For February’s sustainability series, I wanted to take a look internally at what Escentual does to be more environmentally-friendly and took a sneak peek around our warehouse. I’ll be honest with you, we aren’t the most sustainable company in the world, and we don’t always get everything right. But, it’s all a learning process and we’re aware that we need to make more changes. The beauty industry is continuously making steps to be more eco-conscious, so we’re pleased to be implementing changes to make our business and warehouse more sustainable.
As I said, we’re all learning; there’s no sustainability-shaming here, just a group of people who want to do better. Not only for the planet but for our customers too, so you know that shopping at Escentual isn’t costing the earth.
As an online premium beauty retailer, customer experience is incredibly important to us. We want the product you receive to be exactly like the one you would pick up off a shelf, and I’m sure that means it’s in pristine condition without damage. It’s for that reason that we use a hefty amount of bubble wrap with our orders. We ship all over the world, so we need to ensure that your new perfume bottle or makeup palette gets to you exactly as you would expect it to.
If you’re also trying to be a touch more sustainable, you can always request less bubble wrap with your order.
Plus, a good tip from our Campaigns and Communications Assistant, Kate, is to reuse the bubble wrap you receive. Read January’s edit to find out more handy sustainability tips:
As a lot of you might know, everything at Escentual is shipped in-house; your delivery comes from our warehouse which is below our offices. Our warehouse is an integral part of who we are – you might not know this but every single member of staff starts their Escentual journey by doing a week in the warehouse because it’s so central to what we do.
It’s here that we realise that we can make the most impact when it comes to the environment. I got in touch with our Operations Manager, Gavin, to ask him about the warehouse and the steps they’re making and planning to make on a company level.
Gavin told us that before Covid-19 hit, they’d been in the process of reaching out to packing companies to see what changes we could start making and what’s available to us.
The business is currently looking into switching up the packaging for something that has a minimum impact on the environment. This includes being fully recyclable, reusable and compostable, while still ensuring the product you receive is in perfect condition. This is something that we’re excited to be working on.
As I said earlier, it’s all about the little everyday changes that are going to make the biggest differences. We spoke to Sam, who’s an Operations Supervisor and is in charge of the recycling scheme in the warehouse; he told us about the small changes that all of the warehouse operatives are making in their day-to-day roles.
Here’s what he had to say (along with a little bit of help from some of the warehouse operatives):
“Here at the Escentual warehouse, we take sustainability extremely seriously and as Head of Recycling, it is my duty to ensure we do everything we can to be environmentally responsible.
We recycle a wide range of waste products and are constantly looking for new ways to increase the amount we recycle. So far, we have successfully implemented recycling procedures for:
• Paper, which we encourage staff to reuse to make use of both sides before recycling.
• Empty cans/bottles
• Ink/Toner cartridges which we send back to the supplier to be reissued.
• Cardboard – We reuse cardboard as much as we can by breaking down boxes to reuse for large customer orders or when we need to transport items.If the boxes are too small or damaged to be suitable for reuse, they get broken down and recycled.
• Foam peanuts – these are known as “void fill” and they literally fill the voids in a package and they come in the cardboard boxes we receive from brands to keep product deliveries safe. We don’t throw these out, but rather keep them (by reusing the bags that the bubble wrap rolls come in) and then reuse them for customers’ orders when they’re larger or particularly fragile.
Lights – the lights in the warehouse (along with most other places of the office) are motion activated. This means that lights are automatically off unless they sense someone is there, helping to reduce our energy wastage.
A few years ago, we made the decision to switch to using an electric vehicle for our deliveries and exchanges with our local pharmacy store to help reduce our carbon footprint.
We have also recently decided to switch to using paper envelopes for our orders instead of plastic envelopes to further reduce our impact on the environment. Make sure you separate the paper from the inside bubble wrap to recycle effectively and ensure it goes to the right place. As a company, we are delighted to be making progress and implementing new steps, but understand that we still have a way to go yet to achieve more sustainable production.”