Helping customers reduce their impacts
Head of Corporate Responsibility
Home Retail Group
How are your CR initiatives helping customers?
Well, as well as trying to reduce the impact that we have on the environment we’re also helping customers to reduce their impact and there are a number of ways in which we are doing this. In Homebase, there are energy events in store which help customers choose products and services which help make their homes more energy efficient and in Argos, we range product options that allow customers to choose energy-efficient electrical products such as televisions and washing machines.
This year we worked with the Eden Project in Cornwall to research just what it was that customers wanted and needed to make their homes more energy efficient and this project was called the 21st Century Living project.
Research has also told us that customers want help with recycling and want us as retailers to reduce the amount of packaging we put into their hands so this year we developed a reusable packaging system for upholstery called the sofa bag. We’ve also reduced packaging on many other products.
And we’re also offering our customers a take back service so when they buy a new washing machine or television they can decide to send back their old one with us for recycling. We also offer a packaging take back on large domestic appliances.
Home Retail Group became the first retailer in the country to use reusable, fully recyclable packaging for our furniture deliveries.
Designed in-house, the bag offers improved protection for furniture and will help reduce packaging waste which would otherwise have gone to landfill, saving an estimated 1,800 tonnes a year.
The new recyclable sofa bag, which is made of reinforced bubblewrap material, is similar to a giant padded envelope. After the sofa has been delivered and unwrapped, the bag is returned to our suppliers for cleaning and reuse. At the end of its life, it is recycled in the normal plastic recycle waste stream.
Customers are delighted with the new bag.