Lyreco – Workplace supplies with a sustainable (blue) twist

Lyreco – Workplace supplies with a sustainable (blue) twist

Ana Ferreira (BioMarine Community Manager) 

Lyreco is amongst the first worldwide distributors of workplace supplies solutions and is active in 42 countries on 4 continents. Among their many workplace products, services and solutions, Lyreco distinguishes itself through a unique approach ensuring that ethics and sustainability are applied across all its activities. But how are they doing that and what initiatives are already being put into practice?  

All about this and more was explained by Nasser Kahil, Group Quality, Security & Sustainability Director of Lyreco, who will be representing the company, as one of the main partners, at the BioMarine Convention 2019. Don’t miss a thing and prepare your interactions with Lyreco’s team next November!

[Click here to access the PDF document of the interview]


A global vision at Lyreco

Inside Lyreco, Nasser Kahil has broad responsibilities covering certifications and the implementation of the company’s Quality, Environment and Sustainability policies. The Group Quality, Security & Sustainability Department is a cross-functional one, where the team is internally in contact with all other departments (e.g. marketing, sales, supply chain), and externally with their customers, suppliers and other third parties. Nasser shared with us an important review on the Company’s global vision and strategy on sustainability – “Climate change is a profound, systemic challenge - not in the future, but right here, right now. For this reason, we need to commit to set long-term climate goals for our operations in line with the Paris Climate Agreement’s target of limiting global warming to well below 2°C. At the same time, this commitment shouldn’t be limited to our internal activities (scope 1 – direct emissions; scope 2 - indirect energy emissions) but also to the emissions related to the products we put in the market (namely Lyreco branded products), which should also be included in our climate policy. To tackle this, we have selected the EU PEF (Product Environmental Footprint) method, to first assess our situation and then define improvement targets”. 

As a major distributor of paper-based products, especially of their own brand, Lyreco is specifically concerned about deforestation, which has massive impacts on the environment, especially in terms of biodiversity and global warming (responsible for approximately 15% of all carbon emissions worldwide). Therefore, Lyreco has recently joined the 190 endorsers of the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF).

Among this, Lyreco is preparing other internal initiatives to promote real structural change to face the sustainability challenges that lay ahead. 

Towards a lifecycle approach of Green products assessment

To assess the sustainability of the “green” products , Lyreco has put together an effective strategy/methodology, as Nasser explained – “A couple of years ago, we have implemented a bespoke ‘Green Product Assessment’ that is fully based on ISO standards and validated by a third party: SGS. This was a great support for our customers, enabling them to choose Environmentally Preferable Products. The implementation of such strategies strongly involves our suppliers because it requires to collect and aggregate accurate data from them. This is a major lever of knowledge improvement as well as of transparency and trust between Lyreco, our suppliers and of course our customers”.  

After implementing such strategy, Lyreco’s team aims to go a step further by exploring particularly the potentials of the Circular Economy.  “Lyreco supports a new method initiated by the European Commission that measures products environmental footprint: the EU PEF. In line with the Circular Economy principles, the EU PEF covers the whole product Life Cycle and 16 environmental criteria”. Moreover, such efforts reflected on great achievements – “We have been pleased to be the first BtoB distributor worldwide to officially use this methodology. We are convinced that the EU PEF will call for more transparency towards the customers. And because it calls for continuous improvement at each step of the product lifecycle, it will also accelerate the transition of the workplace supplies industry, as well as many others, to a Circular Economy”. 

Using blue resources and alignment with the International Blue Coop

Lyreco has already explored the potential of marine resources as more sustainable raw materials, as Nasser explained – “Lyreco’s mother company owns an innovative company called Algopack, that proposes an alternative to conventional 100% petroleum-based plastics, made from seaweed. Within this context, we already used marine resources for internal purposes (e.g. cups for the employees). We’ve also involved a couple of Office Products manufacturers so that they can analyse the potential use of marine resources, with a mass production objective. Most of these projects are still in progress”. All these initiatives are part of the Company’s global strategy that relies on 6 pillars - Environment, People, Community, but also our Supply Chain, Governance and Economy – and aim to serve one corporate goal – a Sustainable Development.

All of this is completely aligned with the International Blue Coop, developed by BioMarine, as Nasser shared – “The great job made by BioMarine covers several of these pillars, if not all. Another important aspect in Biomarine’s job is the long term relationship with various stakeholders, which is also part of our commitment to sustainability: ‘Working Together for Tomorrow’ ”. For this reason, Lyreco is one of the main partners of the BioMarine Convention 2019 and is ready to share their challenges and opportunities with all delegates! 

What Lyreco will bring to the BioMarine Convention 2019

Nasser shared Lyreco’s expectations for the Convention – “I expect to move from Vision to Action, with solutions and contacts that will enable us to go ahead with concrete projects and in a larger scale. At the same time, I will bring our B2B Distributing experience, with great knowledge on customer’s expectations and strong connections with major manufacturers that may use marine resources in their products”. We are excited to receive Lyreco’s team on the BioMarine Convention this year, and we know you are thrilled to meet them as well!


For more info about Lyreco, check out their website HERE or connect with the Team through the BioMarine Community!

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