Realising the benefits of our CR programmes
Head of Corporate Responsibility
Home Retail Group
What progress have you made this year?
Since we launched the ‘basis of good business’ just over a year ago we’ve made tremendous progress right across the Group. We’re dramatically reducing the amount of waste we send to landfill, and we’re using less energy to operate our businesses, we’re working more closely with our communities and we’ve exceeded our expectations on charitable donations. We’re helping our customers to buy products which are more energy efficient and source from known sustainable sources, and we’re continuing to build a great place to work by offering a broad range of benefits and making sure our colleagues know their opinions are valued.
I think it’s been a fantastic year but let me take you through some of the highlights. Firstly when it comes to paper, 100% of our publications including the Argos catalogue are printed on paper which comes from certified sources or on recycled paper. With regards to waste, 78% of the waste within our business is now recycled and our Lydiard Fields distribution centre in Swindon has now achieved 100%.
In terms of packaging, we’ve reduced packaging by 1,340 tonnes this year, that’s across over 1,000 product lines.
This year we gave our customers 72 million carrier bags less than in 2005. In terms of suppliers 99% of our direct import and direct supply factories have now completed ethical audits. And finally on timber we are delighted that this year we can say that 90% of our timber and wood-based products come from known legal sources.
We’ve made tremendous progress across Home Retail Group since we launched ‘The basis of good business’ a year ago. Here are some of the highlights:
Waste management (k tonnes)
Total Group waste fell 18% from 70,500 to 61,500 tonnes, and our recycling rate climbed from 72% to 78%. As a result, only 13,000 tonnes went to landfill, a 32% reduction on last year.
Building energy use per sq ft (kwh/sq ft)
Total energy used per square foot has remained flat, a satisfactory performance given the very cold winter.
Catalogues and publications: Total paper used and percentage sustainably sourced (k tonnes)
We have reduced our paper use by 5%. All print publications are now printed on paper from certified sources or on recycled paper.
Packaging per £1,000 sales (KG)
Packaging per £1,000 sales has reduced by 9% thanks to our packaging reduction programme.
Carbon footprint (k tonnes)
Increases in electricity purchased from combined heat and power plants and a reduction in fuel used by our commercial fleet has led to a 4% reduction in the carbon footprint of our operations.
Ethical sourcing (number of factories audited in the year)
Ninety-nine per cent of direct-source and direct-import factories (1,632 factories) have completed ethical audits against our own standard or other accredited standard*. Nine hundred and twenty-two have completed their audit this year**.
* ICTI, WRAP, BSCi, SMETA or SA8000
** New factories complete an audit when they commence supply and all factories participate in revalidation audits within agreed timescales.