Banner Blog

How improved buying helps higher education cut emissions

Mar 18, 2020 1:00:00 PM / by Banner


There's a big reason why any higher education purchasing policy should have carbon emissions front of mind.

2020 Carbon reduction targets

Reducing carbon emissions is pertinent for universities in 2020, because they had hoped to meet a 43% reduction target set by the Higher Education Funding Council for England in 2009.

While most universities may not be on track to achieve this, there have been successes.

The University Carbon Progress Report showed carbon emissions from UK higher education providers falling from 1.7 million tonnes to 1.6 million tonnes in the year to 2017/18.

So how can your university do better, on campus and throughout the supply chain?

Here are 4 buying policies that can make a difference:

1. Reducing carbon intensive small orders

‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’ is the waste reduction hierarchy. One way this can be applied is by reducing the number of smaller orders into one larger order.

We can explain ‘why’ here at Banner. In 2019 we processed 28,800 smaller orders, at a value of less than £25. This increased costs but also meant that we emitted approximately 6,615 kg of CO2 emissions and used approximately 242,750 litres of fuel.

Consider the impact on CO2 and fuel usage if these orders had been combined into fewer, bigger orders whenever possible.

Extra benefits for higher education include greater efficiencies, reduced ordering time, less delivery management and a reduction in unnecessary packaging.

2. Less single use plastic

Every time you place an order with Banner, you’re helping to reduce single use plastic, because we use recycled cardboard as packaging fill in all our small pick parcels.

We’ve also replaced traditional plastic packaging tape with 100% recyclable and biodegradable gummed paper tape, eliminating 450,000 metres of plastic packaging tape from parcels.

And whenever you need a ream of paper, the good news is it comes with no plastic. Our paper is now put into a custom made, cardboard outer during the picking process, rather than individually shrink wrapped in plastic. This has also reduced damage rates, resulting in less returns and paper wastage.

3. Look for eco-friendlier logistics

Do you know how your supplies are delivered? Are they sent in as environmentally efficient a way as possible?

Banner’s transport fleet Truline includes a lower emission trunking fleet. These vehicles aim to deliver up to a 7% improvement in mpg and feature the latest fuel and emission efficient diesel engines.

4. Buy eco

Eco-friendly purchasing is now possible across a huge range of office and educational supplies at Banner, so make this a priority for every order. From cleaning products and catering supplies to writing equipment and stationery, look for approved eco labels.



With Banner you can help your higher education purchasing meet carbon reduction targets. Just contact Ian Dixon on 0843 538 3311 ext 5209, or email

For more information about Banner and the environment please visit

To view a selection of our eco products, please click here

If you're interested in becoming a Banner customer please email

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Topics: CSR, Education, Working Smarter, eco-friendly


Written by Banner