Our team serves as a driving force behind our sustainability goals, encouraging a commitment towards creating a greener future together. Our sustainability manager holds environmental awareness training sessions for our employees alongside regularly updating our environmental notice board to ensure the team is up to speed with everything they can be doing to reduce their impact on the environment. We also hold regular meetings, where we collectively focus on reducing the companies impact on the environment, wherever possible.
We're conscious about the energy we use in our office and warehouse and so we've taken several measures to make a positive impact. Through harnessing the power of solar panels to generate energy and switching all the lighting across our site to energy-efficient LED lights, we've meaningfully curbed power consumption. Alongside this, we have made investments in advanced machinery that not only consumes less energy but also operates with improved efficiency and reliability. We're proud to say that the results of our efforts have been great. Since 2017, we have successfully reduced our overall energy consumption by a notable 12.7%.
Great waste management needs a clear and easy-to-follow waste system. That's why we have bins throughout our office and warehouse equipped with handy labels that make it clear on how to recycle.
Throughout the year 2022, we gathered and recycled a remarkable 5.21 tonnes of waste, effectively diverting 88.5% from landfills to recovery with our waste packaging rates being consistently positioned well below the reporting requirement threshold of 50 tonnes.
In our efforts to minimise waste generated by our water usage, we have taken steps to greatly decrease our average chemical oxygen demand (COD) levels. We have made good progress, bringing our average COD levels down from 15,000 mg/l to just 800 mg/l. This achievement was made possible by improving the efficiency of our water filter machinery whilst also refining our production processes.
We've also gone above and beyond to make sure our water is as safe as can be. This has been done by taking proactive measures to eliminate any presence of harmful heavy metals and silver from our water. This is particularly important as these substances can have toxic and carcinogenic effects if they find their way into the environment.
We measure our carbon emissions annually in line with our site permit and we're thrilled to share that last year marked a significant milestone for us in terms of reducing carbon emissions. Last year saw the best ever emissions from our plant on record. This achievement is a result of ongoing machinery maintenance, enhancing airflow in production areas, and conscientious choices in our printing processes and product selection.
Our solvent management plan is making strides in more efficient chemical use and consumption, even with increased manufacturing. Furthermore, we're actively exploring the possibility of printing products with zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a move that will further minimise our carbon footprint.
We believe in the power of small actions to drive big change, which is why we take recycling seriously as part of our commitment to sustainability. From responsibly managing batteries and recycling light bulbs to ensuring the proper disposal of solvent print wipes, plastic, and tin materials, we are focused on minimising our footprint through recycling.
We are proud participants in the Spontex Recycling scheme, contributing to the recycling of disposable gloves. With nearly a quarter of a million gloves recycled to date, we are making a meaningful difference. Through this initiative, we are not only promoting sustainability but also supporting our chosen charity, Lives in Horncastle. Despite the conclusion of the crisp packet drop-off scheme in 2022, we still continue to responsibly recycle these packets by partnering with our local supermarket. We also utilise the HP take-back scheme, ensuring the proper collection and recycling of HP cartridges and oil from the Indigo machine.
We have taken great strides in improving how sustainable our packaging is, here is how we deliver your package from A-B in perfect condition, whilst minimising our impact on the planet.
We have streamlined our packaging approach, lessening the need for excessive void filling on smaller orders. Even when padding is necessary, we have made the switch to recyclable paper, leaving behind non-recyclable materials like polystyrene. We've also taken an additional step by completely removing vinyl tapes and instead embracing paper and plant-based tapes. Your package still arrives just as safe and secure – but now with significantly reduced impact on the environment!
At the J&A Group we're passionate about our eco-friendly products and are constantly inspiring our customers to take the eco-conscious path by offering a diverse range of high-quality sustainable products across all our divisions. From compostable labels to bamboo ballpens we cover all your business' sustainable needs!
We're also proud to say that many of our products are FSC certified. This means that all the materials used in these products are responsibly sourced and meet globally recognised standards for the environment. When you choose these products, you're not just making a purchase; you're actively contributing to a more sustainable future and playing a part in preserving forests for generations to come!