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Helping our Customers Live More Sustainably

Most of us want to reduce our impact on the environment. A good starting point is buying and using eco-products.

These are items that have a minimal impact on the environment during their use. However, we know that buying an eco-product isn’t always simple. They can be difficult to compare with other products and sometimes eco-products can be more expensive, so you may not be afford to reduce your impact on the environment.

We want to help our customers live more sustainably by giving them peace of mind that the products they are buying have been sourced in an environmentally sustainable manner.

We started this journey in FY15 with our Wood Product Sourcing Policy which covers any product that contains wood or wood pulp – from paper products to pencils to furniture. This policy commits us to improve the sustainability of these products by only sourcing those which meet stringent sustainability standards.

During FY16, we introduced our Palm Oil Sourcing Policy which covers any product that contains palm oil (or a palm oil derivative). Palm oil is an ingredient in a wide range of product categories, most common in food, pet food, household cleaning products, personal care, health and beauty, and automotive cleaning products and additives. This policy commits us to ensure that any palm oil ingredients come from certified sustainable sources.

We have also begun developing a policy prohibiting the use of microplastics in health and beauty, personal care, and cleaning products. Microplastics are minuscule balls of plastic, often called microbeads, which are used in products for functions such as abrasion (exfoliation), bulking or controlling viscosity. The plastics are washed down the drain after use and sewer systems cannot capture them, and they consequently end up in the ocean as pollutants and are often eaten by sea creatures.

Beyond these sourcing policies, over the medium term we will be focusing on better understanding of the ingredients in our products, particularly in the food, health and beauty, household cleaning products, and personal care categories. This understanding will enable us to identify any ingredients that are potentially harmful to the environment – either in their manufacture or in use – and replace them with safer ingredients.

Plastic bags and recycling

In 2018, we bypassed our transitionary step of introducing compostable bags at our checkouts and moved directly to offering only reusable bags at our over 250 stores.

This move for The Warehouse Groups stores - The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leeming and Torpedo7, coincided with the government’s proposed legislation to ban single use plastic checkout bags.

The Warehouse introduced a charge for single-use plastic checkout bags back in 2009, with net proceeds given back to the local community. In the first half of 2019, we donated $500,000 to New Zealand community organisations, from kids’ sports teams to food banks, disability support services and many other grassroots community organisations.