As a global company with more than 3,300 stores, we are always looking for new and innovative ways to reduce our impact on the environment. In recent years, we’ve made significant strides in our efforts to reduce the amount of waste we dispose of in our stores by reusing and recycling materials used in our day-to-day store operations. Our primary objective is to continue increasing our recycling and reuse rates and decreasing the amount of waste we send to landfills. To support our global waste diversion efforts, we have expanded and evolved a TJX home-grown initiative called the Asset Recovery and Recycling Center (ARRC) program.
Our first ARRC was launched in 2012 in Massachusetts (U.S.) and served a small number of local area stores. Our initial strategy was to explore more efficient ways for T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods stores to reuse fixtures and other materials that were unused and stored in backrooms or thrown away. During the pilot phase of the program, excess equipment was collected from some stores and either redeployed to stores that needed equipment or to other places or stored for later use. We also tested more efficient processes for recycling. The pilot was tremendously successful. Following the success of this project, ARRCs opened in more locations. In order to leverage our existing infrastructure, our ARRC programs now operate out of service centers that are centrally located near a concentration of stores. By the end of 2014, we had service centers in 9 regions serving 719 stores in the U.S.
Today, our ARRCs serve as a central destination for U.S. store waste. Select stores send used corrugated cardboard, plastic, excess hangers, store fixtures, display cases, unused boxes and other supplies to their local ARRC, where the items are processed. As a result of this program, we’ve seen more productive use of the stores’ limited back-room space – freeing up more space to process merchandise – and a more thoughtful approach for reusing and recycling materials.
Based on our success in the U.S., in 2014 our European business adapted our model to prioritize the removal of excess fixtures from stores to ensure that each of our U.K. stores have just the right amount of fixtures needed to operate effectively. Stores were directed to send excess equipment back to the new U.K. ARRC and to make a list of equipment they anticipated they would need in the near future. ARRC project managers reviewed the inventory, sorted items, and marked them for re-sale, recycling or redeployment elsewhere in our store network. All stores in the U.K participated in this effort, and, as result, thousands of pallets of equipment were sent to a central ARRC warehouse to be sorted, refurbished or redeployed. Results to date have been very positive, with significant savings in 2014 as new equipment did not need to be purchased. Equally important, backroom storage space has increased, allowing more merchandise to be transported with each truckload, resulting in fewer deliveries and a reduction in distribution costs. TJX Europe is currently testing this approach in Germany and Poland.
Posted: April 2015