Our role as an influential leader in the transition to a more sustainable and equitable future
Tailored solutions for our customers
Many of our customers are under pressure to reduce their plastic waste footprint. This is a complex challenge: the daily running of our customers' businesses depends on the products we provide, and there are many plastic products where no viable alternative exists today. As market trends develop and new product categories emerge, our customers look to us for custom solutions, practical advice and up-to-the-minute expertise on making their operations more sustainable.
As part of our policy to provide our customers with high quality products and services, businesses within the Group are constantly developing and sourcing new products. We work closely with our customers and suppliers in the development of new, redesigned or substantially improved products.
Providing expert and credible advice
Our unique position in the supply chain means we’re well placed to provide our customers with credible and expert advice. We aren’t wedded to any specific materials or products, so can provide an objective overview of the best solutions for each challenge through:
- Dedicated teams of plastics and sustainability experts
- Training programmes to proactively help our customers understand their sustainability challenges
- Providing the data our customers need to participate in external schemes and report against their targets
- Supporting our customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders – including civil society organisations – to help strengthen recycling and reuse systems to secure end of life options for our products
Supporting customers' decision making
We offer our customers expert advice on sustainability as part of our service to them, effectively becoming a consultant or adviser on some of the issues they face.
To support this work our businesses in the UK have developed proprietary tools that provide customers with the information they need to understand the impact new plastics and packaging legislation will have on their business and their progress towards the packaging targets they have set. Using these tools to work closely with our customers gives us a great opportunity to demonstrate the alternative solutions we can offer that would help them meet both their recyclability targets and the requirements of new legislation.
Using data to support customers targets
Providing our customers with the data they need to support their participation in industry-leading external plastic and packaging programmes, pacts and schemes is key. In North America we started to transition a key customer to recyclable packaging made from between 80–100% recycled content at the start of our contract nine years ago. Our data and support with the right products enabled them to become the first US-based fresh produce company to sign up to the Ellen MacArthur New Plastics Economy Global Commitment.
We also recently supported another grocery brand with its market-leading B-Corp renewal by providing the data they needed on the amount of recyclable, compostable and recycled content items within its range.
Enabling faster transition with Bunzl own brand
We’ve been bringing an extensive range of own brand alternative products to market and our material agnostic position in the supply chain allows us to offer flexible solutions to our customers.
In the Netherlands we have supplied a key retailer with two different types of fresh produce bags: a reusable option consumers can buy and a more sustainable single-use bag if they don’t. Between 2018 and 2020 this transition removed 14.4 million single-use plastic bags from circulation.
We have also launched a new consolidated range of sustainable products, Verive. The new range not only provides solutions which comply with the EU Single Use Plastics Directive but also offers leading sustainability advice via a new digital platform.