In June 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed the website for Wordery and found that it had some reasonable understanding of its environmental impacts relating to its operations. It stated that “We send books in as few packages as possible – saving on materials, fuel and landfill” and that “all of our paper and cardboard packaging is made from recycled materials. It’s recyclable, too.“

However, Wordery had no environmental policy or report and did not discuss its energy use which was a key impact of its business. 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.

Wordery 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:

Wordery website (12 July 2021)

In July 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed the website of Waterstones 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.

1.Ethical Consumer was unable to find any information relating to the carbon management of Waterstones on its website. Ethical Consumer then viewed the annual accounts of Waterstones on Companies House which stated that “disclosures relating to energy and carbon emissions as required by The Companies (Director’s Report) and Limited Liability Partnerships (Energy and Carbon Report) Regulations 2018 are included within Book Retail Bidco Limited’s financial statements.”

Ethical Consumer then viewed the financial statements of Book Retail Bidco Limited’s (BRBL) on Companies House. BRBL outlined its climate impact in relation to the carbon emissions associated with the operation of offices, retail stores, warehouses and distribution sites, plus transport; company-owned, leased and private vehicles used for business travel. The company also outlined ways it had been making reductions in the past through a series of energy efficiency initiatives with “significant investment by the business”, including the “progressed rollout of LED lighting across stores” and “invested in the replacement of older, less efficient heating”. The company did not make any statements about cutting its emissions in the future. The company also failed to report or make any reference to its carbon emissions or climate-related impacts relating to the books themselves.

2.The company reported its scope 1 & 2 emissions in tonnes of co2 equivalent for the period May 2019 to April 2020 which referred to “combustion of fuels to heat buildings and the use of fuel in company owned vehicles” and indirect emissions- “purchased electricity”.

3.It also mentioned its scope 3 emissions for “indirect emissions- private vehicles used for business travel”, but did not mention its emissions for tier 1 suppliers.

4. Waterstones did not provide any quantified future targets to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in the future.

Overall, Waterstones failed to sufficiently meet point 1 as the company did not state ways that it plans to cut its carbon emissions in the future. The company therefore received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for carbon management and reporting and lost a whole mark under Climate Change.

Reference:

Book Retail Bidco Limited accounts YE April 2020 (22 July 2021)

In July 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed the website of Wordery 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.

Wordery did not provide any information related to its climate impacts nor did it report on its scope 1, 2 or 3 carbon emissions. The company did not make any attempts to generate targets for reducing its emissions in the future.

Overall, Wordery received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for carbon management and reporting and lost a whole mark under Climate Change.

Reference:

Wordery website (12 July 2021)

In July 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed the website of Foyles 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.

Foyles did not, however, provide any information regarding its key climate related impacts or its carbon emissions on its website. 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. Foyles therefore received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for carbon management and reporting and lost a whole mark under Climate Change.

Reference:

W&G Foyle annual accounts YE April 2020 (21 June 2021)

In September 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed the Wordery website and saw that it sold a significant range of stationery items, and was thus 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 the company appear to have at least 50% of its paper products made from recycled paper, nor that they were 90% FSC certified. As a result, Wordery received a worst rating and lost a mark under Habitats and Resources.

Reference:

Wordery website (12 July 2021)

In September 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed the Waterstones website and saw that it sold a wide range of stationery.
As the company was a bookseller which sold a significant range of stationery items, it 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. Notebooks and exercise books were viewed and no recycled paper products were found. Some were certified FSC or PEFC but as it did not appear that at least 50% was made from recycled paper, or 90% was FSC certified, the company received a worst rating and lost a mark under Habitats and Resources.

Reference:

Waterstones website (12 July 2021)

In September 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed the Foyles website and saw that it sold a wide range of stationery.
As the company was a bookseller which sold a significant range of stationery items, it 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. Notebooks and diaries were viewed and no recycled paper products were found. Some were certified FSC but as it did not appear that at least 50% was made from recycled paper, or 90% was FSC certified, the company received a worst rating and lost a mark under Habitats and Resources.

Reference:

Foyles webpage (12 July 2021)