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Here at Reabrook, we understand that our customers desire more than just ‘environmentally friendly’ products. We understand that the manufacturing, transportation and the use of products may not have the best effect on the environment, such as energy consumption and waste disposal, so we are committed to producing products that minimise the impact on our planet.
In our personal care products, we select and formulate ingredients to guarantee the safety and sustainability of our products throughout their life-span. We also ensure that our products are safe for both people and the environment. We thoroughly review the human and environmental safety aspects of our ingredients leading us to select materials that balance effectiveness, safety and environmental impact. Our purchasing team is tasked to ensure that all paper based products are from FSC (The Forest Stewardship Council) sources, we also try to generate recyclable packaging where possible. Our company will continue to investigate further ways to reduce our consumption of water, fuel oil and the impact of our transportation on the environment. We have also invested in warehouse lighting with light sensors to ensure energy is used only when required.
The following areas we hope to commit to the aid of the environment:
Microbeads are defined as tiny particles of plastic less than 1mm in size that can be spherical or irregular in shape and produced in a multitude of colours. Microbeads have historically been manufactured for use in consumer products such as body and face scrubs in order to gently exfoliate skin. The types of plastic most commonly used as microbeads are: polyethylene (PE), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), nylon, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polypropylene (PP).
The use of plastic microbeads contributes to the increasing flow of plastic into our oceans. These preventable microscopic pieces of plastic are contributing to the fragments of broken down larger pieces of plastic and fibres contaminating our seas. When used as directed, microbeads are washed down drains and into waste water systems where they are not detected by treatment facilities and are consequently flushed out to sea.
None of our formulations or products contain polyethylene microbeads. To further our protection of the marine environment we are also actively working to replace glitters used in our formulations to ensure that they are biodegradable. The most commonly used glitters in cosmetic use are based on a Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) substrate and although not classed as microbeads (which are banned from 2018 in wash-off cosmetics), they are still classed as micro plastics which may be considered a threat to marine ecosystems.
We do not test any of our products on animals and are actively against any testing of this kind. Our products are not animal tested on our behalf by any third party. We are delighted to report that the European Commission has implemented a marketing ban on any cosmetic products that have been tested on animals or contain ingredients that were tested on animals after 11th March 2013. This means that any products that are tested on animals after this date or contain ingredients that were tested on animals after this date are now banned from sale in the EU.
We continually work to minimise the environmental impact of our operations and products and achieve a long-term, sustainable business. We ensure that we comply and wherever possible surpass all relevant legislative requirements and industry standards and use the best practicable means to continually improve our environmental performance. We also ensure that all employees and contractors are made aware of our Sustainability & Environmental Policy and are involved in the continuous improvement of our operations and supply chain.
We aim to actively reduce waste in all processes from the specification of incoming raw materials, the use of materials on site and the transmission of materials into the supply chain in the form of packaging. Where waste is unavoidably created we take steps to manage the re-use, recycling, recovery and disposal in the most appropriate manner giving full consideration to environmental issues. We employ purchasing procedures that give consideration to environmental and social issues and engage with suppliers who are committed to minimising the impact of their operations on the environment and who operate in an ethically and socially responsible manner.
We aim to reduce material waste and the amount of material that we dispose of in landfill sites. We now recycle all cardboard waste and have set up packaging agreements with some suppliers to return packaging in the aim that it can be re-used wherever possible.
We have increased the amount of recycled material that we use and for both primary and secondary packaging and are constantly looking at reducing the amount of glass, metal, plastic and cardboard wherever possible. We will always try to source locally to reduce our input mileage and recycle waste material.
We have introduced inverters on blending vessels and ensured that we have optimised our heat recovery and insulation. We have installed a variable speed compressor which, when installed, saved 13% (equivalent to £2,500) in energy costs in one month. As part of this initiative we have also installed warehouse lighting with individual presence detection, so that lights only switch on when the area below them is occupied and will also have daylight dimming intelligence, to make use of the considerable amount of natural daylight we have available. This has given us an annual CO2 saving of 90,348kg per annum.
Wherever possible, we look at ways to decrease the amount of water we consume on site. We have also reformulated to decrease the amount of water we now use in the manufacturing of our concentrate products, in order to reduce our carbon footprint in the transportation of the goods.
Although our key targets so far have been establishing and actively working to reduce our carbon footprint, we are also keen to offset the energy that we use as a business. We have invested £105,000 in a joint venture with The National Forest, funding a new development of 38-hectares, which has seen a total of 42,000 new trees planted – every single one sponsored by Reabrook. We believe that our continued growth as a business gives us the opportunity to support and positively contribute to the local area. By working towards carbon neutrality and with our initiative with The National Forest we can bring benefits to the society in which we operate.
Here at Reabrook, sustainability has always been at the forefront of our processes and procedures. We now also strive to find the most sustainable packaging options for our customers. Hopefully with some of the information here, you can get a taste of our commitment, but please contact us to discuss the many ways we are leading the way for a sustainable approach to private label manufacturing.
Using trend and analysis data from our research partners Mintel, we are aware of a move towards claims for packaging showing the increased benefit of using recycled materials.
We are now able to offer a complete recycled packaging solution using bottles made from PCR (Post-Consumer Recycled) plastic in either HDPE or PET. This material once used, can still go into the recycling system to again be recycled. The PCR can also be used in various levels from 25% to 100% and meets European Food Contact regulations. We also offer colour variation batch testing and stability compatibility to ensure previously agreed levels are maintained.
We are constantly reviewing our suppliers to ensure that we can offer the lightest weight aerosol cans; without compromising quality or performance. For some customers, this may mean deploying state of the art DWI technology with optimised can shapes and the use of technology that can reduce the weight of a can by up to 20% with the possibility of future reductions of a further 10%. Using standard aluminium beverage stock, our suppliers are able to take advantage of a readily available material noted for its recycled content. It contains more than 65% recycled material. The approximate material composition being: 40% Pre-Consumer Scrap, 25% Post-Consumer Scrap and 35% Primary Metal/Coil Producer Internal Scrap. Whichever your route, our supply partners have a solution to fit.
We are now able to source tubes made from recycled plastic material which are fully recyclable into the same recycling stream. These tubes are highly customisable allowing you as our customer to choose the amount of PCR to be used; depending upon your requirements and the nature of the product that is contained within the package. The tubes are made from a combination of virgin and recycled plastic materials, allowing us to offer tubes with a reduced amount of virgin plastic used in production, whilst themselves being fully recyclable. Each tube contains more than 50% PCR HDPE plastic material and are typically used for hair care, skin care, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. These tubes are fully compliant with regulations assuring the protection of your product whilst the excellent finish combined with our supplier’s expertise ensure your tube decoration is of the highest quality.
We are working with our suppliers to offer a choice of sustainable components, with some now able to ‘re-grind’ material from their own plastic waste for certain caps and closures colours.
The cardboard we use on site has approximately 66% recycled content and is all 100% recyclable.
In 2012, we were recognised for promoting excellence in the aerosol industry by BAMA (the British Aerosol Manufacturers’ Association) as we were named as the winner of their Corporate Social Responsibility Award.
We understand that environmental and social impacts arise from the products we design and manufacture. Because of this we strive to continually innovate through our products design and manufacturing process to use less water, energy and packaging across their lifecycle.
Working in partnership, and echoing our customers beliefs, we are committed to providing safe and sustainable consumer products with sustainability an integral part of our product innovation process. Decisions on how we select and communicate ingredients within our products are based on the criteria of what is right for our consumers whilst meeting or exceeding regulatory, sustainability and safety requirements.
At Reabrook, we recognise our responsibility for the conditions under which our goods are manufactured. We ensure that the process conforms to human rights, safe working conditions and fair wages. Reabrook relies on the skills and talents of its employees as well as the goodwill of our communities. We embrace the principles of sustainable development and we operate safely in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. We comply with all legal requirements as a minimum, following clear standards of business conduct and ethical behaviour.
Awareness of health and safety policy and management procedures is a key, mutual objective for management and employees at all levels. It is the policy of Reabrook to take all reasonable precautions to prevent personal injury, damage to property and to protect employees, visitors, contractors and the public from foreseeable work hazards whenever they come into contact with the company or its products. The Reabrook Board is ultimately responsible for all health and safety matters within Reabrook. Reabrook is committed to effective management of health and safety issues as an integral and fundamental part of Reabrook’s business activities.
It is the policy of Reabrook to take all reasonable precautions to prevent personal injury, damage to property and to protect employees, visitors, contractors and the public from foreseeable work hazards whenever they come into contact with the company or its products.
Reabrook Limited undertakes to apply and continually improve a Quality Management System that fully meets the requirements of BS EN ISO9001, the BRC Global Standard for Consumer Products and supports good manufacturing practice.
We will aim to provide objective evidence that the activities covered by the scope of our registration conform to the required standards. To meet these requirements, we are committed to the following principles:
Our manufacturing process has been reviewed and was a key focus for environmental improvement. We achieved ISO 14001 IN 2001 which allowed us to put in place an effective Environmental Management System (EMS). This means we can identify aspects of our business that impact on the environment and we understand the environmental laws that are relevant to our situation. We also regularly produce objectives for improvement and have a management programme in place to ensure we achieve them, a key factor in our strategy for continual improvement.
Through our Research and Development laboratory we continually develop product ranges to comply with ever changing legislation and ensure that our products continue to provide exceptional value to our customers.
We evaluate and consider environmental issues and choose energy efficient solutions in our business decisions, manufacturing processes and product development, provided they are commercially viable. We also endeavour to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions through initiatives on process plant, ongoing investment in energy efficient equipment, and by raising the awareness of all our employees about the need for energy conservation.
We have an Environmental and Energy Committee and appointed members from each area of the business in order to monitor and reduce our impact on the environment and to further assist in the CO2 and energy reduction programme. We measured all environmental impacts on site and then targeted those with the largest impact for us to initially reduce. Those being electric, fuel oil and waste. When in these meetings we discuss ways of reducing our consumption to reach our aim of an annual reduction of 2%. Then we set actions for the committee to carry out the reduction measures. Having seen a large increase in production, we decided to set up the KPI which measures the environmental impact per unit produced and in turn gives us comparable data from year to year.
Company energy and environmental objectives that have been met:
In conjunction with 100% water bathing of aerosols, the company introduced on-line aerosol leak detection equipment (in excess of £100K per detection equipment installation).
We have also updated the computerised fire alarm panel and upgraded the system “in excess of £20k” to latest version available to give better location coverage around the site and a direct link to fire brigade call out service. We have also introduced, to the whole site, emergency lighting upgraded to latest industry standards available.
In response to reported near misses, pedestrian safety gates were introduced around various site points by the staff themselves, to protect against contact with moving fork lift trucks (FLTs). This has worked successfully with no further near misses of this nature reported since the installation.
We have also added the following safety improvements:
We have introduced the use of double deck trailers for our largest customer and can therefore deliver 52 pallets per journey as opposed to the standard 26. This has reduced the amount of lorry journeys by at least 100 per year. We also work with our delivery partners to collect raw materials and other components, on their return journeys, after delivering our customers orders. This has reduced the amount of empty trailers on the road and has further reduced the carbon footprint of our logistics operation.
This stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation & Restriction of Chemicals. These regulations have been adopted by the European Parliament and came into force on the 1st June 2007. They provide a comprehensive reform of the regulations surrounding the manufacture, marketing, import and use of chemical substances, in the European Union.
The main objectives of the regulations are to ensure that chemical substances used within the EU are properly assessed for their safety to both humans and the environment and where appropriate the use of some substances may be restricted or prohibited.
All chemicals manufactured or imported into Europe in quantities greater than 1 tonne will be affected.
Due to the complexity of implementing such a large piece of legislation, the requirements are phased. This is to allow the industry time to prepare for the effects of the new regulations.
Firstly, all manufacturers and importers were required to pre-register their chemicals under REACH and ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) in Helsinki, to be completed by December 2008. According to the legislation, if a chemical is not pre-registered by this time, it can no longer be sold within the EU. Reabrook have received written confirmation from our supply chain that all our affected products have been pre-registered.
The next and current stage is the registration process, this involves providing a package of technical information for the chemical and its hazards. This registration is phased over a period of years based on volumes manufactured, which in some cases includes the hazards of the chemical. The ‘phase in’period is between 2010 and 2018 depending on these parameters.
As part of the registration process with the ECHA, Reabrook, as with all manufacturers or importers need to include downstream uses in our dossiers. This means that information will have to pass up and down the chemical supply chain to ensure all relevant uses are registered for the different substances. In many cases Reabrook already knows what applications our products are used for. However, it may be necessary in certain cases, for us to request further information from customers. If this information is confidential we will, of course, respect this as the legislation does provide for this.
If you free issue Reabrook with raw materials you will need to ensure that your own source is REACH compliant through the various stages of this legislation.
Our policy is to ensure total compliance with the new regulations. In order to achieve this, we have been working closely with our trade associations and supplier base over the last few years to ensure we are fully aware of the requirements of the legislation and to ensure that we are compliant at each stage of this legislation. Reabrook, as with all manufacturers, will complete most of the work for registration, but we continually liaise with our supply base to ensure our product uses are included in the registration dossiers.
This will be a long and slow process as some of this information won’t require submission to ECHA until 2018 but we have a REACH team in place who meet frequently to help ensure continuity of supply to our customers.
If you have any further questions please feel free to contact our REACH Co-ordinator Gillian Tooth on 01283 227306.