RECYCLING AND WASTE – STORES
Our recycling rate for Arcadia stores remains strong at 96%. About 405 sites are now under the responsibility of one waste partner, with the remainder landlord-managed. We continue to develop a strong working relationship with our key supplier in this area to further drive incremental improvements in our recycling rate and minimise waste.
For stores in shopping centres, waste management is the responsibility of the centre’s landlord. This has been an area we have strived to influence and our experience is that landlords have become more engaged in this challenge recently. These sites are now achieving an 80-85% recycling rate at non-Arcadia managed shopping centre locations.
One other key area where we can reduce waste in stores is to embrace as many paperless systems as possible. We are currently examining an order-in-store option for customers. This assisted shopping experience would enable customers to order via an in-store tablet and pay via a Chip & PIN device, eliminating paper in the process.
Paperless receipts are another imminent innovation that would allow customers to have their receipt emailed. The only challenge is how to gather the customer’s identification during busy periods, something on which we are currently working.
We are also planning to use our handheld terminals to support collect from store orders, another way in which we will reduce paper usage.
All these initiatives are due to be introduced at around the end of the reporting year and we would hope to have further updates for next year’s report.
Retail employee initiatives are also part of this paper-reduction picture. We are currently trialling a TOPSHOP TOPMAN App (TAPP) to create a social media site for employees where we can update them on operational issues, such as promotions.
Time and attendance documents are also set to go paperless and we are currently looking at how employees might use their phone to sign in at the start of their working period, which would be linked to our payroll systems.
RECYLING AND WASTE – HEAD OFFICE
In our head offices, our focus on reducing paper consumption continues. We have started to introduce new energy-efficient multi-function devices (MFDs) that will better manage our print needs. Over fifty of these devices have been purchased and are being deployed on each floor at our head office as it is refurbished.
The new machines feature a ‘follow me’ function that allows print requests to be revised or cancelled. Users will send print requests to this central service and then activate the printing by going to any one of the MFD and swiping a card to release the print job. This technology encourages employees to change their behaviours and consider the impact of unused printouts. Overall, we anticipate that we will replace 302 desk-side and small departmental printers, scanners and photocopiers with the new MFDs.
Our rollout of Microsoft Office 365 is almost complete, further supporting a reduction in paper usage through enhanced print preview functionality.
Further investments in technology in future will include a paperless payroll system where employees receive an electronic payslip and a new communications system for stores that further reduces reliance on printed materials.
A longer-term aspiration is to move all our systems to a third party or cloud-based model, exiting our existing data centres and moving to a shared space that will provide economies of scale and more efficient cooling equipment.
This year we have made a concerted effort to encourage the re-use of hangers. We put in place a hanger ordering ‘embargo’ between January first to the end of August, meaning that we have reduced the amount of hangers brought into the business to 3.2 million in 2014/15 versus 5.2million in the previous year. Additionally, a total of 10million hangers were recycled this year.