Our Story

Sustainability is something we take very seriously. It is a journey we have been on since 2017 with Enviro-Mark® (trading as Toitū Envirocare) and in that time, we've taken steps to reduce our impact on the environment. Our business practices are completely transparent and each year we review, measure, and reflect on our impact our operations have had and assess where and how we can make improvements.

Since starting our sustainability initiative in 2009, we have developed our own Environmental Management System (EMS) designed to control documentation and help us to achieve our sustainability objectives and targets, while encouraging and inspiring us to keep improving our sustainability efforts.

This begins with Safety and Apparel Ltd, acknowledging that our business sells products that are made using fossil fuels, they are built and stored in factories using electricity and emitting carbon into the atmosphere. We despatch our products around New Zealand using boxes and bags. We drive cars and travel. Knowing we are part of the problem guides us to focus on those areas of the business where we can reduce, neutralise, or eliminate our direct impact on climate change.

Our EMS is a step by step approach that begins with our environmental policy. This policy provides the basis for setting targets and objectives against which we collect data to then analyse and measure our performance. We then evaluate this performance against our objectives and then take action to reduce any negative environmental or social impacts resulting from our own operations, products, or services.

Would you like to view our Environmental Policy click here.

Our Directors and Management attend our Health Charter Meeting annually. This meeting is to discuss the Health Charter Report. This report focusses on our employees, communication, dealing with waste, freight efficiency, ensuring an ethical supply chain, and serving our customers.

Key Initiatives

Hard Hat Recycling

A free national recycling service available exclusively at Safety and Apparel Ltd branches. We have formed a partnership with Astron Plastics and have developed a dedicated scheme for Safety and Apparel Ltd.

Hard hats are mainly made of polyethylene or polycarbonate resin, or of other materials like fiberglass, resin-impregnated textiles, or aluminium. Because it is strong, lightweight, easy to mould, and nonconductive to electricity, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is used in most industrial hard hats. Hard hats and should be replaced for health and safety reasons every 3 years or specified by manufacturer. Plastic cannot be incinerated as this is toxic. As such, they represent a significant and polluting waste stream if not recycled.

Astron Plastics has been at the forefront of plastic recycling for over 30 years and continues to be a market leader in converting plastic scrap into recycled plastic resin, AS4702 underground cable covers and recycled slip sheets. Astron Plastics has recycling and manufacturing facilities in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland, and Christchurch. They have specialist machinery built to process and recycle hard hats. The hats are broken up into their components and shredded into high-quality granules which can be used to produce products of high recycled content. This initiative is both beneficial for the environment and represents health and safety best practice.

The Process for Return

Our Collection bin is situated at our Hamilton Distribution Centre.

Customers and organisations wishing to use this service can:

  • Drop helmets to any one of our three branches.
  • Send them by courier with everything removed, to our Hamilton Distribution Centre which is our collection point.

Please ensure that:

  • The harnesses in the hard hats are removed.
  • Any stickers on the hard hats are removed.

Compostable Courier Bags

As you know from media reports soft plastic bags have become the focus of worldwide attention. Numerous processors that accepted New Zealand’s soft plastic have now stopped accepting it on a global scale. This meant there was no other option for our courier bags but to end up at landfill.

This prompted our decision to move to an option that aligns with our environmental objectives.

The timeframes in which the bags will breakdown is dependent on many factors such as moisture and constant temperature - this is more variable in a home composting situation versus a commercial facility. Ninety percent or more of the “bioplastic” material will have been converted to carbon dioxide after 180 days of compost. The remaining share is converted into water and biomass, which no longer contains any plastic.

Our new compostable courier bags can be returned and composted through us. Any queries relating to this please contact us on 0800 726 726

For customers who cannot dispose of our new courier bags in an environmental/compostable manner onsite, we offer the following solution:

  • Remove any packing slip or stickers that are attached to the bags.
  • Collect bags in carton lots and return to us at any of our branches.