Environment and Sustainability
We are well aware that our bikes don’t run on buttermilk, and the parts we sell are not made from daisies. But – we thought – there must be ways to keep the production of waste to a bearable minimum.
For us that’s not a recent idea. On our motorcycles we are much closer to nature than occupants of cars. Once in 1979, when we were on a long distance trip to Southern Europe, we stopped for the night in the middle of nowhere and set up camp under the stars with a tarp fastened to two bikes.
After a well earned slumber we were shocked to awake in the middle of a rubbish dump. Right there we vowed to do things differently. As we were just starting to ship our parts to a growing number of customers, we were thinking hard about the best way to pack the parts so they could survive the postal service, rude mail handlers and everything in between, without polluting the planet.
No-one wants dinged parts
When we got started, the usual packing materials were mainly styrofoam chips, remember them? When we discovered corn starch chips, we started using them from ’94 on. They’re 100% biodegradable, but still looking like the styrofoam they replaced. Using edible produce and throwing it away after use that could have been eaten or fed to animals posed other questions.
Much more sustainable (if everyone is on board) are packing materials like paper and cardboard. That’s why we changed over to machine-crumpled FSC-certified paper with a high recycling content for the protection of delicate parts. This material can be disposed of in your paper recycling bin and can stay in the recycling loop to save even more resources.
Shipping boxes are a little more complicated: who wants soaked parcels, should there be rain on delivery day. That’s why we use recycled cardboard with a top layer made from unbleached, water repellent special paper with 20% recycling content.
Wood and Harleys
A lot of trees are used for our parts to arrive in their best shape. So it is rather fitting that W&W have taken sponsorship for a stretch of forest. A quite large piece of forest, actually. An ecosystem, almost. OK, it’s way up in Sweden, but everything is almost as nature would want it, with sustainable stewardship and no commercial logging. Even the moose like our trees. At least they look quite happy. Technically speaking, these trees compensate the CO2 emissions of our company, and there’s even some fresh air left over. And some of the wood that goes into paper production is compensated as well.
It’s the little details of our packaging and shipping that need upgrading and improving all the time. In 1994 we started to use 100% recyclable Glassine bags (a thin yet tough paper, made translucent through high pressure calendering) for small parts.
Wherever feasible, we use paper bags or cardboard boxes with as much recycling content as is available. They can also be reused in your own garage for storage or whatever you can think of.
Small cotton fabric bags are getting used more often as well, with a view to a long afterlife in your saddlebags or workshop.
We no longer print out invoices, and do all business letters via e-mail. If still someone needs to print out something, we’ve been using Nautilus recycling paper for 20 years now, made from 100% waste. It’s bleached chlorine free too.
That’s a quick overview of the things we care about – and what we constantly try to improve. If you have ideas that potentially can help us on our way, let’s hear them. ’Cos you know, even when nature, the great outdoors, air, water and all the rest are concerned, our motto still is: A biker’s work is never done.