John Lewis Partnership
The judges said: “There is complete commitment within the company and interaction across the supply chain. This shows very good examples from the past 12 months, although it could perhaps have benefitted from more evidence about its relationship with customers.”
John Lewis Partnership (JLP) has set itself an aspiration to design, operate and manage its estate so that it meets the needs of its customers, partners and the wider community, and has minimal impact on the environment during construction, operation and disposal. Its Waitrose store in Chipping Sodbury, Bristol, which opened in October 2013, embodied these ambitions. It includes a biomass boiler, LED lighting throughout, and water cooled refrigeration, which contributed to the BREEAM excellent rating the shop has been awarded.
To reduce waste arising from the construction phase of the Chipping Sodbury build, excess building materials were made available for the public to collect and use. And for the first time it held a pre ‘fit out’ contractor meeting focusing solely on waste, to encourage its contractors to work with it to drive out waste from future design and installation.
With regard specifically to waste, JLP has two strategic aims. The first is to retain ownership for its waste through to final destination in order to maximise its closed loop opportunities. The second is to recycle in the UK wherever possible, to encourage UK waste management infrastructure growth, increase recycling investment confidence, and support UK recycling business.
Demonstration of this can be seen in the installation of its first trolley bays made predominately from its own transit packaging waste plastic, following trials at a Waitrose distribution centre. Benches made from the same material, Plas Wood, have also been installed. Each new recycled plastic application trial gains agreement from the JLP New Design Standards Group (NDSG), and is then embedded in its Design Standards applied to all future projects.
Centriforce, the Liverpool-based plastics recycling and manufacturing company, recycles the mixed plastic waste from JLP. The retailer aims to buy back the same amount of output extruded material for use in its construction programme, in a bid to close the loop. The two companies have a transparent relationship, which includes an honest recognition of contamination. This sees Centriforce pay JLP the market rate for its material, the Centriforce team thoroughly sorting JLP waste plastic for which it is paid a sortation fee per tonne, and JLP paying Centriforce for the disposal cost of any contamination.
Any contamination in the mixed plastics waste stream that is sent to Centriforce and rejected to landfill is accounted for, with the landfill tonnage recorded and reported in data received from JLP’s general waste contractor, Simply Waste Solutions.
Its ambitions to close the loop with its waste materials has also resulted in it working with Smurfit Kappa to use its own cardboard and paper fibre waste within its ‘click and collect’ boxes and John Lewis duvet boxes, with aims to expand this to other packaging.
JLP has also worked with Anglo Recycling to use off cuts of new carpet captured from the JLP fitting process in customers’ homes to create material for a new underlay product. This was trialled in Manchester and is now being rolled out to 18 more customer delivery hubs.
Aside from the more easily source segregated cardboard, paper and plastic film that is generated by its administration and distribution functions, there has been a drive to capture as much recyclate as possible from staff dining rooms at John Lewis and Waitrose. Recycling bins for all plastics, mixed paper, drinks cans, food waste, and landfill waste - the bin of last resort - are designed to help maximise recycling.
Measures have also been taken to engage staff and communicate waste policy and processes. In 2013, a video was created for partners, emphasising the onward route for separated recyclable materials when the office and dining room recycling bins are emptied. This re-enforced the value of recycling well, and helped to dispel any myths about where waste went.
An annual waste summit has also been running for the past few years, bringing together its main waste contractors to foster more collaborative reduction, reuse and recycling ideas and activities.
All these efforts saw JLP divert 92% of its total operational waste from landfill in 2012, setting it on track for higher diversion rates in the future as it continues to try to make the most of its valuable resources