This year we harmonised our recycling supplier across Arcadia and BHS. Our recycling rate for Arcadia stores increased to 96% while BHS is at 87%. About 535 sites, almost half our estate, is now under the responsibility of one waste partner, with the remainder landlord-managed. Our goal is to build a strong working relationship with our largest supplier to drive up 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 are recycling more. We estimate we have now achieved approximately 65% recycling rate at non-Arcadia managed shopping centre locations.
We continue to drive and promote food recycling across our stores. As part of this commitment, this year we have looked at new technologies, including food digesters. This technology has been deemed unsuitable for our stores and offices and we will continue to monitor the market for new approaches. Every BHS food outlet recycles its waste food and we continue our efforts to minimise the amount of food waste that goes to landfill by reducing the amount of food waste generated by our restaurants and cafes.
We have carried out a full waste audit at our TOPSHOP TOPMAN Oxford Circus store in London to drive recycling activities there. The audit identified significant opportunities to improve our recycling position in this high profile location.
We have joined forces this year with a charity that provides an online platform to connect businesses with charities that need unwanted shop fixtures and furniture. Our first trial was conducted at BHS in Sutton, south London. Within 24 hours of the stores’ fixtures and fittings going online, charities had requested all the items. A local charity shop took many of the fixtures, saving themselves £3,000 in the process and avoiding two tonnes of waste that we would have had to manage. Following on from this success, we have carried out a wider trial of 30 Outfit store across the UK and have donated more than 50 tonnes of fixtures and fittings to charities.
The rollout of waterless urinals has been completed this year with 433 installed in BHS stores in the first phase. As part of the second phase we have rolled them out to 247 locations across our other brands and the few remaining BHS stores. Adopting this new approach has reduced water consumption by 39,000 cubic metres. We hope to drive further reductions next year.
In our Head Offices, our focus on reducing paper consumption continues. We have started to introduce new energy-efficient multi-function devices that will better manage our print needs. Fifty of these have been purchased and they will be rolled out in line with the refurbishment of our Head Office, Colegrave House.
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 one of the MFDs and swiping their security access pass 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 270 desk-side and small departmental printers, scanners and legacy photocopiers with the new MFDs.
Our rollout of Microsoft’s desktop productivity suite, Office 365, to Head Office users is almost complete, further supporting a reduction in paper usage through enhanced print preview and document collaboration capabilities.
Further investments in technology in future will include a new payroll system where employees can 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 hosting model, exiting our existing data centres and moving to a shared space that will provide economies of scale and more efficient cooling equipment.
Last year 32 million hangers were recycled across the group.