Milton Keynes based Home Retail Group is the UKs leading home and general merchandise retailer. Recognised through the Argos and Homebase brands it has in excess of a 1,000 stores, 17 distribution centres and three customer contact centres.
In the last five years the Group has dramatically reduced the amount of waste sent to landfill from 87,000 to 13,000 tonnes, a whopping 80% reduction. In the next twelve months the Group have set themselves a target of a further 25% reduction in the waste going to landfill.
Home Retail Group has already committed to the WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) Home Improvement Sector Agreement. Launched in September 2009, signatories to the Agreement committed signatories to reduce packaging and waste to landfill. Homebase and Argos have committed to reduce packaging by 15% and waste to landfill by 50% by the end of 2012 from the 2007 base levels and have pledged to reduce packaging on all own label and direct import products. The overall performance will be reported to WRAP on an annual basis.
The Group is on target to reduce packaging on a fifth of the product range – saving 3,000 tonnes comparing 2008/9 to 2011/12.
Launched earlier this year, the sofa bag alone is set to save in the region of 1,800 tonnes in the first year. It is a replacement for traditional sofa packaging and is introduced at the point of manufacture before items are containerised for delivery to the UK. The reusable packaging does not incur any additional delivery cost to the customer.
Customers are taking advantage of the opportunity to return bulky packaging, with 55% of Argos and Homebase customers who take delivery of large appliances returning their packaging for recycling, and also using the business’s recycling service for large old kitchen appliances. Of the waste generated by the Group 78% is recycled.
The new Argos Autumn/Winter catalogue launched last week includes information to help customers find the best way of responsibly disposing of unwanted items such as furniture, electrical products, batteries, mobile phones and inkjet printers.
All Argos catalogues and flyers have independent certification from the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC) demonstrating Argos’ commitment to responsible retailing. The Argos catalogue is printed on paper from fully sustainable sources and is 100% recyclable. Recent research showed that 78% of customers currently recycle their catalogue so Argos continues to encourage customers to recycle their catalogues using either local kerbside collection schemes or by returning them to their local Argos store.