Within the ECF Group, a strong, shared sense of environmental and social responsibility is part of our daily work. This is reflected in three commitments to which we have adhered strictly for 15 years.
For ECF Group, protecting the environment is much more than a duty. It is a fundamental need. This is because the long-term future of our brands can only be ensured if we preserve and respect the natural resources they use to make their products. We renew our ISO 9001 version 2015 certification on an annual basis, a clear demonstration of our commitment to continuous improvement in the quality of the products and services we provide to our customers.
Mindful of our responsibility, we consider the social and environmental impact of our business and apply the avoid - reduce - compensate (ERC) sequence in the Group’s activities. We are not perfect, but we are determined to do what it takes to stay on the right path. At the ECF Group headquarters, voluntary collection points with different waste flows (paper, compost, plastic, etc.) have been set up to facilitate waste sorting. By using these collection points daily to sort our waste, we promote recycling, protect natural resources, save energy, scale down the volume of waste to be handled and reduce greenhouse gases. In 2020, 8.8 tonnes of C02 equivalent were offset in this way.
In a year defined by the unprecedented health crisis that affected every continent, we stepped up our efforts to create a company mindset through donations and team-building initiatives. Unsold ECF Group products in mint condition were given a second life: 95 pallets have been donated to the international charity Emmaus, and 59 to Secours Populaire (a French non-profit organisation).
ECF Group works relentlessly to develop ‘green’ products and eco-friendly alternatives. We increasingly source products that are strictly certified, bearing labels such as FSC, PEFC, OK Compost and the EU Ecolabel. We have expanded the range of eco-friendly products in our catalogue by 36% over the last four years and added 90 FSC-labelled products in 2021. In addition, our code of ethics for suppliers has been extended to Australia where our environment-friendly offer was enhanced in 2020 with a biodegradable cling wrap, a truly innovative product that was a perfect fit for our range. In recent years, the Group has become more ambitious in its vision of a circular economy. To optimise the recycling of waste that cannot be avoided at source, 30% of our glass composition is made from internally recycled glass called cullet, while our FSC-certified cardboard consists of 50% recycled cardboard. The French brand CGMP uses
water-based ink for all its products, which has earned it certifications by FSC and PEFC, two certification systems for wood-based products, guaranteeing that they come from sustainably managed forests. ECF Group also enabled its JVD brand to plant 57 trees in 2020 through the “1 hand dryer = 1 tree” initiative.
Today more than ever, our culture of nurturing our employees’ professional growth is the compass that guides our daily efforts to improve quality of life at work, diversity and talent development. We responded to the pandemic’s impact on our business and organisation by creating “Le P’tit Confiné”, a weekly newsletter dedicated to news from the various Group entities and to sharing of best practices between employees. Why? Because we want our employees to experience greater stability, happiness and... commitment! Believing that valuable employees are key to a company’s ability to adapt, we are firmly focused on employee retention. Attracting talent is good, but keeping it is even better. It is vital that our employees are able to envisage a future in the ECF collective, in both the medium and the long term. The events of 2020 provided our Group with an opportunity to promote e-learning as a way of enabling our employees to improve their skills, through l’Académie ECF in France, and in Australia using The Venue software. For several years, guided by the pursuit of innovation and progress, ECF Group has been committed to helping young people to start their careers and develop their skills. Respect, sharing and support are the founding pillars of the Group’s social responsibility. We carry out regular surveys to improve quality of life at work and, for the last five years, women have made up almost 50% of the Group’s workforce.