Reducing Our Environmental Impact
We are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our products and educating consumers on how to dispose of used devices, pods and packaging in the best way.
It is our legal responsibility to know how our waste is managed. We conduct thorough checks on all potential recycling partners, and ensure they provide legal documentation to ensure these suppliers deliver in line with pre-defined KPIs. We also ensure that all recycling programs are promoted accurately to blu consumers and retail customers.
blu Lifecycle Assessment
In June 2020 we completed a cradle-to-grave Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) for the current myblu device, pods and packaging. This was ISO 14040/44 certified by an external reviewer. The insight gathered through the LCA has helped us understand the key areas of environmental impact of our current portfolio, and will help inform decisions to reduce these in the future.
The cradle-to-grave LCA study included:
- extraction and production of raw materials;
- production of e-liquids;
- production of pods and filing;
- device assembly;
- packaging manufacture and packing;
- use (charging, refills);
- end of life;
- all transportation stages;
- waste management through to the “grave”
The data model used to create the LCA Report has now been configured into an Impact Comparative Tool with changeable parameters that enables real-time environmental impact calculations. These will be taken into consideration when making product design, material selection, supply chain, and packaging decisions in the future.
More details on the LCA will be included in the Imperial Brands Annual Report – published in November 2020.
Educating Internal Stakeholders
We have created an internal ‘End-of-Life bluprint’ in partnership with sustainability consultancy Anthesis plc. In order to support all those responsible for setting up, managing and promoting a blu end-of- life waste management scheme at a local market level. This includes:
- Procurement – responsible for initiating a supplier selection and evaluation process in line with local legislation, the bluprint and IMB Group policies
- Corporate & Legal Affairs – responsible for advising on local regulations and compliance
- Sales & Marketing – responsible for adhering to our internal marketing standards and promoting programmes responsibly and accurately
- Employees who want to educate themselves about recycling and the blu portfolio
Sustainability Stakeholder Panel
The recent Imperial Brands Sustainability Stakeholder Panel, which included representatives from investors, banks, suppliers, customers, consumers, media, employees and NGOs, highlighted that packaging is a crucial concern. The panel want to see smaller and more easily recyclable packaging for our vape products, and this is something we have addressed with our next global packaging change later in the year.
We were also challenged to consider producing vape devices that consist of recyclable components or materials, and our innovation partner, Nerudia, are now investigating this for future products. Human rights within our supply chain was also raised, with an expectation that we have robust strategies to mitigate the risk of modern slavery. We are working closely with our parent company, Imperial Brands, to ensure this.
UN Sustainability Development Goals
Our parent company, Imperial Brands, has identified four of the seventeen United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that it believes align with its most important Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) issues and can be supported by our vape business,
Goal 3 – Consumer Health
Goal 8 – Modern Slavery
Goal 12 – Waste
Goal 13 – Climate + Energy
Our vape products have a clear role to play across all four areas, but we are particularly focused on Goal 3 – Consumer Health. Our blu portfolio offers adult smokers potentially harm reduced products that allow them to continue enjoying nicotine on their terms. We believe vaping currently offers the optimum balance between risk reduction and product acceptance by adult smokers and can positively impact tobacco harm reduction (THR) on a global scale.