Innovation Shorts: How Brother is protecting 36,780 trees through recycling

Brother Industries is a world leading innovator in printer technology and solutions, with its UK operations headed in Manchester. The company has been heralded since 2011 for winning many coveted industry awards is areas such as design, innovation, marketing success, people development and sustainability.

As a world-wide brand, Brother Industries has embraced sustainability by implementing environmental stewardship measures and encouraging behaviour change with its staff to reduce consumption and end waste to landfill; aspiring to maximise positive impacts for local communities, employees, stakeholders and the environment. Brother Industries works under The 5Rs: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Reform, Recycle, which help the company strive for the most innovative, creative and ambitious ways to do more with less and reduce environmental impact (read Brother Industries UK “Community Engagement Report 14/15” here).

The Community Engagement Report highlights many successes through the 14/15 financial year, including a 38% reduction in energy usage in 4 years and reducing its carbon footprint by 18% in the same period. As a printing technology company, Brother Industries UK largest stream of waste is paper use. In just one year the company has slashed its paper use by 32%, saving 132,00 sheets of paper.

Brother’s manufacturing plant based in Ruabon, Wrexham, is an accolade to its environmental objective, where they recycle or reuse 100% of toner cartridges and ink cartridges sent back to the facility. It is an encouraging and innovative new way of doing business, a scheme which is of no cost to customers.

The benefits of recycling are twofold: not only do the returned cartridges help conserve resources, but Brother Industries makes a donation to Cool Earth every time a cartridge is recycled. The donation enables this charity to carry out vital work to safeguard the most threatened rainforests around the world through working with over 100 rainforest communities. Through the 144,446 toner cartridges and 5,353 inkjet cartridges donated and recycled in 14/15, Brother Industries converted this to a donation of £3065 to Cool Earth, enabling the protection of the equivalent of 61 acres of forest (36,780 trees!).

As Brother Industries comes to the end of another financial year, we wait in anticipation for further success stories from their pioneering North Wales factory.


  • Queens Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development 2011-2016
  • Buyers Laboratory’s 2015 Outstanding Achievement for Energy Efficiency Award
  • CIO Tech Company of the Year 2014
  • PC Pro Best Printer Brand 2014: Innovative and reliable products
  • Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Manufacturing Excellence Award: Hexagon Metrology Award for Sustainable Manufacturing 2014