Tactics and initiatives that support our efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle throughout our operations include:
In Our Stores:
- Recycling programs for common items like cardboard, plastic, paper, aluminum, and glass have been introduced across all geographies.
- Reducing paper waste by making the majority of our store reports, training materials, and policies available electronically.
- Piloting programs to address the challenges of recycling polystyrene (Styrofoam) packaging waste in each of our major geographies.
- HomeGoods and Homesense stores in the U.S. are working to quantify our waste volumes from polystyrene (Styrofoam) and explore ways to recycle it, which we believe may ultimately reduce compactor pick-ups,
decreasing hauling fees, and reduce our carbon footprint.
- In Canada, our store operations teams are collecting polystyrene (Styrofoam) from select stores for vendors who use it as a raw material to manufacture certain products, such as picture frames.
- In the U.K., polystyrene (Styrofoam) is transported from select stores and brought to our processing centers where it is then sent to be compressed into bricks that are used for housing insulation.
In Our Distribution and Service Centers:
- Globally, our distribution and processing centers include designs to simplify the reuse and recycling of the corrugated cardboard we receive from our vendors. In addition to cardboard, some of our distribution
centers have systems in place to recycle other materials, such as scrap metal, pallets, paper, glass, plastic, aluminum, and food waste.
- Millions of corrugate packaging units and boxes that come through our logistics network each year are backhauled to our Asset Recovery and Recycling Centers (ARRCs) in the U.S., U.K., and Germany and recycled
or reused where possible.
- In the U.S., in fiscal 2021, T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods continued programs to reuse cardboard boxes throughout the network, and over 6.3 million reusable units of packaging were
sent back from our stores through our ARRC network to be returned to distribution centers for reuse, saving nearly $5.9 million.
- In our two distribution centers in Ontario, Canada, we encourage waste reduction and recycling through our procurement policy and Associate education efforts. In fiscal 2021, these efforts
achieved a 93% diversion from landfill rate.
- In our European processing centers, we divert approximately 100% of waste from landfills and recycle plastic, wooden pallets, and cardboard that has been backhauled from our stores.
In Our Home Offices:
- Reducing paper by offering our U.S. Associates the option to sign up for the paperless paycheck program, which has saved over 54,000 trees since the program’s rollout in 2019.
- In many of our offices, we recycle close to 100% of white paper from our waste stream. Some of our offices have additional recycling programs to manage cans, bottles, batteries, plastic wrap, plastic items,
corrugated cardboard, and printed materials.
- In our global headquarters in Framingham and Marlborough, Massachusetts, as well as our Canadian corporate offices, we have removed waste bins from nearly all Associates’ workspaces and installed centrally
located tri-sorter waste and recycling bins. Additionally, in our global headquarters in the U.S., the cafeteria food serve-ware are either 100% compostable or are fully recyclable, and we have composting
programs in place. In Europe, we have Associate waste and recycling bins, as well as use compostable utensils, recycled paper napkins, and cardboard food containers.
In Our Asset Recovery and Recycling Centers (ARRCs)
In the U.S., our 21 ARRCs are located within our service centers and have historically served as a central destination for regional recyclable or reusable store material. 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 for reuse in other stores or recycled. In fiscal 2021, due to the
impact of COVID-19, the ARRCs focused their efforts around Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) delivery to stores and floor fixture storage to help create additional space in our stores.
Over the years, the flexibility of the ARRC organization has enabled us to test new programs as we strive to increase the types of materials that can be included in our recycling stream. For example, as our
global waste stakeholders have identified polystyrene (Styrofoam) as a key area of focus, in the past we have leveraged the ARRC to pilot strategies to improve our management and recycling of polystyrene
packaging material. Thanks to this initiative and many others, we estimate the ARRCs have helped divert more than 285,000 metric tons of waste from landfills since fiscal 2017.
In Europe, the ARRC operates as a recycling center for equipment that is not currently required in stores and fulfills store equipment needs. In fiscal 2021, to accommodate changes required due to the pandemic,
the ARRC stored additional store fixtures and supported processing centers to accommodate their need for space and storage.