Our aim is to reduce operational waste, increase the proportion which is recycled and diverted from landfill, and find the optimum recycling routes which balance cost and environmental impact. Our approach is also driven by upcoming legislation, including the introduction of taxes on plastic packaging from 2022, and increasing producer responsibility obligations on packaging, waste electricals and, we expect, textiles.


Our priority is to minimise waste generated, and ensure that it is disposed of legally and sent to landfill sites as a last resort. Most of the waste from our sites goes directly to recycling plants, and we are working with those sites which are not located near suitable recycling plants to find alternative solutions to avoid the environmental cost of transporting waste. We strive for continuous improvement: we have introduced clearer ‘back-of-store’ signage and communication, making it easier to segregate waste, and we work closely with our logistics partners to reduce waste volumes and identify waste reprocessing opportunities. We now capture data on rubble and ground waste generated by contractors during property and store development activities and aim to find solutions to repurpose this waste stream.

Food waste

Across our store estate we have 152 Pausa cafes and we run three Pausa restaurants for colleagues at our distribution centres and store support centre. During the year, we improved our ordering systems and rationalised our range to reduce stock levels and potential food waste – particularly for short shelf-life products. Our new Pausa hub on our internal ‘Home Comforts’ intranet drives consistency by giving colleagues guidelines to successfully operate a Pausa cafe. This reduces waste by providing clear processes on presentation levels and ordering. In addition, our reporting systems give the Pausa central ordering team better oversight and management of perishable stocks and wastage. In FY21, 19,000 portions of soup were donated to colleagues, foodbanks and charities in local store communities. Left with stocks of perishable items heading back into lockdown at short notice, we donated food to care homes, colleagues, foodbanks and to charities in our local store communities. In summer 2021 we started a trial to give last-day-of-life food to customers and colleagues. Our aim is for no food to be thrown away. An overview of other sustainability initiatives in Pausa can be found in Community .


Volumes of operational waste are measured by site, amalgamated for the whole business each month, and formally reported to the Group Board and Executive Board each quarter, alongside our recycling and landfill diversion rate. Our FY21 our operational recycling rate was 80% (FY20: 78%) and in line with our target. Our landfill diversion rate declined by 1% to 96% (against a target of 98%), owing to Covid-19-related restrictions on our waste management partner.