Kmart Group - Waste and packaging
Minimising waste remains a significant challenge for businesses in the Australian retail sector and Kmart Group is committed to playing its part through ongoing efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle its store and distribution centre waste and consumer packaging.
Waste diversion from stores and distribution centres across Kmart Group decreased from 81 per cent last financial year to 79 per cent this financial year during a period challenged by volatile markets for recycled materials, COVID-19 and some sites being impacted by changes to the Target property portfolio. The impact of one-off construction and demolition waste at Target store closures and Target Country conversions to Kmart or K hub stores has resulted in the waste diversion rate at these sites dropping to 42 per cent. By contrast, all other stores achieved a slight increase in their waste diversion to 79 per cent.
Kmart Group’s efforts to use data analytics was assisted this year with the implementation of new waste and recycling service contracts that specified more detailed and granular data requirements from our providers. This data provides the foundation for future strategic focus on waste diversion, efficient systems, accurate data collection, equipment, source separation signage and team member training in stores and distribution centres.
Kmart Group's membership of TechCollect has funded the collection and recycling of 280,519 kilograms of complying e-waste items, including televisions, computers and peripheral devices. TechCollect was set up by the Australia and New Zealand Recycling Platform as the official government-approved e-waste recycling program.
Given the importance of accurate and consistent data to business decisions, government reporting and securing permission to use the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) on product packaging, a significant program of work has been underway to develop, pilot and implement new data collection protocols and tools with suppliers. This has been aided by the appointment of a Sustainable Packaging Manager in Shanghai who leads the engagement of suppliers in the delivery of Kmart Group’s Sustainable Packaging Principles and Standards and delivery of packaging featuring the ARL.
Cross-functional working groups continue to provide input and direction to Kmart Group’s sustainable packaging journey.
With improved data collection systems coming online late in the financial year, approximately 2,000 Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP) assessments were completed to add to the current 300 customers facing ARL approved products.