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Case study

World Duty Free YVR

Paper use reduction: 14%

  • paper consumption challenge
  • paper police

Waste reduction: 30%

  • staff engaged to improve diversion
  • composting program

Electricity reduction: 10%

  • LED lighting in stores

Hudson Group operates sixteen specialty luxury retail stores at the Vancouver International Airport under the World Duty Free banner, as well as a warehouse and an office on Sea Island. In 2016, the company joined the Climate Smart program offered by the Vancouver Airport Authority to support the airport businesses in reducing their environmental impact.

World Duty Free (WDF) measured their greenhouse gas emissions baseline for the 2015 calendar year and created an emissions reduction plan aimed at minimizing their footprint, with an emphasis on waste diversion and paper conservation.

Paper Police Take Charge

As part of the plan, the WDF Green Committee set a goal of reducing paper use by 10% in a year, as compared to the baseline. They exceeded this goal and reduced paper use by 14%, with the warehouse achieving an impressive paper reduction of over 40%. This reduction was achieved through a number of initiatives.

For example, on St. Patrick’s Day, the Green Committee challenged the staff to wear green and submit a green idea for saving paper to be entered into a prize draw. To collect the ideas from staff, they set up a “green box” for environmental suggestions.

One of the suggestions collected was to get rid of disposable paper cups for the water cooler as well as to use tap water for it instead of ordering plastic water jugs. The green team is currently working on implementing this suggestion.

In the summer of 2016, the Green Committee hosted a Paper Consumption Challenge. During the challenge, the staff were asked to reuse scrap paper. Access to fresh paper was restricted and monitored by the “paper police”.

Waste Challenge and Other Battles

The WDF Green Committee has launched a number of initiatives to tackle waste.

In the fall of 2016, they hosted a waste challenge to educate staff about the company’s recycling program, and encourage better separation of waste streams. The challenge was held outside the company stores, at the warehouse, and at the head office. Contestants were given a selection of waste items to sort as fast they could into the correct bins (recycling streams). The winner was chosen based on speed and the number of items sorted correctly. Competition was fierce, with employees trying the challenge more than once in order to improve their result.

In addition, the Green Committee implemented a composting program in the lunch room, and installed a water cooler in the staff locker room to reduce the number of single-use plastic water bottles entering the waste stream. At Christmas time, the committee organized a Christmas Ornament Battle. Teams from each store and department were asked to create a tree ornament using recycled materials. At the company holiday party the winner was awarded a Starbucks gift card.

Through these efforts, the warehouse waste going to landfill was reduced by over 30%.

In addition to paper and waste reductions, WDF also recorded a 10% reduction in electricity use for its stores. The company has built LED lighting into its stores at the store design stage. This strategy was driven by WDF Vancouver 2018 Vision – the core of the company’s strategic planning. Going forward, WDF would like to focus their efforts on emissions related to staff commuting.

“We are a highly motivated and environmentally conscious team who are committed to bringing awareness to reducing waste so that we can proudly minimize our environmental footprint.” says Elaine Xu, the Director of Travel Trade Development at WDF YVR.

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