The world can’t wait
Our sustainability goals are pretty ambitious! We decided to aim high, because honestly, nothing else would feel right and because, as we said, the world can’t wait. That is why we need to be curious and brave in every decision we make and have the courage to move in the direction we want the world to go in. That is why we make sure that we never take more than we give. To ensure the wellbeing of the planet and the people who live here. You, me, our children and all the future generations to come. That is why we believe that the force of our innovation is so important, because it allows us to reach so much further. It inspires others and creates ripples in the water that can become waves – maybe all over the world. The world can’t wait. And neither can we.
What we are doing to reach our goal
We have developed a clear plan on how to move forward with our sustainability work. And we may just getting started, but instead of looking back feeling that we should have started sooner (isn't that always the way?) we're looking forward and are super dedicated to get to where we want to be, fast!
What the plan looks like:
Know and know how
Understanding our own impact and constantly challenging ourselves and our suppliers is essential when it comes to moving forward quickly. We are aware that we do not have all the answers but are learning more all the time. To be a little more specific, these are three of our focus areas at the moment: 1. Surveying our surroundings To understand where our greatest climate impact lies, annual emission surveys are conducted. We are “climate neutral” in that we capture the emissions we cause throughout our value chain (read more in our emissions report below) and have a detailed plan for how we will reduce our actual emissions each year. It involves everything from changing energy sources, smarter transport and exploring new materials. 2. Follow-up Our suppliers are a big part of what we do, and it is in their operations that our largest negative climate impact is found. Therefore, it is of course incredibly important that we work closely together. Our Code of Conduct, signed by all partners and suppliers, ensures that they have the same values and morals in their work as we do. In 2022, work is also underway to create screening questions and processes that ensure that our CoC is complied with. 3. Chemical knowledge In 2022, we’re working to learn even more about the chemicals and glue used in our products. This is to gain knowledge about what our impact looks like, and what we can do to minimize it.
Mindful resource usage
Our business requires lots of different resources; paper raw material, energy and fuel, to name a few. We aim to use only the resources we really need and always give back more than we take. Here we work with three focus areas: 1. Resource efficiency Wasting resources is never a good idea, from any perspective. So we work with continuous improvements to identify any waste of resources. This includes everything from waste in production and fewer reprints, to smarter transport solutions. One example is that we have just removed the plastic packaging around our books. Another is that we now send our books in a smaller box that saves 20% of the material and also weighs less during transport. In 2022, we are also exploring the possibility of using more recycled raw materials in our books. 2. Sustainable forestry Our primary raw material is paper from the forest. Using FSC-labeled paper in all our products is a first step in ensuring that we are as resource-wise as possible. Before the end of 2022, we expect all our printers to use only FSC-labeled paper. 3. Our energy footprint The energy from our printing shops stands for our single largest emission (read more in our emission report below). Here we have a constant dialogue with the printers to identify where they can save energy and how they can switch to renewable sources - work that has already had an effect. Our largest printing company has just installed solar panels on the roof and several of the others are actively choosing renewable electricity for their production as of this year.
Head and heart
Creating a sustainable culture for everyone who works at Once Upon is a priority for us. It is also important for us to contribute to the well-being of our customers by carefully thinking through what signals we send and what we encourage. We believe that change begins with the ones self. That being allowed to be one's whole self - the good, the not so good good and everything in between - is a prerequisite for finding the power for change that is required to create a sustainable future, not only for the planet but for all of us who live here too.. 1. The good workplace What is a good workplace? We believe it’s a safe and secure environment, where all employees have space to be their best selves. We insist that our suppliers also work according to the same guidelines and have the same goals when it comes to creating a good workplace. We do this through our Code of Conduct but also by sharing our Culture Book and by showing how we think and work. 2. The well-being of our customers We believe that we have a responsibility for our customers' mental health, which is affected by the communication and the signals we send out. By carefully thinking through the content we create, which contact surfaces we use and partners we choose, we can contribute to a more filter-free, inclusive and relatable everyday life. In this way, we aim to help our customers celebrate all parts of life.
Inspire and involve
We want our product development to align with our vision of sustainability, but in the long run we don't want to settle for "good enough" when it comes to these issues. That's why we want to contribute, help and inspire more companies to do their bit, both within and outside our own business sector. The mere thought of it all makes our hearts skip a beat. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we know where we want to be and are beginning to figure out how we're going to get there. 1. Inspiration & transparency First and foremost, we want to show that sustainable growth is possible and through our working methods and innovation inspire other companies. We also want to help our customers choose more sustainable, with us and in life in general. Both in the small things as well as the big picture. An example for how we do this is through a small sticker on our packaging that reminds everyone to recycle the packaging. In 2022, we are working hard to become B-corp certified, which we also hope can inspire others! 2. Partnership Creating change takes time and resources. It goes faster, and the effect will be greater if we find partners to work with. In 2022, we have, among other things, created a specific network for printing companies to share best practices and create and implement joint, global improvement projects.
What we’re doing reduce our climate footprint within the company, which we have full control over:
Green energy in the office
Recycling all our waste from the office
In 2022, we are moving to an environmentally certified office building
We have a circular focus when moving our office and when buying “new” furniture (always second hand when it is possible).
What we are doing to reduce our climate footprint throughout our production chain (where we don’t have full control not but operate through our suppliers):
In the autumn of 2021, we removed the plastic packaging around the books. Which means that we’re saving almost 3 tons of CO2 per year. (The figure is calculated on our predicted use of plastic until 2050. It is summed up to 2.9 tonnes and given that we have now removed all plastic, we have completed removed this climate impact. As we grow, the continued use of plastic would have resulted in even higher emissions, which will now be avoided.) The successful removal of plastic for our books also resulted in our print partners removing them for deliveries for other companies as well. We just love when improvements we’re doing are picked up by other companies as well!
We’re in the process of getting FSC-certified and estimation is that this will be completed in Q2 2022.
We’re working on getting all facilities switch over to using only renewable energy.
An ongoing project that is estimated to give a 20% saving on the cardboard we use for packaging is ongoing. The new packaging is estimated to go live in production in May 2022. To start with in our Netherland and Swedish printer.
We have printers all over the world, from Australia to America and a few places in between. This means that your Once Upon books are printed as near to you as possible, reducing out climate footprint a great deal.