Sustainability | YM Group

Sustainability is at the heart of what we do

Sustainability is of paramount importance to both our current and future business plans. Minimising the impact our business has on the environment is a key focus for the Group and it is an area we are continually reviewing and striving to improve.

Meeting environmental standards shows our customers how we meet our sustainability commitments. Our latest accomplishment was achieving ISO 50001:2018 for our YM Group Manufacturing sites which ensures we manage our energy use. It is also vital you know where your materials are sourced. All sites have certification to FSC – Forest Stewardship Council®  and PEFC™ – Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification.

To give our customers true choice and competitive advantage, we continue to develop new products with a core environmental benefit. You can use Paperwrap rather than plastic wrap, communicate using EasyEarth mailer and use our sustainable packaging solution ecoMLR. You can offset the carbon in your paper purchase and access many other environmental solutions from YM Group.

Environmental and Ethical standards & accreditations
All YM Group manufacturing sites – YM Chantry, York Mailing Ltd, Pindar Scarborough Ltd and Lettershop Ltd – are accredited with ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System. Sites are audited on a regular basis by external UKAS recognised independent certification bodies to ensure compliance to the standards.

Sustainability has always been at the heart of our business. In November 2019, YM Group manufacturing sites were all awarded ISO 50001:2018 Energy Management – an outstanding achievement and a demonstration of YM Group’s commitment to managing and reducing energy usage. ISO 50001 Energy Management is in addition to all manufacturing sites having been certificated for many years to ISO 9001 Quality Management.

In addition, all four YM Group manufacturing sites have previously been awarded the British Print Industries Federation Seal of Excellence for Environmental Management.

Lettershop are a Sedex member and committed to being a responsible and sustainable business. Sedex is one of the world’s leading ethical trade service providers, working to improve working conditions in global supply chains. Sedex provides practical tools, services and a community network to help companies improve their responsible and sustainable business practices and source responsibly. Using Sedex tools and services helps our company improve our responsible business practices.

Each YM Group business has energy targets to meet as part of adherence to ISO 50001:2018 Energy Management, and these targets also form part of the Climate Change Levy.

The YM Group complies with the Climate Change Agreement (CCA) scheme for which targets are set via the Environment Agency. The Agreement ensures there is a continued and progressive plan to meet set objectives and targets, which indirectly impact on the use of electricity and gas through a levy.

As an example of energy reduction initiatives in place currently, at our York Mailing site we have recently invested heavily in LED lamps which have been installed throughout the manufacturing facilities. The site has regular checks and audits for air leaks. There is also a project in place to improve the power factor correction equipment at York to harmonise the electric current which feeds the site.

All staff are given energy awareness training and monthly calculations are carried out to monitor energy consumption against production.

Maintaining chain of custody from delivery of stock to use of paper.

The Group is committed to responsible forest management and each web offset business has attained the PEFC™ – Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification – Chain of Custody Standard and resulting certification, assuring our clients that the forest owners in our supply chain are certified to comply with the internationally recognised Sustainability Benchmark.  

The Group also source paper which has FSC – Forest Stewardship Council® certification.  This gives our clients the option to choose paper that has been sourced in an environmentally-friendly, socially responsible and economically viable manner.

As one of the largest purchasers of paper in the United Kingdom, the YM Group source paper from the leading and most reputable paper mills and merchants from both the UK and mainland Europe.  All of our paper suppliers have a full chain of custody in place, as well as holding other environmental accreditations.

The YM Group is able to source fully recycled papers for clients and we are now also offering our clients a solution for Carbon Balanced paper, whereby a small levy is added to a paper tonnage cost and the levy is then reinvested in ecological projects by the World Land Trust. 

Emissions, waste and recycling
All YM Group manufacturing sites strictly control emissions. During the web offset printing process, ovens on the web offset presses use gas to burn solvents from the ink, which creates emissions – these emissions are closely regulated by each site and are part of each business’s Permit to Operate. The Permit is issued by the local council and we are checked by an independent body each year to maintain these permits.

Across YM Group sites all jobs are planned to ensure waste generation is kept to a minimum; where possible, jobs are planned to use the paper in the most efficient way, and associated waste generated from the production process is recycled where possible.

 All paper, cardboard and plastic-type of waste is sent for recycling. Where waste is generated and it can’t be recycled, we ensure it is controlled and disposed through set waste streams. Waste streams include paper, plastic, cardboard, wood, metal, general and hazardous waste. Waste Minimisation Audits are undertaken as part of the requirements of each site’s operating permit. All waste is controlled and collected by licensed waste contractors. In the case of some of the more hazardous waste, this is treated prior to being re-used where practicable, for example as a lower grade e.g. oil, or is treated/separated and disposed of in the most environmentally acceptable way possible.

The Group is continually striving to improve recycling levels. As an example, at York Mailing we have recently found a way of recycling waste compressor condensate (water) in the manufacturing process, which was previously sent as hazardous waste.



Consumables (inks, plates)


YM Group web offset manufacturing sites use solvent-based inks.  The solvent from the ink is burnt off by the high temperatures in the web offset press ovens and exhaust gases are ducted to atmosphere via regenerative thermal oxidisers. 

Emissions from the individual stacks are not allowed to exceed permitted standards and the temperatures of the units are continually monitored to ensure efficient operation.  As stated above, all YM Group manufacturing sites are certified with ISO 14001 Environmental Management System.

At Pindar inks are sourced from Sun Chemical, who work closely with us to offer more sustainable solutions. 

Printing plates for our web offset presses are sourced from Kodak.  Kodak are accredited with ISO14001 Environmental Management and ISO50001 Energy Management.  Plates are made from aluminium and these are recycled.  Efforts to reduce our carbon footprint are ongoing;  an example of this is that Pindar recently changed the frequency of delivery of plates to a fortnightly delivery to minimise transport.

As a Group, we invested in a new press plate stream in Pindar Pre-press department, with a super-efficient oven which has reduced energy consumption.

To learn more about how we can help you become more sustainable please

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