Ellis Wines and Sustainability
At Ellis, we care about the impact we have on the environment around us.
What Is Sustainability?
Sustainability can mean different things to different people. Academics define it as a balancing of local and global efforts to meet basic human needs without destroying or degrading the natural environment; taking into consideration economic, environmental and social elements. To the layman, it is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. For a family owned company like Ellis Wines, this has even more resonance.
Wines are shipped in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way; from road-rail transportation of approximately 800 pallets per year out of northern Italy to selecting shipping partners with the highest environmental standards and ensuring orders are managed to best fill containers – consolidating where necessary. Ellis Wines has also increased the volume of wine shipped in bulk which, for a flexitank shipment from Chile for example, can save up to 62% in carbon vs. a conventional 20’ container of bottled wine. We also ask that all of our suppliers abide by the core principles of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI).
We are proud to work with a collection of quality focused wine makers who all work with sustainability front of mind. Many, like Ellis Wines, are family-owned with the same inherent and vested interest in the long-term picture. A significant and growing number have invested in organic, biodynamic or other environmental practices. These include low-intervention, carbon neutral, certified sustainable and lutte raisonnée, as well as many other projects, often uncertified. There are also activities focused on local communities, such as supporting schools, employee education and training, academic research as well as charity work.
Closer to home
Our office and warehouse are certified to BRC standards and ISO: 9001 for quality management. We have also been awarded the ‘Investors in People’ certification. These systems allow us to grow and manage change sustainably. All staff are encouraged to attend WSET courses up to Level 2, run by our dedicated Training Manager, while Ellis Wines was also the first UK Wine Company to be acknowledged for paying all its staff above the London Living Wage.
Our waste policy is to recycle all waste cardboard, paper, plastic, glass, toner cartridges and electronic equipment where possible. Waste in the office is separated into separate streams in order to maximise recyclability and minimise landfill disposal.
Whenever possible, and in the vast majority of cases, invoicing is done via email or EDI in order to reduce paper use.
We minimise energy usage and are committed to continuing to do so - we have installed energy efficient lighting in the warehouse, reducing our CO2 consumption by 16,000kg per annum.
Ellis Wines’ fleet of delivery vehicles are all fitted with the latest EURO 6 engines which are engineered to reduce primarily harmful nitrogen oxide but also sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon, and diesel particulate matter. Route optimising software is also employed to maximise efficiency and GPS tracking and software monitors our drivers and their fuel consumption.
Through various activities (often involving dressing up) Ellis Wines is proud to support 2 charities:
The Drinks Trust – The Drinks industry charity supporting those in our trade who fall ill or on hard times.
Shooting Star Chase – A local and leading children’s hospice charity caring for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and their families.
Our staff also take on other charity challenges including the London Marathon, Three Peaks Challenge and even a trip to the north of Sweden to live in a snow hole!
Environmental Management System
We are not happy to rest on our laurels however and Ellis Wines has therefore instigated an Environmental Management System (EMS). This allows us to assess our environmental aspects and impacts, monitor them and reduce or eliminate wherever possible. Our first goals within this system are:
- Waste – establish best practice in terms of waste streams in the office and warehouse. Measure individual waste streams and identify the best ways to reduce all waste, increase recycling and achieve zero landfill.
- Energy – measure all office energy use in order to establish a baseline. Set targets and identify programs to reduce energy use and explore clean energy and offsetting options.
- Sourcing – introduce a green purchasing policy. e.g. all stationery, cardboard cartons and other paper-based purchases to be FSC® certified as a minimum and non-biodegradable items such as polystyrene to be eliminated wherever possible.
- A company car policy focused around hybrid and electric car options.
- Continuing evaluation of best practice in route management for delivery fleet and monitoring hybrid and electric options in this area.
Great wines and fantastic customer service are the watchwords at Ellis Wines, but we are also passionate about doing the right thing and ensuring that our impact on the environment and our community are as positive as possible.
Please contact us for more information.