Schoolwear specialist Banner Group has pledged to be an industry leader in reducing its environmental footprint and limiting waste across its products and packaging supply chains.

It has published a new report on its sustainability achievements and targets, called Leading the Way in Sustainability and Ethics, which sets out how it plans to drive “positive change” from 2022 to 2025.

It confirms that Banner, based in Trowbridge in Wiltshire, remains committed to sustainability after its private equity investor MML sold its stake in a secondary buyout led by CBPE Capital in October last year.

Banner CEO Glenn Leech, who was appointed in 2017, said: “Five years ago those discussions would not have taken place. Today, no serious investors can ignore the importance of environmental and social goals.”

Setting out its goals for the next three years, Banner pledged to drive “positive change with a sustainability agenda that’s founded on innovation and industry collaboration”.

The report stated: “We plan to continue finding ways to reduce our environmental footprint and limit waste across our product and packaging supply chains.

“As the market leader we’ll continue to be an influential voice in our industry and passionate advocate of the circular economy.”

It added that the core of Banner’s sustainability goals was to develop more sustainable clothes in an even more environmentally and socially responsible way, responding to the needs of the children who wear them.

“Becoming a better business means meeting the needs of all stakeholders, including our people, customers, suppliers and investors.

“Most of all it requires us to listen and respond to the children who wear our garments. To this end, we’re committed to becoming a force for good and role model for treading lighter on the beautiful planet we all share.”

Glenn added: “Leadership in sustainability is central to the strategy of Banner, to the future of schoolwear and to the expectations of the young people who wear our uniforms every day.”

Achievements in 2021 included being carbon neutral for all of the group’s UK operations and removing 500,000 single-use plastic bags from its supply chain annually. It also invested in cotton sustainability programme Better Cotton.

Nearly 15 million plastic bottles were recycled to make all the eco garments supplied in 2021 and more than 40% of all Banner’s garments have successfully transitioned to sustainable fabrics for back to school in 2022.

Sarah Robins, sustainability manager at Banner Group, said: “Here at Banner we’re continually working to improve all aspects our environmental and social responsibility, minimising the impacts of our operations on the planet, while optimising the benefits of what we do for our people and those we work with.

“As this report shows, we are making great strides with our direction, and that’s why we’re recognised as the company that’s leading the way in sustainability and ethics in schoolwear.”

Click here for a digital copy of the full report.