Our Environmental Considerations
All of our staff at Rock + Run fully enjoy the outdoors and we are sure that you do too.
Many of our products are to be used in the outdoors and we realise that there is a certain amount of irony in providing goods for enjoyment and use in the outdoors with the environmental impact that comes with using our service.
Many of our customers are often interested in the environmental aspect of the packaging of our orders, and we hope that reading this page will show that all of us at Rock + Run have environmental considerations in mind. We are certainly not perfect but we do a reasonable amount as it stands, but always have room for improvement. The main highlights are:
- We reuse suppliers packaging
- Our mailing bags are 100% recyclable
- Any plastic or cardboard that cannot be reused is picked up for recycling
Please read on for more details of our current and future efforts for a more environmentally-friendly approach.
Packaging your Orders
We have a tricky balance to maintain when considering our packing options between how well protected our customers orders are, the cost and availability of packaging and the environmental impact of the materials we use.
One of the key steps we take to reduce waste is to reuse our suppliers packaging. We reuse the boxes themselves as well as the plastic bags that smaller, individual items come in.
Our orders are sent out in either a plastic mailing bag, a reused bubble mailer or a cardboard box. We strive to ensure your products are protected during transit whilst trying to use the least packaging possible.
Plastic Mailing Bags
For a number of years our bags have been 100% recyclable, and more recently we have upgraded to bags with higher percentages of recycled content, right through to being made from 100% recycled materials.
We realise not all areas of the country can put these bags in home recycling, and may need to be taken to a local recycling facility or supermarket, but the option is available.
We do not buy in bubble mailers, we just remove any labels and reuse.
Cardboard Box or Cardboard Wrap
We try wherever possible to reuse our suppliers cardboard boxes. We use these as they come, as well as cutting them down to size to not overfill our shipping companies vehicles. We also cut up damaged or excess boxes to wrap around products such as ice axes and trekking poles as alternative protection to bubble wrap.
We have historically used plastic-based tape for many years and we still use it. In recent years we have introduced considerably more expensive paper packing tape which for now we use mostly on cardboard boxes.
Many of your goods require protecting for a safe travel during transit. We use whatever we can from our suppliers packaging, so you may see a mix of paper, card, plastic, packing peanuts etc.
It is not possible for the materials we reuse from our suppliers to cover all our customer orders so we do bulk-buy bubble wrap which we use as a last resort. Considering the balance of protecting items versus the cost and supply of packaging, this currently stands as a bit of a necessary evil. We are researching biodegradable and less environmentally- damaging alternatives to bubble wrap moving forward.
Please note that we do not buy smaller plastic bags to put items in, these will have been reused from our suppliers.
If you are ordering an item that can protect other items ordered at the same time by the nature of the product or packaging then we will do so. For example, we will put a carabiner in with shoes in a box, or put slings into a rucksack. This saves packaging the smaller items separately.
In 2020 we changed our order management system and we were able to change our work routine that enabled us to remove the need for paper packing slips and invoices.
We have a weekly collection of cardboard boxes and plastics that we have been unable to use for customer orders or for storage in the warehouse.
Unfortunately we don't have a recycling collection from our warehouse for our general 'domestic' waste. We take our empty drinks bottles, yogurt pots, cardboard food packaging etc home for recycling.
Other Small but Helpful Things
We use a local dairy company for the milk in our brews, so the glass milk bottles are being reused, as well as supporting a small, local business.
We cut the grass ourselves on our small business park and we have a compost heap for the cuttings.
Our staff live in quite a few places around our workplace so car sharing can be impractical for those that drive to work on a day-to-day basis. We car share as much as possible for evening climbing trips, weekend climbing and the like.
What Are Our Future Plans?
- Different mailing bags: We are currently researching suppliers of more biodegradable bags for a solution that works for us, including the possibility of potato starch bags.
- Paper tape: We are still looking for plastic-free alternatives to the logo tape we currently use. We have started using some paper tape, but we still need something that is reasonably priced and will work on all packaging before we can go paper tape only.
- Protective Packaging: We are looking into alternatives to bubble wrap, including biodegradable bubble wrap and corrugated cardboard. This is to substitute the packaging we reuse from suppliers and is an important consideration in keeping your goods safe on their way to you.
All of the above require further research and trials to be able to fit the demands of our business and the scope of the orders we pack.
What Can You Do?
As a company we appreciate and thrive off your business, but please consider your purchases and the carbon footprint of your order. For example, instead of ordering one packet of chalk, it may be more cost-effective and environmentally friendly in the wider picture to stock up on a few packets every now and again. This saves unnecessary transit of smaller, single items therefore reducing our carbon emissions.
Although the packaging we send out to you is recyclable, you can send your returns back to us in this packing as we will recycle it our end. This saves on the expense of extra postage bags for you and gets more uses out of the bags we send out.
Please make sure your delivery address has someone in to receive your parcel, or a safe space specified, rather than the delivery driver having to make a return trip and the parcel travelling farther. Again, this reduces carbon emissions by not having to make extra journeys for your parcel to reach you.
Our Partners and Suppliers Environmental Considerations
We work alongside many companies that share similar ventures into more environmentally sustainable methods. Below are some examples of the environmental considerations of a few of the manufacturers, suppliers and delivery companies that we work with:
DPD over recent years have had a massive push on introducing electric vehicles to their fleet, micro depots for last mile deliveries and better communications to enable more first attempt deliveries. DPD are proud of their ongoing efforts, for more information take a look at green.dpd.co.uk