ESM Branding | ESM Branding | Corporate Social Responsibility
We care that all our merchandise conforms to the required EU safety standards, is sustainable, produced ethically and safely, with conscious awareness of the environment and fair treatment of workers.
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At ESM Branding, we strive to do business the right way.

We care about where the products we supply come from; that they conform to the required EU safety standards, that they are sustainable wherever possible, produced ethically and safely, with conscious awareness of the environment and fair treatment of workers.

Our quality assurance procedures, particularly with our non-EU supply chain, ensure we meet our rigorous CSR criteria. We employ independent factory and social auditing, product and manufacturing inspections, and laboratory testing whenever it is required.

We are accredited members of the British Promotional Merchandise Association and adhere to the BPMA Code of Conduct. We comply with current environmental legislation, UK government Health & Safety Executive (HSE) Guidelines and we also regularly support charities in our community.

“The guys at ESM work really hard to ensure they are socially and ethically responsible, and that the products they supply are compliant with current regulations”

Gordon Glenister, Director General
British Promotional Merchandise Association


We care about where the products we supply come from; that they conform to the required EU safety standards, that they are sustainable wherever possible, produced ethically, safely, with conscious awareness of the environment and fair treatment of workers.

We are working to improve how we affect people and the environment and we are committed to managing our business using the triple bottom line, known as the 3 pillars of sustainability:

People / Planet / Profit

We are committed to a sustainable business model that doesn’t put profits before the environment and people’s wellbeing. We try wherever possible to contribute, albeit in small way, to the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs), which are set to replace the 8 Millennium Development Goals expiring at the end of 2015.

We are working towards becoming ISO9001: 2008 UKAS certified, ensuring we can meet the needs of our customers and stakeholders, whilst meeting our statutory and regulatory requirements in the products and services we supply. We are also working towards ISO14001, an environmental management system, and will apply after the 2015 revision, which is due in November 2015. We trade ethically and adhere to the ETI base code (Ethical Trading Initiative). We monitor our supply chain to ensure there is no recruitment of child labour or abuse of labour.

We adhere to the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles and to the Ceres principles in all but completing a Ceres report, which is under consideration. We work closely with SEDEX, and take part in their annual conferences including the Sedex Global Audit Conference 2015 earlier this year.

We are members of the BPMA (British Promotional Merchandise Association) and adhere to the BPMA code of conduct. We practice business ethically and in-line with UK company law. See also our terms and conditions of business, available on request.

We work in partnership with specialist auditing and testing companies, Intertek and Asia Inspection and audit the non-EU factories we use directly unless they are able to provide an up-to-date and internationally recognised audit. We are working to identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the factories we use regularly so that we can track performance over time.

We make sure that our non-EU’s supply chain’s audit reports and testing of our products are kept up to date.

We use a combination of time stamped audits & certification documents
provided by the factories that we use, or we commission specific audits ourselves to meet necessary compliance on a case-by-case basis. The internationally recognised audits we are able to use are:

SMETA (SEDEX Members Ethical Trade Audit)
SA8000 Standard (Audited social certification for workplaces).
ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) Audit

In addition to BSCi, Coca Cola Company and Disney Audits which many of our factories have attained.

Wherever possible we strive to move beyond compliance by measuring performance (Benchmarks & KPIs), and by sharing relevant documentation and certification on request.

Where possible we display and provide this policy to all customers, employees & sub-contractors via our web site. We will publish a CSR report.


Customers First first and foremost we seek to create affinity with our clients’ brands and work to their requirements.

Integrity we manage our business honestly, openly and maintain the highest ethical standards in everything we do.

Simplicity we strive to find simple, clear and workable solutions.

Innovation we embrace change and constantly look for new ways to improve our business offering.

Passion we live and work through knowledge, enthusiasm and dedication.

People to respect our teammates and develop our talent.

Diversity we embrace different cultures.

Social Purpose to improve and not to exploit people and the environment.

Sustainability we are committed to creating a sustainable future as the challenge of our generation


We operate an equal opportunities policy for all present and potential future employees and will offer our employees clear and fair terms of employment and provide resources to enable their continual development. We maintain a clear and fair employee remuneration policy with fair working hours.

We will ensure that all employees of whatever nationality, colour, race or religious belief are treated with respect and without sexual, physical or mental harassment.

We will provide, and strive to maintain, a clean, healthy and safe working environment in line with UK Government Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines and safe systems of work.

Each employee is given a company handbook detailing the company’s policies and procedures.


For products we import ourselves we use independent auditors to ensure our supply chain and products are compliant and share factory audits and certification documentation on request. We QC our imports using independent testing companies like Asia Inspection and Intertek.


One of the most important areas of how we operate is how we manage our supply outside of the European Union. To ensure high standards, clean manufacturing technologies, fair treatment of workers, and impeccable product quality we employ an independently assessed tripartite system to ensure our non-EU supply chain meets our CSR criteria.


We use Asia Inspection and Intertek to independently carry out laboratory testing to check that our products meet the safety requirements to allow import into the European Union and will be able to display the CE mark showing that the product’s chemical composition has been identified and is within EU guidelines.

We may also test more specifically that the products meets EU safety requirements for a particular group. A common test we carry out is for the EN71 Safety Standard, which tests a product’s safety for use by children. This covers all toys, and will give certification that the toy is safe for children above a defined age group (e.g. 3+ years).

We ensure that these product-specific tests are kept up to date and repeated at regular intervals.


Quality Control (QC) is extremely important and ensures our continuing commitment to high standards. We can conduct 4 types of product inspection depending on the requirement:

a) First Production Inspection (FPI) is performed immediately after the manufacturer produces the first mass production samples. It checks our demands on the factory, the status and quality of the raw materials and components used in the production, it checks the production samples against our approved samples or specification, production processes, schedule and quality control.

b) Final Random Inspection (FRI), where we request an independent assessment of quality and conformity by either Intertek or Asia Inspection. This may take place at the dockside before shipping by sea to Europe. Only consignments that pass this QC will be allowed to leave for import in to the UK and EU.

c) During Production Inspection (DUPRO), where we may send an independent assessor, again from Asia Inspection or Intertek, to visit a factory during production and inspect defined elements to ensure that the production will meet our specifications.

d) Container Loading Check (CLC) is the final inspection and ensures the final details of the product are correct and the actual ordered quantity is loaded securely onto the container before signing off.


If the factory we are working with does not already have satisfactory certification, we will request that independent factory and social audits are undertaken by Asia Inspection or Intertek using either SMETA or SA8000 audits and that they are carried out by certified local auditors.

The majority of the factories we use have been previously audited (using audits such as SMETA, SA8000, BSCi, CCC etc.) and as long as the audits were carried within a reasonably recent time period these may be acceptable. We work with our supply chain to ensure that their testing documents are recent and available on request.


We measure our suppliers independently against industry and performance benchmarks identified by Asia Inspection. AI carry out 100,000+ Audits and Laboratory tests per year and are therefore able to provide audit performance against their benchmark in addition to compliance to SMETA and SA8000.

Where appropriate we are implementing a programme of monitoring KPIs with the factories we use regularly so that we are able to track improvements over time and identify any reduction in performance or compliance quickly.


  • Demonstrate they manage a business to high ethical standards.
  • Have an up-to-date and well maintained manufacturing plant.
  • Be accredited with, or working towards, a global quality management
    programme such as ISO9001.
  • Be accredited with, or working towards, a global environmental management programme such as ISO14001 and be consciously trying to minimise their environmental impact.
  • Respect staff and provide them with a caring community environment
  • Provide good natural light, clean air and a healthy working environment
  • Give workers up to three meals a day and, if necessary, provide them with accommodation
  • Pay the minimum wage, and comply with the recent ‘125’ amendment to the ETI base code regarding labour hours whereby overtime is paid at a minimum of 125% of their basic wage.
  • Offer opportunities for training and promotion.


We are working towards gaining accreditation for ISO14001. The standard is under review and the revised standard expected to be available in November 2015; in the meantime we have implemented the following:

  • Comply with current environmental legislation.
  • Display and provide this policy to all customers, employees & subcontractors.
  • Review this policy annually, taking into account any audit findings.
  • Manage waste effectively and seek to reduce and recycle wherever possible.
  • Conserve water and energy.
  • Evaluate our use of IT, consumable and office materials in line with
    environmental objectives.
  • Give workers up to three meals a day and, if necessary, provide them with accommodation
  • Ensure employees are aware of their own responsibility to environmental wellbeing, given training and information where applicable.
  • Ensure our purchasing policy and supply chain compliments our commitment to minimize our environmental impact.
  • Suggest our employees car share or use hybrid cars to reduce our impact in travelling to and from work.
  • Recycle our office waste wherever possible.
  • Implement a central location for waste paper, which is shredded and delivered to Barnet Council waste recycling centre.
  • We do not use hazardous materials, as we do not manufacture on our premises.


We ship by sea wherever possible


The majority of cardboard in our packaging is either recycled and/or certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council. We reuse cardboard packaging wherever possible; we use the minimum packaging necessary and ensure that it is recyclable wherever possible.


The FSC is an independent non-profit organisation that promotes the responsible management of the world’s forests. Many of the paper and wooden products we supply are FSC certified and will carry one of the FSC labels showing that the product is FSC 100%, FSC Mix or FSC Recycled.


We have been signed up to this directive since 2008 and perform our required reporting in accordance with European Community directive (2012/19/EU0 on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive) WEEE Regulations 2013. Our Producer registration number is WEE/GC0309VW.


The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive 2002/95/EC, (RoHS 1), short for Directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment, was adopted in February 2003 by the European Union and took effect on 1st July 2006.

RoHS restricts the use of the following six substances:

  • Lead (Pb)
  • Mercury (Hg)
  • Cadmium (Cd)
  • Hexavalent chromium (Cr6+)
  • Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) reach
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE)

PBB and PBDE are flame-retardants used in several plastics. Hexavalent chromium is used in chrome plating, chromate coatings and primers, and in chromic acid. The maximum permitted concentrations in non-exempt products are 0.1% or 1000 ppm (except for cadmium, which is limited to 0.01% or 100 ppm) by weight.

All products we import into the European Union, such as USB memory sticks and rechargeable powerbanks, are RoHS compliant.


The CE marking is the manufacturer’s declaration that the product meets the requirements of the applicable EC directives. Where applicable and where we bring a product in the EU, we will independently assess and test the product in order to comply with and bear the CE mark.


British Standards are the standards produced by BSI Group, which is incorporated under a Royal Charter (and which is formally designated as theNational Standards
Body for the UK).

Products are commonly specified as meeting a particular British Standard, and in general this can be done without any certification or independent testing. The standard simply provides a shorthand way of claiming that certain specifications are met, while encouraging manufacturers to adhere to a common method for such a specification.

If a product displays the BSI Kite mark, then the product has also been tested by the BSI to meet the required standard.


(Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) is an EU regulation that came into force on 1st June 2007 and will be phased over ten years until 2017. REACH addresses the production and use of chemical substances, and their potential impacts on both human health and the environment. Much of our supply chain is already REACH compliant.

ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals)

Hazardous chemicals audit initiative, with the aim to achieve zero hazardous chemical discharge by 2020. This initiative is based on an auditing programme for chemicals and the environment.

All the manufacturers we work with directly are required not to use any of the chemicals on our restricted substance list. If required we can request Asia Inspection carry out this audit.


We shall provide, and strive to maintain, a clean, healthy and safe working environment in line with the UK Government Health and Safety Executive(HSE)
guidelines and safe systems of work.

All employees are made aware of our Health & Safety Policy.

We have been assessed for fire safety by Victory Fire and are certified as such.

Where necessary we ensure our products meet EN standards for health and example EN71 in relation to products that may be used by children and EN471 the European Standard for high visibility work wear.


We support many charitable organisations regularly, including The Children’s Trust, Age UK & Widehorizons.

Contact Us

0345 345 6060

The Studios
Luckings Estate
Magpie Lane

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ESM Branding is a global distributor of promotional merchandise, corporate schemes, webshops and associated branding consultancy.


    about us

    Using branded merchandise as a marketing tool is certainly a challenge. So finding that one promotional item to successfully fulfil your marketing objectives is tough.

    That’s where ESM come in.

    Some of the biggest brands in the world trust ESM to manage their branded merchandise. For example branded pens, branded sweets, branded mugs, branded USB sticks, branded clothing, branded stationery and branded notebooks.
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