A student at the University of the Arts London recently contacted us because she was doing a project: her tutor had asked the students to think about sustainability in art. She wanted to know if Jackson’s thought about the environment and if we had any “green” policies. We had a look around at what we do and although we are always looking for ways to improve I think that we do have some green credentials!
In terms of our packaging and shipping of orders we re-use our materials wherever this is possible, which in fact uses up less environmental resources even than recycling. So we re-use the cardboard boxes, bubble wrap and other packaging materials in which goods arrive to us, to send out orders to our customers. We group items into as few deliveries as possible to ensure that we use less packaging (and also petrol!) to deliver orders to our customers, and a few of our customers come into the shops to buy their items, which again saves on packaging and transport.
When we publish a new catalogue we do not send out copies automatically to every single past or present customer we have on file- we selectively send it to people who we think would still be interested in ordering. This saves on paper, printing and posting. Our special offers are advertised through e-mail rather than sending out paper copies to every customer.
In terms of our office practices: when we print out orders on paper we also tend to reuse this paper by printing or writing on the other side before turning to fresh sheets of paper. We keep recycling bins in our office which we use to recycle paper waste and we return our printer cartridges to the manufacturer for recycling.
Furthermore, we sell a number of products which are more environmentally friendly. The wood used to make our stretcher bars “comes from sustainable well-managed forests”, as attested by the manufacturer’s FSC certificate (Forest Stewardship Council). We also have our own brand of Jackson’s Eco paper: normally, the machinery which turns paper pulp into dry watercolour paper uses a lot of energy, but instead this paper is made from recycled cotton and left to dry naturally in the sun. Even the water used to produce this is then channeled into irrigating neighbouring fields! We also stock another eco paper made by Fabriano, made from 100% recycled pulp and produced using hydro power. There are products we stock which are made from bamboo which is a sustainable material: Hahnemuhle digital and mixed media papers, and Chinese pens. Da Vinci brushes are made in an eco-friendly factory.
It was nice to see that we are doing pretty well. I am sure we can do even better and we will keep looking for ways to be environmentally conscious.