In June 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed Blackwells website for the company's environmental policy or report. No such information could be found. An environmental policy was deemed necessary to report on a company's environmental performance and set targets for reducing its impacts in the future. A strong policy would include two future, quantified environmental targets, demonstration by the company that it had a reasonable understanding of its main environmental impacts, be dated within two years and have its environmental data independently verified.

Blackwells did not meet any of these criteria therefore it received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for Environmental Reporting and lost a whole mark in this category.

Reference:

Blackwells website (12 July 2021)

In July 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed the website of Blackwells looking for information on what the company was doing to tackle climate change. Ethical Consumer was looking for the following:

1. For the company to discuss its areas of climate impact, and to discuss plausible ways it has cut them in the past, and ways that it will cut them in the future. For the company to not be involved in any particularly damaging projects like tar sands, oil or aviation, to not be subject to damning secondary criticism regarding its climate actions, and to have relevant sector-specific climate policies in place.
2. For the company to report annually on its scope 1&2 greenhouse gas emissions (direct emissions by the company), and,
3. to go some way towards reporting on its scope 3 emissions (emissions from the supply chain, investments and sold products).
4. For the company to have a target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in line with international agreements (counted as the equivalent of at least 2.5% cut per year in scope 1&2 emissions), and to not count offsetting towards this target.
If a company met all of these criteria it would receive a best rating. If it met parts 1&2 (impacts and annual reporting CO2e) it would receive a middle rating. Otherwise it would receive a worst rating.

Blackwells did not provide any reports or documentation on its website related to its key climate impacts, nor did it make any attempt to report its carbon emissions. Ethical Consumer attempted to view the company’s accounts in Companies House to see if there was any information on carbon reporting but none was found.
Blackwells therefore did not meet any of the aforementioned points. Therefore, Blackwells received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for carbon management and reporting and lost a full mark under Climate Change.

Reference:

Blackwell UK Limited accounts YE June 2019 (21 June 2021)

In September 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed the Blackwells website and saw that it sold a selection of notebooks in its Stationery range. Although it was not itself a publisher, the company was a bookseller which sold a significant range of stationery items, and was rated for its paper sourcing.

Ethical Consumer was looking for what proportion of paper products sold by the company were made from recycled paper or were FSC certified.

No policy related to the origin of its paper products was found, nor did it appear that at least 50% was made from recycled paper, or 90% FSC certified. As a result, Blackwells received a worst rating and lost a mark under Habitats and Resources.

Reference:

Blackwells website (12 July 2021)