With a growing global population, ever increasing energy prices, diminishing natural resources, a highly competitive business and economic landscape and rising consumer engagement surrounding environmental impact – sustainability in business is no longer an option – it is a requirement. Sustainability can both build consumer trust in a company, but also lay the foundation for long-term organizational success in an ever-changing, resource-stressed world.
But it is not enough for companies to simply create a sustainability program and view its initiatives as a separate function from finance, marketing or human resources. The drive towards true sustainability in business requires an integrated strategy in which environmental responsibility is wholly embedded within a company’s structure and culture. Grand & Toy, one of the largest American-owned business solutions and B2B office products and service providers, is a leading example of how brands can lead this new business paradigm, inspire social innovation and help businesses reduce their environmental footprint while still optimizing their bottom line.
Grand & Toy – Helping You Work Greener
Grand & Toy’s sustainability journey started in 2008 with the publication of the company’s first corporate social responsibility report. The purpose of the sustainability program was to “strive to find ways to be better for our environment, our communities and our Canadian business community.” This intention has not changed and remains just as relevant to Grand & Toy as an organization today.
To establish the organization’s most important sustainability priorities, Grand & Toy connected with stakeholders. Over the years, the executive team has continued to reach out to associates, customers and suppliers to ensure their focus is still material. Grand & Toy’s most important environmental priorities have been consistently identified through this process: greener products, waste and recycling programs and community involvement.
The company then addressed the greener products challenge by introducing a new “shades of green“ classification system for environmentally friendly offerings. This initiative (called GreenerOfficeTM) allows Grand & Toy customers to easily identify greener products, keep track of their green spend, set greener purchasing goals, and even get rewarded by being recognized as the best in their industry through company’s Leadership in Greener Purchasing awards. In 2016, green products constituted 27% of the organization’s total sales, a 3 per cent increase from the previous year.
Waste & Recycling
To tackle recycling, Grand & Toy formed a partnership with TerraCycle Canada in 2014 in order to ensure customers had access to viable recycling solutions for coffee capsules. Eventually, this partnership grew. Grand & Toy and TerraCycle now also offer Zero Waste Boxes for other items often considered unrecyclable such as personal protective equipment, candy bar wrappers, breakroom supplies, and writing instruments. Since 2011, Grand & Toy has also been engaged in battery recycling in partnership with Call2Recycle®. Call2Recycle® – North America’s first and largest battery stewardship program – collects and recycles batteries and cell phones at no cost in Canada. Finally, THINK is Grand & Toy’s ink & toner recycling solution for the workplace. We collect organizations’ empty ink & toner cartridges and re-manufacture them where possible – recycling all others that cannot go through the re-manufacturing process.
Grand & Toy is also active in many communities across Canada. The Pause and Affect volunteer program allows company employees one volunteer day per year. A partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada was established in 2016 to provide a foundation for this program. To date, Grand & Toy associates have contributed over 1,000 volunteer hours as part of Pause and Affect.
Grand & Toy has taken a holistic approach towards sustainability challenges by leveraging both workplace solutions and programs, to build a bottom line that supports both planet and profit. As the organization celebrates its 135th birthday, Grand & Toy’s corporate strategy to encourage positive change in business behaviors by inspiring sustainable change across the country – is sure to be a key driver in growth – both organizationally an