Grand Circle is committed to lessening our impact on the planet, while encouraging our suppliers and customers to do the same. As the recognized leader in travel for Americans 50 and older, we strive to be stewards of the environment at home and abroad through the efficient and sustainable use of natural and economic resources, and practices such as energy conservation and preservation of biodiversity. By doing this, we’ll help preserve the world we travel not only for our customers, but for the generations to come.
Our goal as an organization is to address these key aspects of our environmental performance as members of the direct marketing community:
PRINCIPLE AREAS OF FOCUS
- Recycling and pollution reduction in our Boston headquarters and worldwide offices
- Recycling and pollution reduction in our community
- Design, Production and Printing in our mail, marketing and communication materials
- Paper procurement and usage
I. RECYCLING AND POLLUTION REDUCTION IN OUR BOSTON HEADQUARTERS AND WORLDWIDE OFFICES
Grand Circle’s policies and initiatives in this area are guided by the Three R’s: "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle." With this in mind, we seek an efficient and environmentally sensible workplace. Our Boston office has taken the lead on the initiatives detailed below, and we have a plan in place for all our worldwide offices.
A. Reduce & Reuse in the Workplace
- Where possible and practical, we purchase office papers, packing and packaging materials made from recycled materials with post-consumer content.
- Use recyclable materials and materials that don’t hinder the recycling process.
- Integrate the use of electronic communications (e-mail, Web and intranet) for external and internal communications.
- Develop online systems for reports, projects and monitoring to reduce paper generation.
B. Deploy Recycling in Our Workplace
We investigate energy, water, material usage and waste management procedures and set internal goals to reduce, reuse and recycle, and establish programs to measure internal savings in waste, energy and costs.
- Corrugated cardboard
- Beverage cans and bottles
- Printing ink and toner cartridges
- Energy savings – installed motion sensitive lighting
II. RECYCLING AND POLLUTION REDUCTION IN OUR COMMUNITY
A. We Promote/Advance Recycling in Our Community.
- Use the recyclable symbol to identify paper and paperboard products made from fibers that, after use, are suitable for recycling.
- Ensure that environmental labeling is clear, honest and complete.
- Encourage customers to reuse, return or recycle materials where appropriate.
- We volunteer our company’s resources, including our people, for: community improvement, home improvements, and farming.
For more information on Grand Circle’s community involvement visit the Foundation website at www.grandcirclefoundation.org.
III. DESIGN, PRODUCTION AND PRINTING IN OUR MAIL, MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION MATERIALS
We strive to design and print our advertisements and other communications in an environmentally responsible manner, and we communicate our environmental expectations to our supplier(s). Wherever feasible, in designing and printing communications, we look at opportunities for source reduction. To this end:
A. We Reduce the Amount of Waste
- Adjust trim sizes of our publications and/or collateral in an effort to reduce waste.
- Test and use production methods that reduce print order overruns, waste allowances and in-process waste.
- Include overrun allowances in our contracts and specify that excess inventory be recycled.
- Work with our printers to explore using new printing techniques [such as digital and computer-to-plate (CTP) printing and pdf or virtual proofing] that help reduce chemical and paper waste, and emissions.
B. Give Preference to Recyclable and/or Reusable Materials
- We routinely survey the marketplace for high recycled content for corrugated boxes and packing materials and/or recyclable or reusable materials.
- We seek to utilize recycled printing and writing paper with post-consumer content.
C. We Communicate Environmental Principles to Suppliers
- Review supplier companies’ environmental policies and practices, and encourage them to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
- Specify environmentally preferable materials to our suppliers.
IV. PAPER PROCUREMENT AND CLEAN PRODUCTION
Grand Circle recognizes that improving forestry practices is an important component of environmental stewardship and sustainability. We strive to procure, use, and recover paper in a manner that helps to ensure the sustainable use of forests and other natural resources. In support of this principle:
A. Research & Invest in Sustainable Paper Practices
- We identify our "fiber supply chain" for forest products we use, such as paper for catalogs and other marketing materials, internal office paper, corrugated packaging, and wood used in retail products.
- Staff makes on-site visits to supplying paper mills to verify environment-related claims and to better understand related issues.
B. Respect Forest Ecosystems and Biodiversity
- We require that our paper suppliers have made a commitment to implementing sustainable forestry practices that protect forest ecosystems and biodiversity, as well as provide the wood and paper products our company needs.
- We specify that paper suppliers use third-party, verified traceability or chain-of-custody so that we know the origin of fiber in our paper.
- We recognize the importance of preserving landscape integrity and encouraging forest restoration areas and forest landscapes that provide pathways for wildlife.
C. Encourage Sustainable Paper Procurement and Clean Production
- Wherever feasible, we require paper suppliers to provide annual reports on their environmental practices.
- We give preference to suppliers who are committed to sustainable practices throughout the "life cycle" of paper production, from forest to recycling, including pulp and paper mill performance.
- Currently we adhere to standards maintained by:
FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)
PEFC (Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification)
SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative)