Jack Wolfskin's retail recycling story

Jack Wolfskin is a leading retailer of outdoor clothing. As a company, they want to build a stronger link between experiencing and conserving the environment.

With the publication of its first Environmental Report in 2012, Jack Wolfskin declared its commitment to the environment over all apsects of the business, and is currently the only company in the industry to fully compensate for all unavoidable CO2 emissions. When it comes to recycling, their Covent Garden store is setting the benchmark for all other branches.

Deciding on sustainability

Like any retailer, the new Jack Wolfskin Covent Garden store was going to produce high volumes of cardboard and plastic packaging waste, all of which is recyclable. It was therefore important that the store had a method of recycling this waste material. On moving in to the store, manager Alex found there were no recycling services in place and no environmental reporting. Only a general waste service was being provided and recycling options from the council were limited. Specific collection times on the street also made it awkward for the store to arrange daily collections at a time to suit them. To manage and monitor the waste being produced, Alex needed detailed reporting on the material collected from the store and where it was taken. This way he could be sure it was meeting the high standards of the company.

“When we call First Mile we’re not put on hold. We get to chat with someone about our order.”

Alex Clark, Jack Wolfskin

Alex understood that implenting a reliable recycling service would be key to ensuring the store operated efficiently. Having used First Mile in a previous role, Alex enaged First Mile to start the recycling and waste management in the newly-opened Covent Garden store.

Making retail recycling easy

When implenting the new service, staff placed a large recycling bin on the lower floor of the store. 90% of store waste is recycled in this bin as First Mile’s mixed recycling service accepts all paper, plastic, card, metal and glass. The small remainder of food waste goes into a general waste bin or more recently, a food recycling bin. The store used branded posters and bin labels provided by First Mile, to help staff recycle more and understand the range of material that could be recycled in the mixed recycling sacks. First Mile provide daily evening collections, with mixed recycling, cardboard and food recycling all collected within the same time window. This ensures the store front stays clear and tidy with minimum distruption to the business.

“Recycling has been really important to me ever since I realised how much unnecessary waste I was creating. I’ve carried this attitude into my work place.”

Alex Clark, Jack Wolfskin

Mixed recycling collected from Jack Wolfskin is taken for recovery at a material recovery facility before being sent for reprocessing. The small amount of general waste that is collected is taken to an energy-from-waste plant and is used to create electricity. No material collected from the store is sent to landfill.

Going further

Regular envionmental reporting has shown that in 2013, over 2,625 KGs of material was collected from the Jack Wolfskin Covent Garden store, and the average recycling rate reached 92%. In 2014 the recycling rate will increase due to the introduction of a food recycling service. Food waste from the store will be taken to an anaerobic digestion facility and used to create electricity and a nutrient rich fertliser.

Key Stats (2013)

  • Recycling rate: 92%
  • Material collected: 2,625 KGs
  • CO2 saved: 3,546 KGs