KCS Print in labels B Corp first

KCS MD Deadman: B Corp certification required determination
KCS MD Deadman: B Corp certification required determination

Launceston-based KCS Print has laid claim to becoming the first British label printer to be B Corp certified.

Certified by B Lab as having met rigorous social and environmental business standards, KCS has now joined over 7,000 businesses around the world in having its credentials secured as an ethically run business.

It has joined others in the industry, such as GF Smith, Webmart, Curtis Packaging, and Fero.

KCS’ certification in early August was the culmination of a 16-month process, with the firm dedicating three staff to compiling evidence for review.

Zoe Deadman, managing director, said she hoped KCS’ certification would help push the industry to deliver higher standards across the board.

She told Printweek: “The process to become B Corp has made us review everything we do, from our recruitment process to making our toilets gender neutral. 

“It has gone beyond just the environmental factors – which we were already strong on – and made us think more wholesale about the way we work.”

To achieve certification, KCS accelerated its carbon goals: its target at the end of 2021 had been to reduce emissions by 7% to 2,640kg of CO2 equivalent per £100,000 sales, which would enable the company to halve its emissions by 2030.

KCS beat the target and reduced emissions by 25.8% to 2,105kg of CO2e for every £100,000 sales.

The firm has also reduced its water usage by 34%, recycles its liner waste and sends nothing to landfill.

KCS’ social responsibilities are likewise now formally recognised within the company, Deadman said.

“The ethics of B Corp are now ‘baked in’ to KCS Print, as the importance of putting these [social and governance issues] on an equal pegging with profits now forms part of our fundamental company documents.”

She added that the company works with local schools and businesses to teach them about sustainable packaging and labelling, the environment, and recycling.

KCS also publishes annually its resource and carbon figures.

Deadman said: “This will also show how we are doing against our Net Zero targets. As well as the successes, it will show where we still have work to do and where we have missed targets. The aim is to keep us on path to meet our goals.”

KCS Print employs 21 at its Launceston factory, turning over £2.5m.