In August 2018 Ethical Consumer sent a questionnaire to WH Smith, which included a question about the company's environmental policy. The company responded with links to its Corporate Responsibility Report 2017. This report contained the following future quantified targets:
* By 2020, reduce CO2e emissions from stores and distribution centres by 45% per square foot from 2007 baseline (target was previously 40%)
* By 2020, reduce CO2e emissions from transport by 20% per pallet (from 2007 baseline).
* By 2020, we will send less than 5% of waste to landfill.
The report also showed a good understanding of the company's main impacts with information on carbon footprinting, energy consumption, transportation, waste management and water conservation.
The report was independently verified by Corporate Citizenship.
As the report contained future targets, was independently verified and showed a good understanding, WH Smith recieved Ethical Consumer's best rating for Environmental Reporting.

Reference:

2017 Corporate Responsibility Report (16 August 2018)

In August 2018 Ethical Consumer searched the WH Smith website, www.whsmith.co.uk, and found that the company sold vinyl LPs and other products containing PVC. This material had been criticised by environmental campaign groups such as Greenpeace the for its negative environmental impact in production, use and disposal.
As such the company lost half a mark under Pollution & Toxics.

Reference:

https://www.whsmith.co.uk/ (16 August 2018)

In August 2018, Ethical Consumer searched WH Smith's website, www.WHSmith.co.uk, and found that the company sold a number of products containing leather.
Leather, as the hide of a dead animal, naturally decomposes. To prevent this decomposition the leather industry uses a cocktail of harmful chemicals including trivalent chromium sulphate, sodium sulphide, sodium sulfhydrate, arsenic and cyanide to preserve it. Tannery effluent also contains large amounts of other pollutants, such as protein, hair, salt, lime sludge and acids. These can all pollute the land, air, and water supply making it a highly polluting industry. As a result the company lost half a mark in the pollution and toxics category.
In addition, as leather is a slaughterhouse by-product, the company lost half a mark in the animal rights category.

Reference:

https://www.whsmith.co.uk/ (16 August 2018)

In August 2018 WH Smith responded to a questionnaire sent by Ethical Consumer and included a copy of its forest sourcing policy.
Ethical Consumer's timber sourcing rating required companies scoring a 'best' to cover six of the below issues:
1. Having a timber sourcing policy that covers all timber and timber-derived products - YES
2. the exclusion of illegal timber or that sourced from unknown sources and... - YES
3. ...a discussion on how a company ensures/ implements this - YES
4. clear targets for sourcing timber from sustainably managed sources - YES (95% by 2020)
5. a discussion of a good minimum standard - YES (FSC/PEFC certified or recycled)
6. preference given to certified sources - YES
7. a discussion about tropical hardwoods (THW) and the percentage of THW sourced that are FSC certified - NO
8. involvement with a multi-stakeholder initiative or bridging programme such as the World Wildlife Fund- Global Forest Trade Network - NO
9. use of reclaimed or recycled wood/ paper - YES
10. a high total percentage (50%+) of FSC certified timber sourced by the company. - YES (90% in 2017)
Because its policy address eight of the ten issues identified by Ethical Consumer, WH Smith received a best rating for timber sourcing.
Given that the policy only covered own brand products, it was assumed that WH Smith sold products that were not FSC certified. In the past WH Smith has provided data on, for example, the volume of FSC-certified books. Ethical Consumer could find no up-to-date information on the proportion of non-own brand products using recycled or FSC-certified paper. It was considered likely that the company sold some items which were made from non-FSC wood and virgin paper, therefore the company lost half a mark under Habitats and Resources.

Reference:

Forest sourcing policy (16 August 2018)