As a trained EMAS auditor, I'm familiar with environmental management systems. It's out of the question to get accreditation for this small business, but I will follow the EMAS principles of continuous monitoring and improvement as far as possible.
The following list applies to all of my mail-order activities, including handpinner.co.uk and p2tog.com
Significant aspects (updated January 2015)
Products: most of the products I sell are from Ashford. The wood that they use is from sustainably managed forests - more information here.
Chemicals: Unicorn power scour and related products claim to be "earth friendly and biodegradable". Aussie Know How Delicate Wash is safe for biocycle and grey water systems. I have assurance from them that all components are fully biodegradable and environmentally friendly. From Eucalan: "Eucalan is ... non-toxic, biodegradable, and free of bleach, phosphates, synthetic fragranceÂ and dye.Â Eucalan is pH neutral and is packaged in an easy to recycle, dye freeÂ hdpe plastic bottle."
Packaging: I now buy and use biodegradable mailing bags (biothene) in preference to regular polythene ones. I use brown paper where practical rather than a mailing bag, and tissue paper in preference to polythene bags. I re-use packaging where possible and add a suggestion to the bottom of my paperwork to customers to reuse or recycle packaging and papers where possible. I keep a blue bag by by office desk and packing area and recycle cardboard and paper that I can't re-use.
Travelling: Negligable. I live a short distance from my local post office, so almost all smaller parcels do that part of their journey on foot. Larger parcels are collected from me as part of Parcel Force's regular round. Their own environmental policy is here.
Printing / paperwork: I print invoices and delivery notes on recycled paper (if I'm unable to buy recycled office paper at any time, it may be 'sustainable' instead.) and ask customers to recycle reuse or compost packaging and documents.