Understanding and reducing the environmental impact of our business and our products and looking towards circularity are ongoing priorities for Kennedy. Whilst we understand the need for urgency, we also need absolute certainty that the alternative products and processes we adopt are truly less impactful on our environment. This is an evolving process that Kennedy are fully committed to as it is essential in our strive to deliver high-quality, durable products that offer an educational value to thousands of children every month. Please read on to learn about the progress we’ve made so far and our aims for the future.
Paper and Cardboard
All our paper and cardboard is 100% PEFC certified (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) and our sticker paper is FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) certified. Both organisations work to manage and protect forests to high environmental, economic and social standards.
In 2020 Kennedy discontinued foiled bags entirely and switched all other bags from OPP (oriented polypropylene) to Mono PE bags, which are more widely recyclable. Currently both magazine and gift bags can be recycled at selected larger supermarkets’ soft plastics collection points. Kennedy’s goal is to reduce all bag usage by more than 25% in 2022, and we aim to continue this momentum in subsequent years.
In 2020 Kennedy switched blister tray plastic on gift packaging from PVC to Mono LDPE which can be disposed of with household recycling.
Covermount gifts are an integral element of the magazine experience for children, complementing the magazine content and providing stimulus for screen-free play, creativity and learning. They are managed by a dedicated in-house buying team and we do not operate through agents, meaning we have greater flexibility on the materials used for production. As well as focusing on exclusively developing gifts that are multi-use and that provide an educational play value, our buying team have a renewed focus on sustainability and recyclability, and they continue to monitor the development of alternative materials to ensure they are commercially compliant and can be used safely on our products.
Kennedy are members of the OPRL (The On-Pack Recycling Label) labelling scheme, ensuring clear guidance is given to our readers on how to recycle every single element of our products.
Professional Publishers Association
Kennedy Publishing are members of the Professional Publishers Association (PPA); the membership network for UK consumer magazine media and business information publishers.
In conjunction with other members, we have agreed new guidance specifically for the children’s magazines category which will see continued investment in and development of new technologies and solutions to improve sustainability, limiting the presence of non-recyclable cover mounted gifts, and increasing the recyclability of packaging.
Kennedy know from work undertaken by the PPA Sustainability Action Group (SAG), and the guidance they provide on the whole-life carbon footprint of alternatives to plastic, that a seemingly simple move away from plastic does not necessarily enhance sustainability or reduce the total carbon footprint of a magazine. This is why the PPA encourages all members to carefully research and consider such a decision, to fully understand the whole life cycle impact of all products. The PPA provide access to a carbon calculator to support these procurement decisions.
Kennedy are a partner of Wasterbuster, a not-for-profit environmental education and recycling campaign platform whose mission is to help children understand the impact that human activity and waste has on the environment and encourage a wider sense of environmental responsibility. Wastebuster supports the work of the UN Environment Programme by developing multi-stakeholder partnerships to share knowledge, expertise, technology, and financial support in order to develop world class education programmes and campaigns.
Kennedy are a member of Wastebuster’s Recycle to Read programme, a UK-wide school campaign launched on Wastebuster’s education platform, The Pod, which has been developed in association with EPPIC and Products of Change. The campaign rewards schools for collecting unwanted plastic toys, small electricals and textiles for recycling and reuse, in exchange for books and magazines. The recycled plastic is used to create new products, such as playground equipment and outdoor furniture, and revenue generated is used to subsidise the collection systems and rewards.
Recycle to Read is currently running as a pilot programme, which is planned to fully roll out in the next year.