses have transformed their waste into a resource, benefitting both the environment and their bottom lines. Bunzl Catering Supplies’ partnerships have ensured that the maximum amount of material and ex-stock products are either reused or recycled, more than halving the company’s waste footprint. Lockhart’s efforts have resulted in a 20% reduction in the cost of waste. In North America, Bunzl Seattle, has reduced its waste to landfill by 63% and its waste expense by $30,000.


Trusted partners

Bunzl aims to build long term relationship with its customers. Three recent deals in North America involve contract renewals and extensions. These long-term customer relationships are important building blocks in the ongoing development of our North America business. President and CEO, Pat Larmon, said “We believe it is important to put time and effort into growing business with our existing customers. When we build great customer relationships and provide exceptional service, we become our customers’ trusted business partner. This kind of relationship promotes business continuity and stability while giving us the opportunity to earn an even greater share of our customers’ business.”

Bunzl ensures its employees are aware of their key responsibilities with regard to the Group’s customers including those in the area of CR which cover bribery, facilitation payments, conflicts of interest, modern slavery and many more. All of our management and sales and purchasing staff across the Group are required to complete these modules. Compliance is monitored by the HR teams in each of the business areas and by our Internal Audit Department.

Innovative products and services

As part of our policy to provide our customers with high quality products and good value for money, companies within the Group are constantly developing and sourcing new products. Our aim is not only to satisfy changing customer requirements, but also to give ourselves a competitive advantage in the marketplace. From colour coded “free from” labels for the hospitality sector to the use of innovative fabrics to give greater protection to workers against challenging weather conditions or where there is a risk from contamination from viruses, bacteria and fungi, Bunzl works with its customers and suppliers in the development and introduction to the market of new, redesigned or substantially improved products.

Bunzl Retail and Industry in the Netherlands has developed a new Food Mailer packaging concept containing paper icepacks to enable food retailers and supermarkets to sell fresh products online.

Bunzl in Brazil supplies Insect Shield, a brand of clothing to protect against the dangers posed by mosquitoes and other insects in tropical countries, whilst Vicsa Chile has developed, with one of its customers, a set of products including masks, gloves and work garments made from copper fibre. Recent research shows copper has antibacterial qualities which help protect workers from contamination by viruses, bacteria and fungi.

Continental Chef Supplies in the UK has brought a line of recycled chefs’ wear to the clothing and hospitality market. The Salerno range uses a process which recycles plastic bottles and turns them into polyester fabric. The garments are then manufactured using 70% of recycled polyester and 30% environmentally friendly cotton. The fabric uses Easy Care technology and is lightweight and cool allowing the wearer to feel comfortable even during the busiest times in the kitchen.

Grow Module 365 is a sustainable solution to worldwide growing. Bunzl Speciality Businesses, part of the Bunzl Catering & Hospitality Division in the UK, has formed a joint venture to develop a portable, scalable, indoor unit for growing tasty stable fruit and vegetables in urban environments. It is capable of producing fresh leaf, young vegetables and soft fruit all year round. Housed in an upcycled shipping container, each GroModule 365 contains all the components for commercial fruit and vegetable growing regardless of weather, location or skills. The containers’ LED lighting and aeration systems create optimum growing conditions, which in turn encourages natural and flavourful produce.

Tackling waste

2016 saw a number of Bunzl operating companies adopt ground breaking partnerships and source innovative products to help their customers be responsible users of disposable packaging and reduce their waste footprints. To increase our offering of environmentally friendly products which can minimise waste, North America expanded its offering through the acquisition of Earthwise Bag Company, specialising in the supply of reusable eco-friendly bags including multiuse totes, insulated bags, wine totes and produce bags to supermarkets and other retailers. Reusable bags have a beneficial impact on reducing littering of plastic bags into the natural environment.

Bunzl Catering Supplies became founding member of the Simply Cups Scheme in 2015, the UK’s only dedicated collection and recycling solution for paper cups. By offering customers preferential membership rates, in 2016 Bunzl Catering Supplies signed up a number of key customers to the scheme including contract caterer Gather & Gather, Loughborough University and the crown jewel in the English Heritage estate, Stonehenge. The team at Bunzl Catering Supplies hosted a series of launch days for each customer, engaging with consumers and working hard to change perceptions around paper cup recycling.

Throughout 2017, Bunzl Catering Supplies has continued to work closely alongside the Simply Cups team and, together with environmental charity Hubbub and a number of supplier partners and retailers, have joined forces to launch a high profile coffee cup recycling challenge in the London Square Mile Area. The challenge kicked off in April with the target to capture half a million cups by the end of April and 5 million by the end of 2017. The difficulty of recycling disposable cups is a high profile issue and Bunzl Catering Supplies is keen to support customers in tackling the problem. Not only have they part-funded this initiative but they approached a number of key suppliers who were also willing to match their funding.

2016 also saw other Bunzl businesses employ product innovations to help their customers reduce the environmental impact of their waste footprints. Distrimondo in Switzerland has worked closely with United Against Waste to reduce food waste from ending up in landfill sites. This has a significant and unnecessary impact on the environment and to help reduce this Distrimondo launched a new food box product to encourage restaurant diners to take home leftover food after their meal. The box is made from 100% recycled and biodegradable materials and is suitable for recycling and composting.

In Germany Bunzl is promoting a range of environmentally friendly products with packaging made from pulp, bamboo fibre and unbleached paper.

In the Netherlands, King has introduced CupR which offers customers the opportunity to recycle used disposable cups which are pulped and processed to produce toilet paper.

Bunzl Retail Supplies in the UK supported Co-op Food Retail Group to achieve its environmental targets by introducing a service to recycle fixtures and fittings from closing stores. Bunzl collected reusable items such as staff lockers, fire extinguishers, staff room furniture and back of house stock racking from stores that were closing as part of the Co-op’s relaunch programme. They were diverted from landfill and shipped for reuse at new stores.