John Lewis recycles more than half its waste

25 August 2010

25 August 2010 | Angeline Albert  

The John Lewis Partnership diverted more than half its operational waste from landfill last financial year, an increase of 49 per cent on the previous year.    

According to the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report 2010, it recycled just over 30,000 tonnes – equal to 52 per cent of its operational waste. It is also on track to meet its target to recycle 75 per cent of operational waste by 2012.

By the end of this year the company hopes 100 per cent of its packaging will be made from recyclable materials. It also aims to achieve a minimum of 95 per cent building waste recycling on all new building projects in 2010.

The report said that while company sales grew by seven per cent in 2009/10, its total emissions increased by less than two per cent, to 516,697 tonnes, in the same period.

Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said in the report: “A key focus now is on decoupling business growth from carbon emissions. We have set ourselves the ambition of achieving an absolute reduction in our carbon emissions by 2020, which will be a significant challenge, since we are looking to double the size of our business during that time.”

In 2010 John Lewis aims to increase its organic, sustainable lifestyle, sustainable raw materials and recycled product lines by at least 50 per cent. It also plans to double the number of fairtrade products it offers by the end of the year. Waitrose has set a target to use only certified sustainable palm oil in own-brand products by the end of 2012.

Mayfield also said the company has made good progress in supporting suppliers in the past year, including helping British producers to improve labour practices and widening support for African farming communities through the expansion of the Waitrose Foundation. This pays for social, health and educational projects chosen by workers who grow and pick fruit in South Africa.

“We have also launched the John Lewis Foundation to our suppliers, which will fund and manage projects that support and service the communities from which John Lewis products are sourced,” he said.

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