Engaged Ethics

First steps: What does Ethically Engaged Packaging mean to Hotel Chocolat?

Our brand stands for positive values: Originality, Authenticity and Ethics. It’s in our DNA to do the right thing through ethical behaviour and innovation.

We’re working to minimise our environmental impact by engaging directly with our customers, our team, our suppliers and external experts.

Why? Because we care about our planet, and we want to leave it in a better state than we found it.

This requires a long-term approach. We’ve started putting ours into practice already, and we’ll keep improving it, re-evaluating our priorities as new science, materials and technology come to light.

Our Planet Pledge

100% of our cocoa is Engaged Ethics. 100% of our packaging will be compostable, reusable or recyclable by 2021. It’s a tall order but it’s one we’re passionate about fulfilling. We’re trying some new and innovative things, and we’ll keep you updated on our progress along the way.


What have we done so far?
  • We have switched all our plastic trays to clear and use 70% recycled plastic in them – this means you can put them in your household recycling or if this does not suit bring yours back to your local store and we will recycle them for you. We are working hard on making our trays even more sustainable.

  • We have joined the Plastic Pact an industry body with the goal of collaborating to find solutions to recycle flexible plastics. 

  • All the disposable spoons and napkins in our cafés and restaurants are 100% compostable or recyclable.

  • The cups in our cafés and restaurants are completely compostable, even the lids. They’re made from corn starch, not plastic.

  • Plastic straws are banned in our restaurants, bars and cocoa cafés.

  • Both our paper bags and our cardboard concierge gift bags are fully recyclable. The materials for these come from Forest Stewardship Council-certified sources.

  • In 2018, we introduced a range of reusable 100% natural jute and cotton bags. Jute is still used as the natural fibre for cocoa sacks to store precious cargos of cocoa beans.

Paper and cardboard:

What have we done so far?
  • We have joined the On Pack Recycling labelling scheme and now printing recycling guidance on all new products: easy-to-follow info. on how to recycle and dispose of packaging. Our whole range is currently being updated. Just flip over the box and check.

  • We’ve stopped using polystyrene fillers to protect products during delivery. Polystyrene isn’t biodegradable or easily recyclable. Instead, we use corrugated paper that is 100% recyclable.

  • Almost all our card and paper is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). FSC certification guarantees that the wood pulp used to make our card and paper comes from sustainably managed forests. It’s all manufactured and shipped within the UK, keeping its carbon footprint small, and we plant trees in Ghana and Saint Lucia too.

  • We’ve saved 125 tonnes of cardboard a year by reusing all the cardboard boxes we use for shipping products to and from our stores. Our store teams unpack them, carefully break them down and send them back to the factory for their next chocolate trip.

  • We’re saving around 150 tonnes of corrugated cardboard over five years with a smarter, slimmer redesign of our Tasting Club Boxes. This also saves around 1.8 tonnes of shrink-wrapped plastic every year.

  • We’re using less paper and postage every year by switching over to mostly digital communication and invoicing for our guests and subscribers.