Diverting Waste Working towards 80% waste diversion
We know that we will have to make significant improvements to meet our new waste goal to divert 80 percent of the waste from landfill for our U.S. facilities by the end of 2020. This is the first time we have set a goal on such a broad scale, and we are still exploring potential solutions.
Our biggest waste streams from our owned-and-operated facilities are plastic hangers and polyethylene bags. As many of our facilities are within larger mall complexes, we are looking for solutions that address the diverse needs of our stores and distribution centers. By addressing these two significant areas of waste, we’ll be able to achieve our waste diversion goal.
We are working towards diverting 80 percent of the waste produced by our U.S. facilities by the end of 2020.
Our efforts focus on the boxes, hangers and plastic wrapping used to transport and protect our clothes as they move from distribution centers to stores.
We are engaged with our brands, suppliers and the greater apparel industry to achieve our goal. For example, we are working with the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), which has convened retailers and major landlords to explore ways to collect and recycle these major waste streams. In 2014, we diverted 29% of our waste from our U.S. stores. We are currently reassessing our methodology to calculate waste production and diversion and look forward to reporting our progress in the future.
We are particularly focused on:
- Packaging sustainably: Boxes, hangers and plastic wrapping are used to transport and to protect our clothes as they move from distribution centers to stores. We are looking at ways to reduce packaging weight or change the packaging materials to decrease the overall waste volume or allow for greater recycling.
- Recycling in malls: Reusing or recycling packaging pose challenges because we don’t own the buildings where our stores are located. To address this, we are working with our stores’ landlords on recycling options and also looking at recycling stations where bags can be baled, picked up and recycled.
- Creating opportunities via partnerships: Our teams are partnering with RILA to discuss ways the industry can reduce the impacts of polybags. We are also part of the Landlord Tenant Energy Partnership, which is exploring how to incentivize energy efficiency and finance clean energy projects in shared spaces.