CSR and Sustainability

We take great pride in our business practices and procedures. We understand that everything we do has an impact on the world around us and therefore strive to find smart, achievable and measureable steps to make that impact a little less every day.

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  • CSR

    Whether seeking to source greener and more ethical workplace supplies (we have over 3,000 environmentally friendly, sustainable) and consumables, environmentally sound printing, FSC-approved desking or low-energy lighting, each division of UOE has solutions that can be tailored to match and measure against our CSR and sustainability goals.

    Our people

    UOE is an Equal Opportunity Employer and as such, we are committed not only to observing employment legislation but also to the promotion of equality of opportunity in employment. We discriminate only on ability!
    We encourage free thought and expression, empowerment and 360-degree reporting and feedback.
    Perhaps that’s why our employees regularly remain with us twice as long as the national average.

    Our clients

    We are committed to providing the highest level of service and we are driven by wanting to develop long-term, loyal relationships with all our clients.

    We believe in open, honest communication in partnership with our clients and will strive to deliver the very best service and the right products at the right price, time after time.

    We engage with our clients to find ways to reduce cost and environmental impact at each step of our involvement with them through our Expenditure Control Programme.

  • CSR

    Our suppliers

    UOE is committed to working with suppliers to ensure that the welfare of workers and labour conditions within the supply chain meet or exceed recognised standards.

    We will work only with suppliers where:

    • Forced, bonded or involuntary prison labour is not used
    • Workers are not required to lodge deposits or their identity papers and are free to leave their employer
    • A safe and hygienic working environment is provided
    • Workers have access to clean toilet facilities and clean water
    • Recruitment of child labour does not takes place
    • Workers are paid fairly and consistently
    • Workers are not required to work excessive hours
    • Harsh or inhumane treatment of workers is never permitted
    • Wages paid are enough to meet at least basic needs
    • Deduction from wages is not permitted as a disciplinary measure

    Senior members of our merchandise team undertake regular reviews with all suppliers, including factory visits, to ensure that recognised standards are adhered to.

    Each supplier is required to sign up to a CSR code of practice to ensure they meet with the above criteria.

  • CSR

    Our environment

    We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and ensuring we are making the greenest choices possible through improved energy awareness, clear recycling containers, and using recycled resources for our products.

    Our business supply chain is fully compliant with UK, Republic of Ireland and EU regulations where they apply. In order to minimise our effect on the environment, we have implemented a management system that conforms to ISO14001:2004 and FSC CoC. We also work with Carbon Smart to develop practical solutions to help drive environmentally positive action within our business.

  • Postage and packaging

    Energy

    We are committed to continually investing in and monitoring the energy we use and the waste we recycle, making alterations wherever possible in order to improve our impact on the environment.

    Products

    We currently sell more than 3,000 products which have a recyclable content of 50% or more, and are continually attempting to increase this number of products within our portfolio.

    Packaging

    Our delivery boxes are designed to ensure the products arrive undamaged. 95% of orders are despatched in fully recyclable cardboard, with other packaging materials kept to a minimum and only used when no alternative can be utilised.

    From 2013, our deliveries have been paperless with the operation of handheld PDAs.

    We continually investigate ways to improve our business’s waste disposal operations at all locations in order to minimise the effect on the environment.

  • CSR

    Logistics and warehousing

    We are maximising the environmental efficiency of our logistics and warehousing include:

    • WMS – our warehouse management system optimises the right size boxes for the order, as well as managing everything from the heating and lighting to the route management of parcels.
    • Fleet efficiencies – to maintain efficiency on the road, we use a variety of strategies such as telematics (a set of technologies to monitor vehicle performance, driver behaviour and mile-reduction plans)
    • Shared fleet – we share space on our trucks with other like-minded organisations delivering in the same area, so the vans do the maximum number of drops per route without wasted miles. This project, which started in 2012 in London, saved in excess of 100,000 miles in its first year alone.
    • Alternative fuel – we use a mix of stop/start technology diesel and fully electric trucks for deliveries, as well as bicycles and motorbikes (based on order size and location).
    • Closed-loop collections – whenever possible we collect returns at the same time as making the delivery, reducing wasted miles and environmental impact.
  • CSR community

    Our community

    UOE supports a number of local and national initiatives to ensure a positive impact on its community in London and beyond.

    Some of our recent good causes include Alopecia UK, Isabel Hospice, Jewish Care, Spread a Smile, Martins School, Archer Academy, Children in Need.

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