A successful implementation of the CSR strategy requires the full involvement of all stakeholders: employees, suppliers and customers. Given the aforementioned, Lyreco undertakes various cooperation activities, which are already bringing measurable benefits.
Being aware of trends related to CSR development and social expectations, Lyreco undertakes a number of activities out of concern for the customers and the environment. In 2012, Lyreco introduced an assessment of ALL products offered to the customers according to the environmental criteria. The evaluation methodology, based on the international ISO 1420 standard, has been accepted by SGS, an independent international organisation, and is compliant with the code of advertising practices specified by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), in order to avoid the so-called green lies (greenwashing).
In 2018, circa 15% of all articles from the Lyreco offer were Green Tree-certified. This certificate is awarded by Lyreco to the best of the best suppliers.
An identification of the products bringing the real benefits for the environment and customers has for years been advantageous for Lyreco. In 2018, the sale of the Green Tree-certified products accounted for 24% of all Lyreco sale volume, and it is increasing year after year.
Evaluation of the European product environmental footprint of the product
Currently, Lyreco is taking steps to become the first distributor in Europe that applies the EU method of determining the product environmental footprint (EU PEF) to its private brand products. The PEF is a comparative method that evaluates the level of environmental impact of the product or service in relation to the average reference product available on the market.
In September 2019, Lyreco presented the results of the evaluation of their detergents and announced an introduction of the evaluation procedure for all private brand products: toners, stationery, paper and notebooks, etc. Thanks to this methodology, uniform labels will be created that will help consumers make purchasing decisions not only based on price, but also taking into account the environmental impact of the product.
The PEF, as an operational tool, encourages customers to create a circular economy. This method consists in a comparative analysis that makes it possible to calculate the product environmental footprint, while considering each stage of the life cycle of the product, beginning from raw material production to the end of the product life.
By promoting the new standard through its own example, Lyreco also intends to use its position as a leading distributor in Europe to require all its suppliers to use the PEF method before it becomes mandatory.
The process of responsibility for the entire life cycle of Lyreco laser toners also sets the highest standards in the area of the circular economy.
Every year, more than 375 million empty laser and ink toner cartridges that could be reused are thrown away around the world. In order to counteract the aforementioned, Lyreco has introduced to its offer the refabricated toners, i.e. toners for the production of which parts of previously collected original toners are used. At the same time, the OXYGEN programme has been implemented, consisting of a gratuitous collection of the empty printer cartridges from the users. The collected toner cartridges are broken down into components, verified and tested. All reusable parts are used to produce Lyreco toners and the used parts are recycled.
Thanks to this programme, which covers all market sectors, Lyreco has a huge impact on the environment. Together with its Customers, Lyreco implements the Zero Waste policy at the landfill sites, preventing a storage of thousands of tonnes of the toxic substances at the landfill sites.
Ethics in the entire ecosystem
As emphasised during the European Executive Forum in April 2016 by Piotr Mirosław, Managing Director at Lyreco Polska, the expectations regarding the ethical activities nowadays are directed not towards the enterprises, but also towards the entire ecosystem including the customers and suppliers. It turns out that the unethical activities of the contractors have a negative impact on the corporate finances. This is confirmed by the results of the Harvard Business Review Polska’s studies Badanie praktyk stosowanych we współpracy małych, średnich firm i dużych korporacji 2016 (Research on Practices applied in the Cooperation between Small, Medium-Sized and Large Companies 2016). According to these studies, more than half of all respondents indicate a negative impact of the unethical activities of the contractors on the financial result of the company [57% T2B KORPO, 54% T2B SME].
In 2010, Lyreco implemented two codes of ethics, which are to be the basis for work inside and outside the organisation. The Lyreco Code of Ethics for the employees obliges the employees to comply with the ethical principles and implement them during their daily work and in dealing with persons outside the company. In turn, the Lyreco Supplier Code of Ethics is a foundation on which the company builds and maintains the mutual relations based on honesty, trust, respect for the rights of the individuals, compliance with the law and doing business in a manner consistent with the principles of the sustainable development with the suppliers.
Thanks to this, Lyreco, as one of the first companies on the market for many years has been creating a consistent ecosystem of the ethical cooperation in a cooperation with the suppliers and customers. This increases confidence and the financial results of the entire cooperation chain.
The importance of the implementation of this “ecosystem” is also confirmed by the results of a survey in which the area of integrity and ethics of the large companies [92% T2B] and the area relating to a partnership and a mutual respect [89% T2B] within the mutual cooperation are highly evaluated.
Sustainable supply chain
The audits of the suppliers concerning their responsibility are another process implemented by Lyreco as part of the CSR. At the beginning, the audits have been primarily based on the international SA 8000 standard. In 2013, Lyreco chose the SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit) as a confirmed method for controlling the social responsibility of the factories producing the Lyreco brand products. This audit covered: labour standards, OHS, management systems, right to work and operating of the subcontractors. In 2017, we increased a scope of the audit by the enhanced environmental evaluation and business ethics.
An objective of 100% of the factories producing the Lyreco brand products in the developing countries submitted to an audit in the areas of the CSR has been implemented for several years.
A synergy effect in the implementation of the CSR by all Lyreco stakeholders is appreciated by various nationwide organisations. In 2018, Lyreco Polska received the Responsible Business Awards in the Business Ethics Leader category granted by the Executive Club. This award emphasises the importance of the involvement of Polish entrepreneurs in promoting and implementing the idea of sustainable and responsible business.
In 2019, Lyreco received the Industry Responsible Business Leader award in the services, trade and transport category, taking the third place in the Responsible Companies ranking. This is one of the most important rankings in Poland in the CSR area, organised by the Koźmiński Business Hub, while the Responsible Business Forum is the content partner. Deloitte is responsible for verification.
During the last few assessments (from 2015 to 2019) provided by EcoVadis, Lyreco was granted the “golden” CSR provider award, placing itself in the top 1% of several thousand companies from 110 countries evaluated. This confirms many years of effective work in the area of Lyreco’s corporate social responsibility.
EcoVadis is an independent, non-financial rating agency that monitors the sustainability evaluations in the global organisations. The evaluation is based on the international CSR standards – ISO 26000, the Global Reporting Initiative and the United States Global Compact. The evaluation includes 150 categories and 21 CSR indicators. The corporate policy, initiatives and achievements are assessed in the areas of: environment, working conditions, fair business practice, suppliers and cooperation with the whole supply chain.
Robert Daniluk, Ph.D.
Quality, Security and Sustainable Development Director Lyreco Polska S.A. (Lyreco Polska JSC)