Sworders is committed to having a positive social and environmental impact, and we recognise the important role our industry must play in the global objective to urgently tackle the impact of climate change. We must all take responsibility for our actions in the world’s transition to a ‘net zero’ future.
As auctioneers, we naturally facilitate a reduction in waste and unnecessary landfill by passing pre-owned items on to new buyers who will treasure them, omitting the need for carbon intensive manufacture. We continuously strive to educate consumers on the value of the second-hand market and our position within the circular economy and we are investing in our infrastructure and workforce to actively minimise our carbon impact.
Learn more about our sustainability programme below, or follow the links here to jump to relevant sections
The very building that is home to our head office and auction rooms was specifically designed and built with sustainability in mind.
Its timber frame was obtained from sustainably managed forests in Scandinavia, filled with locally sourced straw bales, and compressed under a cedar-shingle roof (the production of this timber for building purposes generates fewer greenhouse gases, and minimal water and air pollution).
At the time of opening in 2008, it was the largest straw bale building in Europe, winning us an award from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
CO2 released into the atmosphere is the dominant greenhouse gas that is responsible for global warming, making up 81% of the total impact on climate change. So our carbon emissions tell us our impact on the environment.
In 2021, Sworders was partnered with Carbon Footprint Ltd, an award-winning independent emissions auditor, to collate and analyse data on our business activities across each of our sites and storage facilities, for a baseline year.
This assessment helped us benchmark to set ourselves targets for improvements over the coming months and years to reduce our environmental impact.
We completed an initial greenhouse gas assessment (full scope 1 & 2 emissions and partial scope 3) in accordance with Part 1 of ISO 14064: 2018 – which sets the international standard for the requirements of reporting for organisations. The assessment looked specifically at the following activities -
Transport of consignments between sites and storage facilities (van and lorry distribution)
Outsourced logistics for our Delivery Service (to include sea and air freight)
Travel expenses and mileage claimed by staff
Impact of homeworking arrangements
We plan to revisit our full Scope 3 emissions in the future to analyse the emissions generated through our procurement of products and services.
74% of our emissions were attributed to van travel and distribution. We are committed to reducing this impact as part of our long term plan.
Outsourced air freight for our Delivery Service contributed 20% of our emissions.
As part of our pledge to reduce our carbon emissions, we will be looking to review how and where we store lots, to minimise the movement of consignments wherever possible and to provide clients with more options to help them make more sustainable choices when it comes to carriage.
Buying a pre-loved, antique, or vintage item not only provides you with unique style and value for money but it also goes a long way to reducing landfill, and the annual emissions of an antique or vintage piece can be as little as one sixteenth of those of its new equivalent!
Sworders is proud to be partnering with Antiques are Green - the movement that was founded in 2009 to promote “a greener future created from the past”. Read their fascinating carbon footprint study of a Georgian chest of drawers versus a modern equivalent here
You can show your support for the movement by posting pictures of your auction purchases in their new homes on Instagram tagging @swordersfineart and @antiquesaregreen with the hashtag #antiquesaregreen. Have you found yourself a bargain to be repurposed/upcycled? We'd love to hear about your projects!
For more information about the work of Antiques are Green, please visit -
At Sworders, we are pleased to offer an in-house Delivery Service, making receipt of auction purchases as seamless and hassle-free as possible.
Items of jewellery delivered to UK addresses are typically sent via Royal Mail Special Delivery, and other smaller items are couriered via Parcelforce.
Larger items are shipped via our experienced and capable shipping partner Bradleys Antique Packing Services and all international deliveries are professionally packed by Bradleys and shipped by recognised, trusted couriers who deliver on their behalf.
To package lots, Bradleys use cardboard, paper and biodegradable foam corners/edging. They also manufacture all of their own crates using kiln dried and heat treated timber which can be reused or burnt for fuel. This means that 90-95% of the packing materials they use can currently be recycled or safely disposed of.
Help to reduce the carbon footprint of your international delivery by over 98%* and opt for a sustainable shipment using our Bespoke Shipping Quotation Form post-sale.
* Sea container shipments are 98.4% less carbon intensive than international shipments by air (per tonne/km, BEIS 2021)
Reduce, reuse, recycle. We must all do our bit to cut down on the volume of waste that unnecessarily goes to landfill each year.
Since the launch of our sustainability programme in the summer of 2021, Sworders has enhanced its recycling practices, aided by clearer waste segregation around its offices and sites, to divert over 1500 kg of waste away from landfill to be recycled each week. This will prevent over 78 tonnes of waste from going to landfill each year.
We now recycle an average of 4.25 tonnes of waste from across each of our sites on a weekly basis.
We collaborated closely with our publishing partner Park Communications, and the organisation ClimatePartner, to successfully introduce our carbon-neutral print catalogues and brochures in January 2022.
Following this achievement, we made the empowering decision to cease production of print catalogues for specialist auctions from the summer of 2022, with only minor exceptions. Our focus shifted towards extensive digital promotion efforts.
Every auction catalogue and brochure that is produced is printed on sustainably sourced FSC certified paper using vegetable based inks. Within each catalogue, you will find a ClimatePartner logo accompanied by a QR code. Scanning the code provides detailed information on our support for various innovative carbon offset schemes.
Since the launch of this project, we have proudly offset a total of 1.4 tonnes of CO2 in support of an international clean oceans plastic recovery scheme and 9 tonnes of CO2 in support of a local UK afforestation project.
Here at Sworders we are committed to having a positive social and environmental impact and we recognise that our staff have an important role to play in responding to the urgent challenge of climate change.
Despite less than 1 in 5 of the world’s population ever having stepped inside a plane, flying is the fastest growing contributor to climate change globally.
That is why we are now proud to be a Climate Perks accredited employer.
Climate Perks is an employee benefits scheme that enables us to demonstrate climate leadership by supporting our staff to make lower carbon travel choices when taking leisure trips.
We now offer up to two additional paid “journey days” on top of standard annual leave to staff who elect to travel via land or sea as opposed to flying when travelling abroad.