The natural environment
Like most businesses, the Partnership has an impact on the natural environment and biodiversity. As part of our approach to responsible development, we will produce biodiversity action plans for all new and major refurbishment projects from 2012. This is part of our aspiration to go over and above the requirements necessary to achieve BREEAM accreditation. We will also develop educational tools for Partners and our supply chain to ensure delivery of good environmental practice.
Over 2011, we are reviewing our broader approach to protecting and enhancing biodiversity in order to develop a clear way forward. We intend to define what biodiversity and ecosystem services means to us, review our current response, and identify strengths and gaps in our current activities as well as future opportunities.
Packaging, waste and recycling
We are continually exploring packaging optimisation initiatives which do not affect product quality or safety, and do not incur any further waste in the supply chain.
The targets that John Lewis set for 2009/10 have now become standards for our own-brand packaging: removing packaging completely where possible and using the smallest amount of material as normal practice. John Lewis delivered 100 examples of using less material in packaging ‘lightweighting’ in 2010/11 including removing plastic and polystyrene from eight lines of toys, reducing the card backing used for 30 lines of Cookshop products and reducing the plastic used for 30 lines of curtain poles.
Waitrose audited its own-brand packaging in 2010 to understand how to reduce packaging without compromising product quality or shelf life. We completed 20 projects, with one example being our new meat flow-wrap packs, which use significantly less material and have a lower carbon impact (see right). We plan to develop this further across the meat range. In 2011, Waitrose will be working with its suppliers to review existing packaging and new formats that are more environmentally sustainable or that use materials from more renewable sources. John Lewis will also continue to reduce packaging, trial the use of recycled PET and remove polystyrene and packing material from, for example, lighting and small electrical products.
Waitrose is also a signatory of the second phase of the Courtauld Commitment, to contribute to collectively achieving a:
• 10% reduction for grocery packaging
• 4% reduction for household food and waste
• 5% reduction for product and packaging waste in the supply chain.
Waitrose is sponsoring a three-year PhD student at the University of Sussex investigating the foraging of bees. We have held several Bee Days for farmers in 2011 where specific types of farms are assessed and the University disseminates information and discusses knowledge requirements on supporting bees.
(Photo of flow-wrap pack)
A full roll-out of our new flow-wrap packs for our minced beef, diced beef and poultry is estimated to save more than 90 tonnes of plastic and 214 tonnes of CO2 in the first year alone.
100 examples of John Lewis using less material in packaging in 2010/11
(Photo of carrier bags)
We aim to reduce customer use of single-use carrier bags by offering, encouraging and educating customers about more environmentally responsible alternatives. We are also committed to reducing the environmental impact of our bags.
John Lewis has standard single-use carrier bags made from 95% recycled material and continues to promote its reusable jute, organic cotton and recycled plastic bags as well as its Bag for Life.
During 2011, Waitrose will make some big changes to its carrier bag range including increasing the recycled content to 50% for its single-use bags and 100% for its Bag for Life. Waitrose will also be launching an exciting new range of reusable bags in the autumn.
In 2011, John Lewis and Waitrose will implement local arrangements in line with regulatory charging requirements for single-use carrier bags in Wales.