Reducing the environmental footprint is one of the spearheads of the CSR policy of Beter Bed Holding, encompassing a broad spectrum: energy savings, reducing CO2 emissions, reducing the use of packaging material, using less environmentally harmful materials and promoting recycling.
Beter Bed Holding’s environmental footprint
Electricity consumption has been trending down for many years due to numerous energy-saving measures. Consumption totalled 30,800 megawatt hours (MWh), which represents 90% of the 34,200 MWh consumed in 2010. Relative electricity consumption per m2 is an important measure. Since 2010, electricity consumption per m2 has been reduced by 15% from 87.5 kWh to 74.3 kWh.
Another major source of energy is natural gas, which is used to heat offices and stores. It has become clear in the past few years that natural gas consumption depends mainly on the winter weather. As it was relatively warm in 2014, gas consumption decreased to 3.2 million m3, which represents 91% of consumption in 2010. Relative electricity consumption per m2 retail area is an important measure. Relative natural gas consumption per m2 has been reduced by 14% to 7.8 m3 since 2010.
CO2 emissions totalled 22,224 tonnes in 2014; a decrease of almost 10% compared with 2013. The decrease is attributable mainly to lower gas and electricity consumption as a result of a mild winter, the energy savings program pursued and the decrease in the number of stores.
The following table shows CO2 emissions by source: (modified in 2013; this is explained in the GRI Index under indicator EN16).
Materials and the circular economy
The dialogue with stakeholders has shown that Beter Bed Holding is expected to have (and provide) insight into the origins (and the environmental impact) of raw materials and (semi-finished) products used by suppliers. In addition to the standard requirement of the signing of the code of conduct by all suppliers, it is necessary to consider how Beter Bed Holding can take on a proactive role to ensure that materials used by suppliers meet the applicable requirements from a CSR perspective as well. Beter Bed Holding will take preparatory steps for this in 2015.
The total volume of waste rose by 5% to 4,700 tonnes. This increase (of 240 tonnes) is attributable to the remodelling of stores at Beter Bed. As a result, waste volumes increased in Netherlands by 730 tonnes, while volumes in the rest of the organisation fell by 490 tonnes. The target to collect, separate and reuse all packaging material in the Netherlands after delivery was again achieved in 2014.
A slight increase of the percentage of recycled waste was achieved, but the target (75%) does not appear to be attainable in the near term without targeted action by the waste-processing industry.
Starting in 2015, Beter Bed Holding and a number of strategic partners will launch initiatives for the development in due course of 100% recyclable mattresses, as a step on the way to the ultimate solution of a cradle-to-cradle mattress.