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Sustainable together: what we are planning to do

There is still a lot we can achieve in terms of reducing our footprint. Where possible, we are making green choices, such as in the last mile and in our warehouses. Below, you can read more about some of our green plans for the future.


Green last mile

CB wants to further reduce CO2 and particulate matter emissions in the last mile of all its deliveries in the Benelux. To achieve this, CB is using more sustainable fuels and electric transport (electric buses and cargo bikes). Besides this, we are collaborating with partners that specialise in exclusively CO2-neutral deliveries in city centres, such as Lessgo, Groene Rijders, City Hub, Stedendriehoek Zutphen and Velocity. From 2030, our partner for the delivery of online orders, PostNL, will be making fully CO2-neutral deliveries in the last mile.

Less packaging, more sustainable packaging

Together with our customers, we are continuing to make strides in the reduction of packaging materials and the use of more environmentally-friendly packaging materials. For example, we are using more and more brown (unbleached) cardboard and brown tape (instead of plastic tape) and we recycle materials that have had stickers attached to them. The latter involves around 15,000 kilos of backing material that would otherwise have been designated as residual waste.

For our online orders, in the time to come we will be using new machines for internet orders that wrap the packaging snugly around the products. This will mean that we ship less air and use less material and that there is less chance of products being damaged. In addition, we are making great strides with our Healthcare customers to reduce stuffing material in shipments as much as possible.


Energy savings in our warehouses

We are focusing on Operational Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) in our warehouses, which means that we use our machines as effectively and efficiently as possible. Needless to say, we are also trying to reduce the energy we need to realise our production. Then we can take steps in terms of the use and adjustment of machines and purchases in this area. By the end of this year, we hope to have clear picture of the savings we can make.

Reducing returns

For logistical service providers, returns are a fact of life. However, a lot can still be achieved in the Media sector. Of the 2.8 million books that retailers return to us every year, only 1 million are put up for sale again. This means that 1.8 million of our returns are ultimately recycled. Our partner Renewi does this in the most sustainable way and converts 95% of the paper and cardboard into new raw materials and green energy. However, it would be much more sustainable to simply reduce the flow of returns. The environmental impact of 1000 books is equal to a ton of CO2 emissions and to 2 to 13 litres of water per A4 page, depending on the type of paper.

The reduction of the return flows is a chain responsibility that extends all the way from publisher to bookseller. CB is helping in this area – among other things, by using data to find out where savings are possible and by using Print-On-Demand to keep books deliverable without the need for (unnecessarily) large print runs.

And of course...

We’re continuing to make our fleet of lease cars more electric, we’re keeping a close watch on developments in the field of sustainable paper and glue for book production and we’re choosing to purchase green energy.

We told you above what we are planning to do in terms of sustainability. Read here what we have already done.