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Responsible Waste Management


Reduce-Reuse-Recycle


Although only about 5% of our total, calculated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from waste, teams throughout our business work to implement cost-effective strategies and processes to responsibly manage the many different types of waste materials resulting from our business operations. As we strive to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills, we have implemented initiatives in our stores, distribution centers, and home offices to reduce, reuse, and recycle. We have learned that waste disposal programs work better when they are flexible and can adapt to our many different store configurations, as well as to the varying regulatory or legislative requirements in different regions.

On a global level, we encourage collaboration across geographies to share best practices in waste operations, data collection, and strategy. We report on our global waste, GHG emissions footprint and diversion rate,1 and include waste GHG emissions data in our Scope 3 emissions report in our CDP Climate response. We use the insights developed through our global collaboration and waste data collection process to identify opportunities, prioritize management of specific materials, and improve our waste minimization, re-use, and recycling efforts.


5%

Only 5% of our reported GHG emissions comes from waste


5%

Only 5% of our reported GHG emissions comes from waste



2019 Diversion Rates



Pie chart showing the waste diversion rate for The TJX Companies, Inc. in the United States was 63%
Pie chart showing the waste diversion rate for The TJX Companies, Inc. in Canada was 89%
Pie chart showing the waste diversion rate for The TJX Companies, Inc. in Europe was 97%


5%

Only 5% of our reported GHG emissions comes from waste



2019 Diversion Rates



Pie chart showing the waste diversion rate for The TJX Companies, Inc. in the United States was 63%
Pie chart showing the waste diversion rate for The TJX Companies, Inc. in Canada was 89%
Pie chart showing the waste diversion rate for The TJX Companies, Inc. in Europe was 97%



Key Highlights



2019 Diversion Rates


Pie chart showing the waste diversion rate for The TJX Companies, Inc. in the United States was 63%
Pie chart showing the waste diversion rate for The TJX Companies, Inc. in Canada was 89%
Pie chart showing the waste diversion rate for The TJX Companies, Inc. in Europe was 97%





Plastic programs


In Europe, reducing our plastic waste is a key focus area. We have successfully removed some major contributors of ocean waste plastic from our stores and offices, including drinking bottles, straws, cups, and non-biodegradable wipes. In addition, we have removed about one million plastic button bags from our products. In 2019, we reduced single-use plastic bags by 15.8 million and removed them from sale. We are continuing to identify opportunities to remove single-use plastics from our operations and are working with our suppliers to reduce single-use packaging.

As part of these efforts, TJX Europe has also supported:

  • In Our Stores

    Across geographies, we have introduced recycling programs for common items like cardboard, plastic, paper, aluminum, and glass. To reduce the creation of paper waste, the majority of our store reports, training materials, and policies are available electronically. In Europe, customers can purchase reusable bags – made from 90% recycled plastic and enhanced to be more durable – under our “Bags for Life” program, and a portion of the proceeds goes to one of our charity partners. We also removed single-use plastic bottles from our European stores and replaced them with refreshments in containers made from glass or other recyclable materials.

  • In Our Distribution and Service Centers

    Virtually all of our distribution 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 organics.

    In the U.S., our Asset Recovery and Recycling Centers (ARRCs) are located within many service centers and serve 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. As of 2019, we operated 21 ARRC locations in the U.S. These ARRCs service about 68% of our T.J. Maxx and Marshalls stores.

    The flexibility of the ARRC organization enables us to test new programs as we strive to increase the types of materials that can be included in our recycling stream. Thanks to this initiative and many others, in 2019 alone, we estimate the ARRCs helped divert more than 75,600 metric tons of waste from landfills.

    Additionally, our ARRC organization and network provides the operational testing sites for the Company to implement new technologies and processes that enable better recycling of priority materials. For example, as our global waste stakeholders have identified Styrofoam as a key area of focus, we were able to leverage the ARRC to pilot strategies to improve our management of polystyrene packaging material. In a select ARRC location, we installed machinery that compresses and melts Styrofoam into blocks, which are then sent to recycling centers for reuse. In 2019, we were able to divert an estimated 28 metric tons of Styrofoam from landfills. Members of our ARRC leadership along with Store Operations, Facilities, and Environmental Sustainability teams are working together to assess the performance of this pilot as well as to explore other potential approaches to remove polystyrene and other priority materials from our trash waste stream.

    When we are not able to reuse the packaging that arrives from our vendors to transport merchandise to our stores, we strive to include environmental impact analytics in the selection process for packaging materials where feasible. For example, we have analyzed the lifecycle impacts of select internal-packaging and fragile-packing materials in our T.J. Maxx and Marshalls distribution centers, as well as the impact of using plastic totes versus cardboard boxes in the U.S. We analyzed the impact of removing plastic bags from our packaging of liquid products during shipping from distribution centers to stores. The solution that we implemented utilizes a more easily recyclable material and corrugated box inserts and resulted in an estimated 12 million fewer plastic bags being used across our distribution network each year. Additionally, this packaging solution was prioritized for inclusion within our reuse program and in 2019, we brought back over 1.2 million items to our distribution centers as a result.

    Our distribution centers in Ontario, Canada, encourage waste reduction and recyclability through our procurement policy and Associate education efforts. In 2019, we achieved a combined approximately 95% diversion rate in our distribution centers!

    We are pleased with our diversion rates across Europe and, in particular, our European processing centers, which divert 98% of waste and recycle plastic, wooden pallets, and cardboard. In our e-commerce operations, we have replaced bubble wrap packaging used for our e-commerce shipments with a recyclable paper alternative. We also backhaul cardboard and clear plastics, including bubble wrap, from the majority of stores in the U.K. to processing centers. We continue to look for opportunities for initiatives to support enhanced environmental performance.

  • In Our Offices

    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 and European corporate offices, we have removed waste bins from Associates’ workspaces and installed centrally located tri-sorter waste and recycling bins for Associates to use. Also in Massachusetts and Canada, we use cups, plates, napkins, and utensils that are either made from 100% compostable materials or are fully recyclable, and we have organic waste programs. In Europe, we use compostable utensils, recycled paper napkins, and cardboard food containers. In addition, we have a long-term strategy to assess how we may remove single-use plastic across our operations, including no longer offering plastic bottles in our offices. We monitor the success of all of these programs with our janitorial service vendors and Office Services staff and work to make adjustments to improve where appropriate.

  • Recovery and Reuse Programs

    We have programs in place in the U.S., U.K., and Ireland that support the reuse of packaging, clothing, accessories, shoes, homeware, and more.

    For example, in the U.S. at some of our Asset Recovery and Recycling Centers (ARRCs), we implemented changes between the ARRCs and the distribution center network, which resulted in the return of reusable corrugate and plastic totes from our stores to the distribution centers. As of the end of 2019, we had successfully saved over 5.9 million and transferred over 1,500 trailer loads containing over 6.3 million reusable units of packaging materials through this program.

    At our corporate headquarters, we donate qualified merchandise to charitable organizations, and in 2019, we donated nearly 350,000 items through our corporate program alone. Thanks also go to our corporate headquarters’ Associates, who donated clothes and accessories during our annual Goodwill “Put Your Clothes to Work” drive. During 2019 we collected over 2,600 pounds of various items to be reused rather than sent to landfills.

    In the U.K., for over 15 years, T.K. Maxx Associates and customers recycle clothes, shoes, and homeware in-store through our “Give up Clothes for Good” campaign, the U.K.’s biggest clothing donation program. The campaign allows people to drop off their donated goods at our stores. Since 2004, together with our customers, 1.6 million bags of clothing have been recycled through Give up Clothes for Good, which amounts to 8,000 metric tons of pre-loved items diverted from landfill and a reduction of 180,000 metric tons of carbon emissions.2 The Give Up Clothes for Good has also been run in Ireland for many years. These campaigns have not only benefitted the environment, they have also raised millions of pounds for Cancer Research U.K. and Enable Ireland, our local charity partners.

    While a primary goal for all of the clothing recycling initiatives in the U.K. and Ireland has always been to raise money for our charitable partners, we are very pleased that these programs also add to the useful life cycle of consumer products.

  • Reducing Water Consumption

    Although our business operations are not water intensive, we believe reducing water usage is consistent with both our low-cost operating philosophy and our commitment to environmental sustainability. To that end, we have continued our efforts to monitor our water usage and identify opportunities to improve water efficiency. For instance, our Energy Management group in the U.S. collects water usage data across our facilities to identify opportunities for improvement and we use time-sensor technologies to control faucets in many of our restrooms. In the U.K., we have benchmarked our consumption against similar retailers and evaluated our average daily usage for stores.

    Additionally, our TJX Vendor Code of Conduct strongly encourages our vendors to conserve and protect resources, such as water and energy, and also take into consideration environmental issues that may impact their local communities. Environmental concerns are incorporated into our vendor social compliance training materials as well, introducing high-level concepts of environmental sustainability like water conservation. Our training includes specific cost-saving, water-conservation recommendations for our suppliers that they may consider implementing at their production facilities. We plan to continue including similar relevant water facts during future training sessions.

1For TJX, diverted waste is either recycled, reused, composted, or sent to facilities that convert waste to energy (w2e).
2GHG emissions estimate assumes that reused clothing avoids an equivalent amount of new clothing produced from virgin raw materials.