Sustainability at Avalon

We know how important sustainability is to our customers and to the future of New Zealand. We are committed to making changes in our company to bring us more in line with our goals about protecting the environment and caring for New Zealand. 
Here are a few stories of how we're working to improve in terms of sustainability right across our business. 
REUSE. We reuse as many cardboard cartons as possible. By ensuring our suppliers send the best size cartons, we are able to reuse them to re-ship within New Zealand, thus reducing waste and expense to customers by purchasing boxes. 
REDUCE. We have been able to eliminate most of the plastic strapping applied to cartons by finding alternative solutions with our suppliers. 
HARNESSING TECHNOLOGY. We have been working towards a paperless office concept, e.g. storing and sending invoices electronically rather than in paper format. Not only has this saved on paper, but it has also meant less filing - everybody is happy!
SIMPLE SOLUTIONS. By putting waste cardboard in the top of every carton, to prevent customers damaging goods when cutting open cartons, we ensure you get your goods in perfect condition, without the additional waste of things like bubble wrap.
SMART PACKING. We aim to pack cartons in the most effective way possible, to reduce the need for stuffing and shipping wasted space.
REVIEWING OUR RANGE. One of our primary priorities is to shift away from single-use plastic items, and instead move towards lower impact alternatives. To begin with, we have removed single-use plastic straws from our range and are proceeding with reusable stainless steel straws. 
OFFERING ECO PRODUCTS. We have recently launched a range which can help consumers on their zero waste journey. These include shopping bags, produce bags, reusable straws, and more.

We recognise that we still have a long way to go. It is one of our top priorities to move towards a more sustainable business model. We are currently in the process of reviewing how we can do that.

Here are a few ideas we have for the future

PACKAGING: We have identified that packaging is our key area in which we can make the biggest change first. We think this will have the biggest impact in the footprint our business creates quickly. More sustainable packaging is something that we are working on but to be truthful we have been struggling to make some of our desired changes happen. For many of our suppliers it is a new way of doing things and some of these changes are taking far longer than we had hoped

  • Biodegradable plastic bags: there is a premium cost to pay as this is still a fairly new technology, however, we are looking at using it in some areas.
  • Cardboard: since China has stopped accepting recycling from overseas, it has become more costly for our suppliers to supply recycled packaging. 
We are working to find better ways wherever we can. This involves finding different ways to package that minimize plastic. It involves finding alternatives in the way items are shipped to New Zealand that minimize waste, but still protects the product. We are working with our international suppliers to find what other opportunities there are to do this better as well as looking to team up with new suppliers, who may be better able to help us move forward in this area. 
REGULAR REVIEW PROCESS. We are putting systems into place to ensure we have the best product required every time. Each time we create a new product we make deliberate decisions about the materials it is made from, how it is packaged for the consumer and how it is packaged for safe shipping to and within New Zealand. We are educating ourselves to be able to make better choices for the environment and looking to work with experts in this field to help us. We are reviewing our existing range to see where items can be changed to make them more sustainable so watch this space.
NEW PRODUCTS. We have always looked for the best products to meet our customer’s needs. We believe that going forwards a focus on products that are better for the environment, the people that buy them and the people that create them is where we need to be. We are looking for products and ways to meet these goals and hope to offer you fantastic products which meet these needs as we move forward.
A PLAN TO CHANGE. At this stage, we are sure we need to do better, but we don't completely know how. We are working to develop a plan that will enable us to make a significant change in the way we do things. 

Working together for a better future.

We believe that to achieve the goal of having a more sustainable New Zealand we all need to work together. The more people working on this issue the more chance we have of getting to where we want to be, faster.

If your company has any tips on what successes you have had in creating a more ethical and sustainable business model, we would love to hear from you. Is it something other retailers in our network could do that would reduce waste? Or do you have a suggestion that we could do here at Avalon? We would love to hear from you if you have any suggestions. Working together is a way we can move forward much more quickly and we love to work with people who are committed to improvement and change

Ngā Mihi

Avalon team