Skip to content Skip to navigation menu

Sustainable Partnerships

We recognise our corporate responsibility and are committed to controlling our environmental impacts through compliance with legislation, best practice, citizenship, responsible stewardship and continual improvement through our Sustainability Strategy.

We are committed to sourcing better materials and supporting more sustainable production processes, to this end we work with specialist partners who offer help, guidance and expertise across the different technical and social fields.

Our Partners

Our partners spread across our three key strategic priority areas

Safe Business

Better Cotton
Better Cotton

Arco are proud members of the Better Cotton.

Better Cotton's mission is to help cotton communities survive and thrive, while protecting and restoring the environment. By sourcing cotton through Better Cotton, we're supporting this global initiative and keeping up the demand for Better Cotton.

Better Cotton is sourced via a chain of custody model called mass balance. This means that Better Cotton is not physically traceable to end products, however, Better Cotton Farmers benefit from the demand for Better Cotton in equivalent volumes to those we 'source'.

Lyfcycle
Lyfcycle

Arco has partnered with Lyfcycle to craft a range of eco-friendly and economical garments that are completely traceable from source to store.

Each Lyfcycle garment is made with the end of a product's life in mind, ensuring we consider every detail of a garment when sourcing ecoconscious alternatives to more traditional materials. Each piece of clothing has a unique QR code that enables the wearer to see the "Lyfcycle" of their clothes prior to the point of sale - from the supply chain and production process through to garment after care and postconsumer recycling.

Recycled Claim Standard and Global Recycled Standard
Global Recycled Standard

Arco is certified by the Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) and Global Recycled Standard (GRS). These are international, voluntary standards that set requirements for third-party certification of recycled input and chain of custody. The shared goal of the standards is to increase the use of recycled materials.

The objectives of both RCS and GRS are:

  • Alignment of definitions across multiple applications
  • Track and trace Recycled input materials
  • Provide customers (both brands and consumers) with a tool to make informed decisions

Additional objectives of the GRS are:

  • Reduce harmful impact of production to people and the environment
  • Provide assurance that materials in the final product are actually Recycled and processed more sustainably
  • Drive innovation in addressing quality issues in the use of Recycled materials

RCS and GRS are used to verify and track recycled raw materials through the supply chain. The RCS verifies the presence and amount of recycled material in a final product. This happens through input and chain-of-custody verification from a third party. It allows for the transparent, consistent and comprehensive independent evaluation and verification of recycled material content claims on products.

The Global Recycled Standard includes processing criteria to prevent the use of potentially hazardous chemicals and verifies positive social or environmental production at the facilities. The GRS uses the chain of custody requirements of the Content Claim Standard (CCS).

Textiles 2030 and Wrap
Textiles 2030 and Wrap

Textiles 2030

In 2021 Arco became a signatory to Waste and Resources Action Programme’s (WRAP) Textiles 2030, a voluntary agreement for clothing and textiles. The 10-year programme aims to take the UK from a make-use-dispose culture to a circular one where goods are produced sustainably, used longer, and then re-used or recycled. Arco has committed to work to towards the following ambitions:

  • Design for Circularity
  • Implement Circular Business Models
  • Close the Loop on Materials

Wrap

Arco are committed to the goals of WRAP's UK Plastics Pact, an initiative transforming the way that the UK makes, uses and disposes of plastic. The UK Plastic Pact Targets

  • By 2025: Eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use packaging through redesign, innovation or alternative (reuse) delivery model
  • 100% of plastics packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable
  • 70% of plastics packaging effectively recycled or composted
  • 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging
Forest Stewardship Council

Arco are Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) promotional licence holders*

FSC is a global, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of responsible forest management. Democratically governed by more than 1000 members, their mission is to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests.

FSC® and climate change

The FSC system contributes to mitigating climate change by promoting sustainable forest management, and the recycling of wood materials. Their global framework for forest management standards gives special attention to protecting the function of forests as net removers of CO2 from the atmosphere. They have also developed tools for rewarding the preservation of valuable ecosystem services, including carbon storage and sequestration, in responsible managed forests.

*Licence number FSC® N004116


Safe People

Ethical trade sits at the forefront of our sourcing decisions and our vendors, customers and employees are committed to these ideals:

Ethical Trading Initiative
Ethical Trading Initiative

In 2007 Arco became a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) an alliance of companies, trade unions and non-profit organisations that aims to promote respect for the rights of workers worldwide. We are committed to the principles of the ETI base code which are built on the standards of the International Labour Organisation. Through their adoption and implementation, we continue to proactively respond to ethical issues.

Sedex
Sedex

Arco are a Sedex member, committed to sourcing responsibly and having an ethical and sustainable supply chain. We also encourage suppliers to form partnerships on SEDEX. We use SEDEX Advance, one of the largest collaborative ethical data platforms in the world, to capture, analyse, manage and present risk information in our supply chain. SEDEX Advance allows us to control the information we need to manage performance around labour rights, health and safety, the environment and business ethics. We use this data to assess suppliers' ethical, environmental and social practices.

Bright Future
Bright Future

We are committed to making a difference in eradicating modern slavery and joined the Co-Op's Bright Future programme in 2018. The charity supports survivors of this global issue by providing access to employment to give a safer future. Arco has committed funding to support the ongoing work of Bright Future and provide Bright Future candidates with four-week paid placements and the opportunity for permanent employment in the UK. The placements give candidates the opportunity to experience working at Arco with support from mentors and training.


Safe Planet

We are committed to reducing operational waste and have been continuing to implement our packaging strategy at our National Distribution Centre

Humber Waste Alliance
Humber Waste Alliance

Arco has joined together with other local corporates, charities, and authorities to form a group dedicated towards the prevention and reduction of waste within the Hull and Humber regions and marine litter polluting the Humber. The Alliance takes advice from industry experts and utilises the region's recycling resources to ensure business strategies maximise the opportunities to reduce environmental impact. The Alliance is supported by a charter and a common set of pledges to which organisations in the region sign up to make a difference.


Our Commitment is also Demonstrated Through:

EcoVadis
Ecovadis

EcoVadis is the world's largest and most trusted provider of business sustainability ratings, measuring Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) performance against: Environment, Labour and Human Rights, Ethics, and Sustainable Procurement. A Gold Sustainability Rating ranks Arco in the top 5% of the 120,000 plus companies assessed. Arco was also recognised as an industry leader, overall, by making the top 2% of companies rated in the wholesale of other machinery and equipment industry, as well as in the areas of sustainable procurement (top 1%) and environment (top 2%).

In 2024 EcoVadis singled out Arco's leadership on environmental sustainability as "outstanding" in comparison with its peers.

Supply Chain Sustainability School
School

We worked closely with Supply Chain Sustainability School to complete a sustainability assessment. Achieving Gold membership demonstrates our engagement with the school and the use of their resources to further our awareness and understanding and to share our knowledge and experience with others who are active in the built environment to more sustainable and drive real change.

BSIF
BSIF

The British Safety Industry Federation is the key independent voice representing the interests of the UK safety industry to a wide audience, including Government, its enforcement agencies, standards making authorities and safety equipment users. Membership demonstrates a strong commitment to safety and ethical trading. In addition, Arco is a BSIF Registered Safety Supplier (RSS) scheme and has signed a binding declaration that the safety equipment we offer meets the appropriate standards, fully complies with the PPE regulations and is appropriately CE or UKCA marked.