Our Environmental Commitment
We endeavour to select suppliers based on the quality of their product, but also aim to select suppliers who carry out their company operations in an environmentally responsible manner.
Environmentally responsible companies can be distinguished by their environmental credentials. Certification is usually optional but many suppliers and manufacturers prefer to achieve the necessary standards and display their efforts in order to help their customers identify them as an environmentally responsible choice. The most relevent qualifications with regards to cleaning and paper products are:
FSC - The Forestry Stewardship Council (www.fsc-uk.org)
ISO14001 - Environmental Management Standard (www.iso14000-iso14001-environmental-management.com)
Nordic Swan Label - This guarentees that products have a low environmental impact. The label was created by Governments in North European Nations (www.nordic-ecolabel.org)
EU Flower Label - The European Commission’s equivalent to the Nordic Ecolabel (Nordic Swan) and is extremely similar, although less detailed in certain aspects (www.ecolabel.defra.gov.uk)
Our longest standing and largest supplier is Metsa Tissue (www.metsatissue.com). This Finland based manufacturer puts great emphasis on environmental sustainability. Metsa Tissue produce the Katrin branded products which can be seen throughout Online Hygiene. Most of the paper towels we offer, as well as some of our toilet tissue, boxed tissues and wiper rolls, are Katrin products. Metsa has acheived all the certifications above as well as a top rating by the World Wildlife Fund (www.wwf.org.uk)
Buying Katrin paper products from Online Hygiene means you can be certain that these products have been produced in an environmentally responsible manner.
What are Ecolabels?
Manufacturers are becoming more environmentally aware. It is important that the customer knows if the products they buy are manufactured by an environmentally responsible company so that they can make an informed choice. Accreditations and certificates can be gained by these companies for complying with strict criteria and these accreditations are usually displayed on the product packaging to help inform the customer.
Here are the different accreditations and 'Ecolabels' which help inform us of which manufacturers and products are environmentally friendly:
ISO 1400 (company operations)
ISO 14000 standards exist to help organizations minimize how their operations negatively affect the environment. These standards consider the production of a product rather than the product itself.
ISO 14001 is one of the standards. A company with an environmental management system conforming to ISO 14001 can be seen as a company actively managing the impact their operations have on the environment. It indicates that these companies are following the guidelines as set out in ISO 14001.
Most of our main manufacturers do comply with ISO 14001, such as Metsa (manufacturers of Katrin brand products), Cleenol, Intertissue (manufacturers of Nicky brand products), BM Polyco (owners of the Bodyguards and Matrix brand), Midland Paper, Deb, and Astonish. This accreditation is optional and other companies may have environmental management systems in place without having this accreditation.
EU Ecolabel (products)
The European Ecolabel is a voluntary scheme, established in 1992 to encourage businesses to market products and services that are kinder to the environment. Products and services awarded the Ecolabel carry the flower logo
The environmental criteria are tough to achieve and only the very best products, which are kindest to the environment, are entitled to carry the EU Ecolabel. The criteria are based on the products’ life-cycle, starting from raw material extraction in the pre-production stage, through to production, distribution and disposal.
Nordic Swan (products)
This is the official sustainability Ecolabel for the Nordic countries and is the equivalent of the EU Ecolabel (or EU Flower). The purpose of this Ecolabel is to contribute to sustainable consumption and production. The Nordic Swan is a guarantee that products have fulfilled stringent environmental and climate criteria.
This Ecolabel is awarded to products in much the same way as the EU Ecolabel and the Nordic Ecolabel, but is most recognised in North America and Canada where it originated. American manufacturers such as Gojo Industries, who produce the Gojo and Purell handcare products seen in the handcare section of our website, have received this certification for some of their products - a few of which we currently offer here at Stephenson Supplies. In Europe however it is the EU Flower that is the most recognised Ecolabel and Gojo has started to apply for this certification for products within their 'Sustainable' range.
FSC - Forest Stewardship Council (products)
This eco label indicates that timber in wood-based products (such as our paper towels and wiper rolls) originates from forests that are sustainably managed. Almost all of the Katrin range of paper products complies with this ecolabel.