James Cropper cares strongly about people, sustainable manufacturing and responsible business practices. This drives our approach to decision making across the whole planning horizon.
From the raw materials we use and the energy we consume, the people we employ, the communities we support and which, in turn, support our organisation – sustainability will continue to provide the stable platform for future growth.
We also continue to work with others to focus on those areas where we can drive the biggest change and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Our 9 priority areas and commitments can be found in the sustainability section of our most recent Annual Report 2021 Sustainability.
We believe we are at a really exciting time of transition, where the world is demanding decarbonisation initiatives and real change is afoot.
We expect to achieve significant progress in the next decade, and will be looking to and aim to achieve net zero on direct emissions by 2030.
James Cropper currently has one of the UK's largest roof mounted PV systems and continues to improve its energy-related performance and efficiency, and is researching the development of new technologies for both energy generation and optimising usage.
Long-term strategy is to eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels
We will be looking to source clean electricity to supplement our own clean generation
Today all purchased electricity from the grid is 100% renewable
On-site hydro and solar energy generating circa 1000 MWh renewable electricity per annum
Energy management to ISO 50001
Over 91% of water abstracted is returned clean to the river
The water drawn from the River Kent at Burneside is fundamental to all James Cropper business divisions. It is a natural resource and designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), due to the thriving population of white-clawed crayfish.
Our focus is to reduce our water footprint by developing and embracing innovative solutions to close our water loop; minimising fresh water abstraction, reusing process water and recycling our waste water back into the process, and ultimately maximise the return of clean safe water to the catchment.
Water managed in partnership with the Environment Agency
Water is continually recycled during production processes
Waste water is sent directly to our local treatment facility
Over 91% of water abstracted is returned to the catchment
Waste and Resource Management
150 Million disposable cups upcycled into paper products and packaging
Our commitment is not only to value waste across our operations and employ innovative solutions to minimise and repurpose waste, but also to unlock our resource potential through efficiency improvements and low impact manufacturing techniques.
James Cropper continues to be recognised as a leading innovator in the recovery of valuable fibre resource, thanks to our CupCycling™ initiative.
There is ZERO waste to landfill from mill site. What we cannot recycle ourselves on-site is collected by our local waste management company, of this typically 80% is recycled and and 20% goes to refuse derived fuel (RDF).
James Cropper paper products are inherently recyclable and recycled (with paper based packaging recycled at a rate of 83%)
Dried waste from site is approved by Environment Agency as a fertiliser on local farms
We are dedicated to building a workplace environment that enhances the wellbeing of our people
When people are healthy and well, they are able to contribute more - whether that's to their families, their work to society at large.
At James Cropper we are committed to promoting a positive environment in our workplaces, to support people's physical, mental and emotional wellbeing; balancing their work and personal responsibilities to help them to work safely and effectively.
Since 2019 we have been a member of the Better Health at Work Award scheme, and currently hold a Bronze Award.
Our people also have access to a range of services to support their broader wellbeing and mental health. This includes access to physiotherapists and annual medicals, an Employee Wellbeing Helpline and trained on site mental first aiders.
We also encourage our people to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives; providing discount to local gyms. We even have an outdoor swimming club!
At James Cropper we are committed to providing meaningful work
As a company with a global reach and ambition, we believe that equality and diversity are essential to the present and future of our business. Our aim is to generate a positive organisational culture and working environment which promotes diversity, inclusivity, personal development and respect.
James Cropper has been operating for 175 years and has seen a significant amount of change, however, one thing that has not changed is our commitment to our people. At the heart of this commitment is fairness, and equality and diversity are essential to ensuring we run the business ethically for our valued employees.
Things we are working on:
Encouraging line managers to offer routes for progression, be it through a development plan or mentoring opportunities.
Setting out our purpose and values
Reviewing our policies and practices to be supportive of a more diverse workforce
Adding back to our community
Our commitment extends beyond ensuring economic sustainability and employment. James Cropper undertakes to be a force for good in society, and particularly by making a positive contribution in our local community, supporting cohesion, economic prosperity and inclusive growth.
Our Community Support Committee regularly receives requests from schools, charities and organisations seeking support from James Cropper for activities which will benefit the local communities.
Over the past 5 years, the Group has made monetary and material donations. Causes and charities who have received support include the Great North Air Ambulance, St. Mary’s Hospice, the Calvert Trust, Kendal Parish Church, Westmorland Association Football League and Kendal Community Foundation Flood Relief.
We also work closely with Burneside Community Energy, investing in renewable energy generation. All profits from this are used to fund local community projects. For example, in 2020 BCE paid for solar panels to be installed on the roof of St Oswald’s CE Primary School in Burneside.
We have led the way in manufacturing materials since 1845
Today our pioneering materials are part of the sustainability solution, aligned to societal needs and delivered in a fair, healthy and inclusive way.
Our actions and commitments are restorative and regenerative, designed to improve the health of the planet today and for future generations.
From crafting beautiful papers from responsible sources, devising clever ways to turn waste into a resource to reproduce a circular flow of materials that would otherwise be lost, creating specialist materials that support the advancement of green energy or developing next-generation mono-material packaging as an alternative to single-use plastics, we never stop evolving so we can all look forward to a smarter future.
To date we have recovered 150 million recycled coffee cups through our zero waste CupCycling facility and given them a wonderful second life as beautiful paper for retail brands
50% of the world's fuel cells incorporate TFP materials
Our bio-based moulded fibre technology is thriving as a mono-material packaging option for consumer products
Business ethics and risk
We are guided by our purpose and values
Today’s rapidly changing business and regulatory environment requires thinking about governance and business risk in new ways.
James Cropper has always had a strong set of values and cared about more than just making a profit. Our approach continues to be to operate responsibly, taking on board best practice in line with our purpose and core values throughout our operations.
We have three core values that truly speak to the ethos of the Group - to be forward-thinking, caring and responsible - as does the purpose which it to be makers of pioneering materials to safeguard our future.
Going forward we want everyone across the James Cropper group to make time for quality conversations about what matters to us and will help us remain relevant, feel connected and continue to inspire us to take action.
We are also growing ideas and opportunities to build on our values and live our purpose.
Encouraging the adoption of sustainable practices
Our aim is to ensure our suppliers operate to the same ethical and sustainable standards that we as a Company adhere to.
A key strand of the circular economy is the regeneration of natural systems. Wood pulp is our primary raw material used by the papermaking and COLOURFORM™ divisions with recovered material from CupCycling™ making a significant contribution.
100% of the fresh fibre sourced by James Cropper is from responsibly managed forestry, certified to FSC® or PEFC® chain of custody standards. (See Sustainable Fibre Innovation)
From harvest site and pulp mill to end product, we employ effective fibre traceability procedures which provide assurance of the legality of wood, biodiversity and sustainable land use practices throughout. Today European forests stand 30% larger in area than they did in the 1950s and sustainable forest management is driving Europe's forest growth!
Currently 24% recycled fibre input is given a second life as paper products and packaging, and by 2025 50% of fibre for papermaking will be from recovered streams.
In today’s post-Blue Planet world, there is a feverish focus on creating a circular economy when it comes to plastic.
Meanwhile, recycling levels for paper and moulded pulp packaging are at 83% across Europe; which is why you’d be forgiven for thinking the paper industry might take its foot off of the gas when it comes to sustainable innovation.
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth: In fact, supported by the unique expertise the paper industry has developed over hundreds of years, innovation in paper and pulped products is emerging as a shining example of best practice for circular design - and James Cropper is a business that is leading the charge.
The drive to design out waste continues to embolden the CupCycling™ offering with further collaboration between brands such as Burberry, Lush and Selfridges, retailers, waste management companies and James Cropper who continue to be recognised as leading innovators in the recovery of this valuable fibre resource.
Ellen MacArthur Global Commitment
Eliminate, Innovate, Circulate
Led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with UN Environment, The New Plastics Economy initiative brings together key stakeholders to rethink and redesign the future of plastics, starting with packaging.
James Cropper were amongst the first 250 companies to become a signatory to the new Global Commitment. There are now more than 850 companies and retailers who have committed to increase recycled content in their packaging to an average of 25% by 2025.
As a supplier to the packaging industry, James Cropper has signed up and specifically committed to support the Global Commitment.
Most specifically we are supporting customers to eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging through the supply of ColourformTM plastic free packaging and other paper alternatives.
Read more about our pledge to the Global Commitment, and progress to date.
Walpole Sustainability Signatory
British Luxury Sustainability Manifesto
The Manifesto defines the issues that matter the most to the luxury sector - circular economy innovation, environmental stewardship, supply chain excellence and workplace equality - with 12 aspirations designed to establish a pathway for future sustainability success.
Importantly, it helps drive businesses to fulfil the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals, becoming part of the broader, global push for a fairer, more sustainable world.
James Cropper has joined founding signatories of the Manifesto - Burberry, Chivas Brothers, dunhill, Harrods, Johnstons of Elgin, Mulberry and The Savoy - as part of collaborative working groups to discuss challenges, successes, innovation and ideas for joint action.
Sustainability is firmly on the agenda of the British luxury sector, and there is clear recognition that the journey to sustainability is a collective endeavour. Find out more about the Manifesto here.