Packaging Business Boosts Environmental Credentials with New Certification

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20th January 2021

GWP Packaging

Wiltshire-based Corrugated packaging specialist GWP has secured certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

The company has achieved FSC Chain of Custody certification (FSC – C161914), which provides verification of its products back to “Well Managed Forests” certified in accordance with the strict rules of the organisation.

The award means that the Cricklade manufacturer can offer customers FSC certified transit packaging, ecommerce boxes and point of sale displays.

Established in 1993, and supported by WWF, Greenpeace and The Woodland Trust (amongst others), the Forest Stewardship Council has certified approximately 213 million hectares of forests worldwide (accounting for 11 percent of all productive forests globally). Around 40 percent of the UKs’ forests are now certified by the FSC.

David Mason, Sales Director at GWP Packaging, said: “There has been an increasing demand amongst our customer base for packaging that is more environmentally sound.

“By achieving the FSC certification it not only publicly demonstrates our commitment to environmental best practice – by sourcing all of our paper for our packaging from well managed forests – but also complements the wide range of other initiatives we have been implementing over the last 5 years.”

The FSC framework allows the tracking of products derived from forests – in GWPs’ case the corrugated cardboard material it uses to manufacture customers’ packaging – through an independently verified “Chain of Custody” certification.

The company arguably had a head start in doing this, with the vast majority of material it uses coming from Corrboard; the manufacturer of corrugated cardboard part owned by GWP and six other packaging suppliers. Corrboard has been FSC certified since 2016.

However, in order to achieve the FSC standard, GWP still needed to establish stringent procedures and conduct a thorough audit of its’ supply chain, to ensure the criteria were met.

Ruth Cook, Managing Director at GWP, added: “As we knew the material we use is from FSC approved sources, and we already have the ISO 14001 environmental standard in place, the logical next step was to become FSC certified ourselves.

“Achieving this at GWP shows that, once again, we recognise our responsibility as packaging manufacturers to minimise the environmental impact of the products we supply to our customers.”

The company – celebrating 30 years in business this year – has been driving improvements to benefit the environment across its product range and business.

This includes cardboard alternatives to products such as plastic reels and foam packaging, as well as a design team that specialises in innovative ways of reducing material usage.

The company also has extensive waste collection and recycling procedures at its manufacturing sites and has even saved in excess of 100 tonnes of C02 emissions since installing LED lighting throughout their premises.

Two of the partners in Corrboard – the corrugator part owned by GWP Group – have also invested £5.5m in the creation of a sustainable energy generation facility fuelled by organic waste. This anaerobic digester is the first of its’ type in the UK.

Established in 1990, the GWP Group now operates out of 2 manufacturing sites in Cricklade (near Swindon) and Salisbury, employing more than 100 staff and with a turnover of around £13 million.