Sustainable choices made more easy with Spicers Australia

Sustainability has been ingrained into the practices of Spicers Australia, and the company is on a mission to assist its customers and their clients on better understanding the sustainable options available.

Major print materials and machinery supplier Spicers Australia has been one of the companies leading the way from early on when it comes to sustainability.

Sustainability has now become an integral part of the company’s strategy, and it has been ensuring that it conducts everyday business in a responsible and ethical manner that considers its employees, shareholders, and the environment – now and into the future.

The company has been working towards achieving targets for energy consumption, CO₂ emissions and sustainable practices in its operations.

For example, 96 per cent of all lights in Spicers’ offices and distribution centres have been upgraded to low power LED lighting. Sixty per cent of its national MHE/forklift fleet are now electric and 50 per cent of its distribution centres have solar panels installed, with more scheduled. It also has a goal to reduce electricity usage and greenhouse gases by 40 per cent this year.

“Our sites collect and recycle wastepaper, cardboard and other materials, such as wood, pallets, plastics, acrylic and PVC where possible,” Spicers Marketing and Design Manager Cyndi Setia said.

“We promote sustainable business practices across the organisation, ensuring that we conduct ourselves responsibly and ethically. Spicers is committed to operating sustainably. Our focus is on meeting the needs of today’s market without compromising on the ability of future generations to meet their needs,” Setia said.

As a solutions-focused company with a passion for supplying quality print, packaging, signage and architectural products, Spicers creates innovative and sustainable solutions for some of Australia’s leading brands.

“A key sustainability focus for Spicers is to continuously improve the supply chains of its operations. This encompasses resources used in fulfilling orders, conducting day-to-day business and waste management,” Setia mentioned.

“Spicers continues to promote responsible and sustainable business practices across the organisation, which positively impacts the company’s operational footprint.”

Taking the environmental message forward

Responsible sourcing is one of the important parts of the company’s sustainability approach – Spicers conducts a comprehensive due diligence to ensure that its suppliers source wood fibre from legal and well-managed forestry or recycled sources. Whenever possible, it seeks to also offer recycled, and/or carbon-neutral product options.

“The environment is very important to Spicers and to our customers. With more and more of our customers leaning towards using sustainable solutions in their products for their clients, we have taken the decision to offer products from manufacturers and suppliers that are committed to smarter and greener practices,” Setia said.

“We make available the latest environmental and technical information on our products to customers, staff and stakeholders through training and education. The ongoing development of sustainable products and services assist our customers, and their clients achieve their sustainability goals, print and production requirements.

“By thinking and acting sustainably, we strive to deliver excellent customer service and position the company and industry for a strong future.”

This is in line with what the industry wants – a Two Sides report found that 86 per cent of consumers say they check product information before buying to make informed and sustainable choices. In addition, 94 per cent of them said they feel recyclability is an important characteristic for environmentally responsible products.

Environs Volume 1 focuses on the sustainability of Spicers’ Visual Communications portfolio
Environs Volume 2 focuses on the sustainability of Spicers’ Commercial Print products

Communicating the benefits of sustainability

It’s no secret that Spicers has been providing a range of sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions for printing requirements over several years. But to further facilitate that message, it created the first volume of its Environs promotion mid last year, focusing on the sustainability of its Visual Communications portfolio.

Volume 2 of Environs was released this year, at Visual Impact Sydney, focusing on the sustainability of its Commercial Print products. A quick-view chart in the middle of the volumes identify the products available from Spicers and a comparison of their green credentials.

“Both volumes consider products’ green credentials, such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification or Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). The Sustainable Choices charts communicate if our products are fully recyclable, have recyclable content, biodegradable, PVC-free and EcoVadis rated,” Setia said.

According to Setia, the series has become an educational resource for customers and their clients, as well as a tool for designers and brand owners.

“Our customers can use the Environs series to consider stock selection, and identify the environmental impacts of a product, and ways to reduce these impacts without compromising the products quality,” Setia said.

Environs by Spicers is a commitment to offering its customers sustainable options, making responsible choices easy.

Committing to partnerships

The Environs series also highlight to Spicers’ customers its partnership with FSC. Spicers Australia first achieved FSC Chain of Custody certification in 2005 and has continually upheld its standards and been an important part of the FSC community for more than 18 years.

“We are proud to be Australia’s first paper merchant to gain FSC Chain of Custody certification, and to be Australia’s second longest FSC Chain of Custody certificate holder in Australia,” Spicers General Manager of Products and Marketing Ken Booth said.

“Our customers and end users of our products can be confident that their paper, packaging, label and signage stocks are ethically sourced and FSC-certified.”

“The Environs series has also resulted in engaging and more insightful conversations with brands about their role in improving the design of products to avoid waste, and to take these into consideration when designing and identifying requirements and appropriate applications,” Setia added.

In 2022, Spicers embarked on its journey towards carbon neutrality by partnering with Greenfleet. The not-for-profit environmental organisation protects the climate by restoring forests. The native and biodiverse forests that Greenfleet plants capture carbon emissions and help fight the impacts of climate change.

“Whilst Spicers has taken action through solar panels on some of our sites, LED lighting upgrades and movement to more electric forklifts, we still had some way to go to offset our carbon emissions. That’s why we are proud to have partnered with Greenfleet to take climate action and offset our carbon emissions through native reforestation,” Booth said. “We can say our deliveries to our customers are carbon neutral. Offsetting our carbon emissions is just one way we are reducing our environmental impact. We continue to promote responsible and sustainable business practices across the organisation which positively impact the company’s operational footprint.”

One of Spicers’ tree planting days as part of its partnership with Greenfleet

As part of their partnership with Greenfleet, Spicers staff nationally have participated in tree planting days. Staff have helped plant trees in regional areas in Victoria, South Australia, and

most recently in regional NSW.

“We are giving back to our environment and see the benefits of that in the decades to come as the forests planted will be protected beyond this century and will remove nearly 450,000 tonnes of carbon as they grow,” Booth said.

Greenfleet identified that in 2022, Spicers’ impact was 1,305 tonnes of carbon offset.

“Greenfleet is focused on delivering climate action and by offsetting emissions with us, Spicers is enabling the restoration of native forests that will remove carbon from the atmosphere through the rest of this century. Thanks to the support of organisations like Spicers, Greenfleet can continue to grow our impact and work with groups committed to sustainability,” Greenfleet CEO Wayne Wescott said.

Spicers won ‘Best Custom Stand’ at the 2023 Visual Impact tradeshow

Different brand activations

Spicers has also been promoting the sustainability of its partner brands by utilising some of their products at tradeshows. At Visual Impact Sydney this year, Spicers used these products to construct its stand.

“The main structure of our stand was made using Re-board, which is a rigid, FSC-certified fluted board. It’s strong, lightweight, and recyclable. You can construct a whole point of sale stand or make structures and walls, which is what we did,” Setia said.

Spicers worked in collaboration with Sydney-based Dashing for the production and construction of its Spicers Visual Impact stand.

“We developed the creative concept, designed, and specified everything internally, then briefed the production house on what we were trying to achieve. We provided them with the stocks that they needed to print on, and they helped us engineer and install it. Along the way, we’ve educated them about new products and inspired them to use it for other applications and offer a new sustainable solution to their clients,” Setia mentioned.

Re-board, one of the fully recyclable solutions available from Spicers, was used to construct Spicers’ stand at Visual Impact Sydney

“When audiences visited the stand, they were amazed with the structures and displays created from Re-board as it can hold weight. It’s a fantastic display and representation of what our products can do, and how our products can be applied – that too in a sustainable manner.

“After the tradeshow finished, materials used to construct the stand were placed in the recycling bin.”

Spicers is continuously working to find sustainable and innovative solutions.

“This is a collaborative effort with our suppliers and customers to find solutions for new and different applications,” Setia said.

In an exciting stride towards a more sustainable and innovative future, Spicers is working towards producing Volume 3 in its remarkable Environs series. Spicers’ continuation of the Environs series signals a resounding assurance to its customers that the company is at the forefront of this shift towards responsible practices.

“As we eagerly anticipate the launch of Volume 3, we can be confident that Spicers’ unwavering dedication to environmental consciousness and innovation will set new standards for excellence in the print industry,” Setia said.

The upcoming volume is not just a showcase of products; it’s a testament to a thriving industry that is adaptable, forward-thinking, and determined to create a positive impact.

With Spicers leading the way, it looks forward to a stronger and more sustainable future for the industry.

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