We’re proud to announce that Winsor & Newton is now a Certified B Corporation,™ Brand (B Corp). This means that, through our efforts to help artists make sustainable choices, we are counted among businesses that are leading a global movement for an inclusive, responsible and regenerative planet. But what exactly does being B Corp Certified involve? Read on to learn more about B Corp and how our ongoing sustainability mission is benefitting artists and reducing our impact on the environment.
What is B Corp?
B Corp Certification is a rigorous assessment of a company's social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. It is a certification for businesses that meet high standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability.
It creates standards, policies, tools and programs that shift the behaviour, culture and structure of the capitalist economy. Collectively, the B Corp community takes action in addressing society’s most critical challenges.
What makes Winsor & Newton eligible for a B Corp Certification?
Winsor & Newton’s sustainability strategy focuses on increasing social impact by engaging with communities through creative thinking and artist and colleague wellbeing; and by decreasing environmental impact through energy and water sources, packaging and waste supplies, and product ingredients.
In our colour factories we have installed technology systems that reuse water waste, and at our brush making plant we have introduced a rainwater collection system. This provides a free, alternative source of water and enables us to cut freshwater consumption.
Creating cleaner products
We continue to develop colour formulations and remove unnecessary ingredients to ensure art materials are safe for artists and the natural environment. We are working especially hard to tackle the use of cadmium, a heavy metal that, when added to artists’ paint, creates an intrinsic quality that many artists value and that is currently hard to replicate artificially. For example, our range of Professional Watercolours now offers cadmium-free colours that have the same performance as their cadmium equivalents.
Additionally, our Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colour is an excellent eco-friendly choice when using oil paint as it does not use traditional solvents, so artists can clean up and wash brushes with water. Likewise, Artisan Varnish Remover safely removes Artisan varnishes from paintings for cleaning and re-varnishing.
Renewable energy and waste
We are reducing the amount of energy used in manufacturing sites and offices, while using more energy that comes from renewable sources. Our target is that half of our energy needs will be met by renewables which will contribute to making us a ‘carbon neutral’ business. We also pledge to deal with hazardous waste, reducing this by 50% by 2025.
Reducing unnecessary packaging
Our packaging comes from sustainable sources where possible and contains more recycled content. We’ve switched from virgin to 100% recycled plastic for oil colour and watercolour mediums, varnish and solvent bottles. That’s 352 products in total – a move that will stop an average of 248 tonnes of plastic going into landfill every year.
We understand the role art can play in wellbeing and are committed to giving artists the support they need. In early 2023 we donated acrylic paint and brushes to the Hospital Rooms online digital art schools. These go to 50 inpatient mental health units every term to support around 1,800 patient sessions in the UK.
What does the global B Corp community look like?
Winsor & Newton is now part of a network that includes companies such as Patagonia and Aesop. There are over 6,500 companies spanning more than 161 industries in 89 countries, and over 560,000 workers who are committed to using business as a force for good.
This is the first big step in Winsor & Newton’s efforts in sustainability, and we look forward to continuing to create a better environment for both artists and the planet.
For more information visit: www.bcorporation.net