Looking after people and planet
At Usborne we take steps to ensure that every single Usborne book is produced responsibly, ethically and safely.
Usborne is part of the Book Chain Project that gives publishers the information they need to chart the full story of how their books are produced. The Book Chain Project provides guidance and tools to help publishers better understand their book supply chains and reduce environmental impact. They collect and share information on the origins of tree fibres in the papers, the level of safety of chemicals in the inks, glues and varnishes, and the working conditions of the factories where the books are made.
Looking after our people
We are committed to manufacturing the books responsibly and can track where Usborne books are printed, that the people working there are safe and being treated fairly and respectfully, and that our suppliers are minimising their impact on their local environments. All our printers have been Sedex or ICTI accredited, which means they undergo regular, stringent audits and share their results with us.
We carefully assess labour and environmental standards in the facilities that produce our products, and make sure our that our suppliers all adopt and implement the Usborne Supplier Code of Conduct. This is a set of sustainability tools and agreed processes based on the International Labour Organization (ILO), The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI).
Every year, we review and publish a Modern Slavery Statement. We are fully dedicated to the prevention of all forms of slavery, forced labour or servitude, child labour and human-trafficking, in our own organisation, in the agencies we use to hire staff and in our direct and indirect suppliers, wherever they are located. We will continue to improve our approach to these matters.
Looking after our forests
All Usborne books and products are manufactured using paper and boards from sustainable sources. We can trace where the paper was manufactured, what tree fibres it contains and where those trees were harvested, making sure that the world’s forests are sustained for the future. We use the Book Chain Project database of paper that is graded depending on its sustainability. It considers whether material has been legally harvested (or recycled) and how well the forest sources have been managed.
As of the beginning of 2022, almost 90% of our titles use FSC-certified paper. All our suppliers have necessary certifications and use FSC (Forest Stewardship Council®) certified materials. You can find the FSC logo displayed on our covers and packaging, to indicate that the title was printed on FSC-certified materials.
We are still in the process of moving to only using FSC-certified materials and are currently aiming to complete this transition, for our books and promotional materials, by the end of 2022.
Looking after our planet
To help minimize plastic pollution we are reviewing all the single-use plastic materials in our products. We are aiming to either remove any plastic from our packaging and toy packs, or to switch to plastic that can be easily recycled.
We have implemented some changes already – as of the start of 2022, there will be no more plastic lids on our That’s not my… book and toy gift boxes, no more plastic brushes with our Magic Painting books and no more plastic packaging keeping the toys in place on our Wind-up and Pull-back books.
The plastic tags that now hold toys in place are now recyclable. We are also trialling the use of plastic-free varnish on our book covers.
Empowering the next generation
As well as implementing improvements to our book production and manufacturing processes, we are also dedicated to creating books that educate and empower children to play their own role in looking after our planet - and the people, animals and plants living on it.