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Ethical and Sustainability Updates 2019

 

We are rapidly approaching the home stretch of 2019, and it is once again time for us to review and reflect on what has been a positive and impactful few months.  We are incredibly proud of the progress we have made thus far in our first year as a Leader in ethical trade with the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). We continue to make mindful, sustainable everyday business decisions to ensure a well-balanced and ethical supply chain.

 

 

ETI Leadership Status

 

In 2018, we were awarded leader status by the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and are extremely proud that we have maintained our leader status for 2019/20. We’re particularly proud of this achievement because it demonstrates that smaller companies, and companies who are also suppliers, can meet this benchmark and we hope that other small companies and suppliers will strive to achieve Leader status as well. The ETI influences businesses to act responsibly and promote decent work. Taking a unique approach to business and human rights, ETI members are forward-thinking companies, trade unions and NGOs, tackling the complex challenges of today’s global supply chains, improving the lives of workers worldwide.

 

Better Cotton Initiative Member

 

We’re delighted to have been approved as a member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). The BCI exists to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector’s future. The BCI aims to transform cotton production worldwide by developing Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity. We’re very proud to be part of such a fantastic initiative.

 

MatrixHappen – the Prize

 

The winners from our recent innovation challenge at Guildford County School had an incredible day which began with a limo ride to Westfield shopping centre in London for a comp shop with some of the Account Managers from Matrix. The children were then dropped back at their school gates at the end of the day, just in time for all their friends to see…they were so excited and grateful to everybody at Matrix for giving them such an amazing prize and the winning teams can’t wait to visit the UK office next year to help take their product ideas to the next level! Read about the MatrixHappen project.

 

 

Factory Updates

 

29 Factory Visits to our regular suppliers to check working conditions, prepare for audits and suggest improvements. We carried out 7 Factory Training Courses to help support the process of continual improvement at our factories including our first combined supplier training on Gender Equality which saw representatives from 9 different factories come together to learn about effective monitoring and encouragement of gender equality in the workplace.  Other courses carried out included Employee Relations; ILO SCORE Sharing Sessions; Leadership; ITS Audit Workshop; UN Global Compact Seminar and QuizRR digital training workshop.

 

The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment

 

We published our first Ellen Macarthur Foundation report on our progress on reducing waste and unnecessary plastic packaging which highlighted how we have:

 

  • Saved 8.6 tonnes of unnecessary plastic packaging per year by reviewing the packaging for airline amenities and removing unnecessary poly bags and reducing necessary poly bags.
  • Further revisions in Q1 2020 will save an additional 1.3 tonnes of plastic packaging per year.
  • Baseline assessment identified 90% of our plastic packaging materials are widely recyclable in the UK with the remaining 10% mainly incorporating carbon black plastic materials which are not currently widely recycled in the UK.
  • Internally, we provided employees with reusable coffee cups, provided recycling bins on each floor of the UK office to collect recycling, general and glass waste and increased % of recycled waste collected from 37% to 55% with a target of 70% by 2020.

 

CSR becomes SR

 

The challenge of continuously improving conditions for workers and communities and minimising our environmental impact is clearly a challenge for society as a whole and not just for companies.

 

The shift required in culture, mindset and consumption cannot be achieved in isolation. To ensure maximum social impact, changes cannot just be dictated down from a corporate level. We need to work in partnership with our suppliers and customers to train and educate on best practice and the benefits of new materials and processes. We also need to play our part as members of the same community, as parents of future generations and as consumers.

 

We like to disrupt and do things differently, so we have decided to drop the ‘C’ for ‘Corporate’ from our CSR program and promote the concept of Social Responsibility instead.

 

This reflects how our future efforts on this challenge will involve not just our ethical and sustainability teams but all of us, inside and outside the organisation. So, let’s all get involved and help move the conversation beyond companies and brands and share the responsibility together #droptheC

People

 

We are very pleased to welcome Elodie Gilart to the Social Responsibility team as Sustainability Manager in an exciting new role which will help shape our immediate and long-term sustainability strategy and embed innovation and best practice in sustainability across the business.

 

Our work, however, is not done. This latest update reviews our progress towards an end to end ethical supply chain so far and paves the way for a successful end to 2019, with a busy couple of months to go.