OUR ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL, AND SOCIETAL RESPONSIBILITY
Our products [NFPS]
APPLYING THE “4 RS” PHILOSOPHY TO PRODUCTS [NFPS]
18.104.22.168 The “4 Rs” ‒ Reduce the consumption of materials BIC has always sought to optimize its use of raw materials as much as possible. As an expert in the processing of plastics, BIC exercises its responsibility above all by minimizing its use of these materials. The Group updates its product designs on a regular basis, with the aim of optimizing and reducing its consumption of materials. In the Stationery category, the BIC ® Cristal ® ball pen, one of the Group’s flagship products, exemplifies this approach. Even though its design already optimized the use of materials in 1950 (more than 10% material reduction since inception), it continues to benefit from ongoing research to minimize the quantity of material used: it has a minimum writing length of more than 2-km; ● it uses only 2.9 grams of material per kilometer of writing, ● compared with 6.6 grams for a competing product with comparable characteristics. In the Shavers category, BIC achieves stands out thanks to its highly competitive price/quality ratio. For each product range, this price/quality ratio is made possible by the development of products with an optimal quantity of materials and keeping them as simple as possible. For example, the BIC ® Simply Soleil ® shaver is designed to weigh as little as possible. Although it is hollow, its handle nonetheless ensures a high level of performance, quality and comfort in shaving. In late 2020 the Lighters category launched the EZ Reach TM utility lighter, whose environmental footprint in terms of materials is reduced by two-thirds compared with the U140 model. The “4 Rs” ‒ Use Recycled or alternative materials Since 2014, BIC has been conducting a research program to maximize the use of recycled and alternative materials in BIC ® products. To achieve this, the research teams have identified all BIC ® products whose design could be modified or adapted for production using alternative/recycled materials without sacrificing quality. The challenge is: to ensure a perennial source of such materials that meet the ● specifications and are available on the market; to convert any products that lend themselves to this ● adaptation. Regarding the identification of recycled or alternative materials, the BIC Research and Development teams, in collaboration with the Purchasing Departments, focus on two approaches: the use of existing innovative materials . An inventory of ● innovative materials available for industrial use is kept up to date. From this list, engineers select materials that correspond to industrial and economic requirements with the objective of conducting feasibility tests. Depending on the products’ applications and implications, the Group’s marketing teams can be consulted in order to anticipate potential consumer reactions;
Policy, actions taken, results and perspectives [NFPS]
collaborative research with suppliers to identify new ● materials (e.g. plant-based or recycled, etc.), new concepts (materials from new recycling techniques) or hybrid materials. Many materials are considered and then analyzed. These have included potato starch, sugarcane, plant fibers, woodchips, etc. Once a formulation is ready, it is tested to ensure that it meets industrial specifications for quality and safety, sometimes going all the way to the finished product qualification stage.
24 alternative materials tested in 2020 including: 11 recycled plastics; 10 hybrid materials; 3 materials from renewable resources.
Exemplifying this approach, the BIC ® Ecolutions ® range is a complete Stationery line that consists of products manufactured using recycled materials (at least 50%) in compliance with the standard ISO 14,021. The BIC ® Matic Ecolutions ® mechanical pencil, for example, contains 65% recycled materials. All Stationery lines now include at least one product made with alternative (in particular recycled) materials. The Velleda whiteboard, containing 50% pencil production residue, was launched in France at the start of the school year last fall. In 2021 BIC plans to launch several products that integrate alternative materials, including: a retractable ballpoint pen in the BIC ReVolution line in the ● United States, made with 73% recycled (“ocean-bound” (1) ) plastic; a J26 lighter combining multiple eco-friendly improvements: a ● single bio-sourced plastic for easy recycling, plastic-free packaging, PET case cover, recycled metal parts, no added dyes, etc. The “4 Rs” ‒ Design and manufacture Refillable products In keeping with its “4 Rs” philosophy, BIC makes an ongoing effort to launch refillable products when possible due to their environmental advantages. However, in the case of low-end Stationery products the consumer demand for refills is virtually non-existent, and in the case of lighters the BIC Group’s highest priority is ensuring its consumers’ safety. In the Stationery category, BIC continues to offer refillable pens. For example, the BIC ® Gel-ocity ® line of refillable gel ink pens, the 4-Color™ and 4-Color™ 3+1, which combine three ink colors and a mechanical pencil, are all refillable. On the U.S. market, pen refills are available on a dedicated website: www.shopbic.com. In 2021 the Group plans to launch Cristal Re’New, a premium, refillable, even more sustainable version of the emblematic BIC ® Cristal ® pen. It features a matte metal barrel and a push-button for easy refilling and will be sold in cardboard packs containing one pen plus two refills.
Plastics littered on the ground, near rivers or shores. (1)
• BIC GROUP - 2020 UNIVERSAL REGISTRATION DOCUMENT •