Businesses have a crucial role to play to protect our environment, and that’s exactly what we’re doing. Our relationship with tech needs to change and as the #1 tech retailer in all the markets we operate in, we’re uniquely placed to lead the way in changing this relationship.
At Currys we don’t just sell amazing technology; we save it too. We believe there’s a far better way – better for you, better for us, better for communities and better for the planet. And that better way is to give technology a longer life – through repair, reuse and recycling.
We’re working hard to be a company our colleagues can be proud to work for. We know our customers are looking to reduce their impact on the environment, and it’s our job to make that easier.
Read on to see some of the key actions we’re taking to reduce our impact by improving our use of resources and creating circular business models.
We recognise the pressing need to improve our use of resources and create circular business models. We are members of the Circular Electronics Partnership (CEP) which unites leaders in tech, consumer goods and waste management, to identify how to do things better – the CEP’s aim is to reimagine the value of electrical products and materials using a lifecycle approach, reducing waste from the design stage through to product use and recycling.
Care & Repair
There’s no feeling quite like helping a customer find some new tech that suits their needs. But keeping their tech working is important too, and it’s an area of focus we’re really proud of. We offer a range of services to enable a longer life of tech.
In the UK & Ireland our 1,300-person repair team processes and repairs over 800,000 products a year. Elkjøp also repair over 800,000 products each year, and lead the way on electronic repairs in Norway. Currys launched a live repairs service, connecting its customers with its repairs experts via video link. Through extended warranties, technical support and online tips and tricks we help our customers take care of their tech.
We help customers make the most of their tech, but when they are finished with it our customers can trade-in their unneeded products so that they can have a longer life. We offer trade-in for key tech items and we’re increasing our focus on trade-in, where we offer money for old devices that are then given new life elsewhere. Devices can be sold as pre-loved, broken down for reusable parts or provided to those without access to their own. In 2021/22, 145k customer products were collected through trade-in.
We're always looking for ways to reuse the unwanted tech that is returned to us. We screen products that are returned to us, repair if relevant and have mechanisms in place to sell these through store or online outlets to give these products a chance of a second life. We also use these items to help train new repair or installation engineers or to harvest parts for use in our repair services. And when we can, we repair and refurbish them to support local causes and low-income families.
In the UK & Ireland we provided thousands of products for reuse last year. Our partnership with the Reuse Network and the 150+ charities they support across the UK helped 7,024 low-income households save £1.3m in 2021/22.
Through our work with the UK’s largest independent recycler of e-waste and provider of reuse, Environcom, we have supported major UK charities with 4,056 refurbished white goods. We also donated refurbished items to specific causes, including 200 devices to Humans in Need in April 2022 to support their work in assisting refugees from the Ukraine.
Through the ‘Second Home’ programme in our Kotsovolos stores, more than 1,000 refurbished appliances have been distributed to families in need since 2017. This means our customers can enjoy our amazing technology even more, in the knowledge that they are using a product that is good for their pocket and better for the planet, and that can be enjoyed again by others.
Currys have worked on responsible recycling for many years. To maintain our focus, the collection of e-waste for recycling and reuse is one of two environmental metrics introduced into our annual bonus scorecard in 2021/22.
We offer recycling collection services of redundant products when a new one is delivered, as well as free in-store drop off for products across the Group. In 2021/22 we collected 103k tonnes of e-waste from customers. The waste is collected by local recycling partners, handled properly, and recycled or reused to help tech live on and on.
Our aim is to make it easy and normal for all electronics to be recycled. For example, in the UK Currys promoted recycling through its ‘Cash for Trash’ month-long promotion. This resulted in an increase of 98 tonnes of small electricals being recycled and an uplift in our trade-in service as the promotion launched. We have also marked International E-Waste Day to help raise awareness, encourage consumers to recycle electricals that are outdated or not in use, helping give tech a longer life.
Plastics and packaging is up there as one of the big challenges we need to solve, and we’re prioritising a number of ways to help reduce, recycle and reuse it. We’ve committed to making all our own label and licensed brand packaging reusable or recyclable by 2023.
At the end of 2021/22, 99% was recyclable, with 76% recyclable at kerbside. We remain committed to finding solutions that reduce environmental impact whilst also protecting the product from damage.
We encourage suppliers to eliminate unnecessary plastics and packaging and proactively work with suppliers of own label and licensed brand products to reduce packaging. In 2021/22 we removed 2.23m items of plastic packaging from own label and licensed brand products, almost 40 tonnes. Since the start of 2019 we have removed over 4m pieces equivalent to over 80 tonne of unnecessary plastic.
To increase our impact, we are helping to accelerate industry change by working with other retailers and suppliers to share best practice and reduce the industry’s reliance on plastic packaging. For example, we have given unrestricted access to our Product Packaging Guidance to share best practice with the wider industry. This guide outlines to suppliers and other retailers preferred materials to use and which materials to avoid based on data sources and engagement with a number of specialist organisations and experts.
In the UK & Ireland, we also offer our customers a free packaging recycling service when we deliver and unbox large household appliances. It’s resulted in over 10,000 tonnes of packaging being retrieved. In fact, we’re one of the largest recyclers of polystyrene in the UK, recycling 14.5% of all post-consumer polystyrene recycled across the country.
You can find out more about how we are helping our customers recycle EPS (expanded polystyrene) here.
The climate crisis remains one of the greatest threats to our planet and we recognise the impact this has on business and supply chains, including our own. Addressing our climate risks and opportunities is a part of our Sustainability and Social Impact strategy.
We support the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures ('TCFD') and its recommendations, and we're committed to assessing the impacts of climate risks and opportunities across our operations and supply chains. Understanding the impacts of climate change on our business provides us with the opportunity to develop a strategic response to mitigate the risks, whilst building on the opportunities this presents for Currys. We have carried out this work and are disclosing our progress in line with the recommendations of the TCFD. We have made significant progress this year with the completion of quantitative scenario analysis to further strengthen our strategy and enable us to build a roadmap to increased climate resilience
You can read more about our governance structure, strategy and risk management in our Annual Report.
We report our energy consumption and Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions in our Annual Report. We also continue to respond to the CDP questionnaire on Climate Change and are proud to have achieved an 'A-' score, demonstrating on corporate environmental ambition, action and transparency.
Net Zero Emissions
Net zero is the future and we're committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2040 by reducing the impact of the energy and resources we use in our operations - but also in our wider value chain.
Our emissions reduction targets to reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% across the Group by FY2029/30, have also been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, as consistent with levels required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Our reporting methodology can be found here. We also support the British Retail Consortium's Climate Action Roadmap, committing the UK retail industry to be net zero by at least 2040.
Our Scope 3 emissions include the indirect emissions from across our value chain which account for over 99% of our total emissions. The most material impacts are within purchased goods and services and the use of sold products. We will achieve reductions in these emissions through a programme of activities involving our suppliers, our manufacturers and through colleague engagement.
We achieved a 31% reduction in Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions against a 2019/20 baseline. View our Energy & Carbon data in the Sustainable Business chapter of our 2021/22 Annual Report and Accounts.
We engaged KPMG LLP to undertake independent limited assurance under ISAE (UK) 3000 and ISAE 3410 for selected energy consumption, e-waste and GHG emissions. View their Assurance Opinion 2021/22.
Progress to achieving net zero is one of two new environmental metrics introduced into our annual bonus scorecard from 2021/22 to align our ESG goals with our reward framework. We met and exceeded our colleague bonus scorecard target on Scope 1 and 2 emissions reduction.
We’re taking action to reduce our use of energy. In fact we maintained our certification of our Energy Management System (EnMS’) in 2021/22 for our UK & Ireland estate and fleet. In line with the British Retail Consortium’s Climate Action Roadmap, we have set a target to operate 100% LED coverage in all new buildings by 2025 – we made progress in 2021/22 and now 68% of our UK and Ireland portfolio and 76% of our Group portfolio uses LED technology as the main source of lighting.
Renewable Energy Sources
100% of our properties in the UK & Ireland, Greece and the Nordics are powered by renewable electricity where we are responsible for supplier contracts. This renewable energy is certified by Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs). In 2021/22 we expanded on this to include sites in the UK where we aren’t responsible for the supplier contract (backed by REGOs in the UK and GOs in Europe). We also have four sites with Solar PV installed, with a capacity of over 2MWp, reducing our CO2 emissions by approximately 413 tonnes.
Low carbon fleet
We are a signatory to the Climate Group’s EV100 initiative and are fully committed to transitioning 100% of our company cars and small van fleet and 50% of our medium to heavy fleet to electric or alternative fuel fleet by 2030. EV100 is a global initiative bringing together companies committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles.
In 2021/22 we submitted our first roadmap and second progress update to EV100. We have three EVs in service across the Group, along with 33 charging points installed across seven sites. Whilst this represents a small proportion of the total vehicles in our owned fleet, our approach is to run trials for up to a year with a number of different drivers to give them a true on-the-job experience and to gain their feedback. Feedback has been positive which will help support our business case for expanding the use of these vehicles. To support our journey, we’re pleased to share that we have welcomed our first ever Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)-powered vehicle. Its arrival represents another important milestone as part of our EV100 commitment. Read more about our focus on fleet decarbonisation.
To help us reduce our Carbon emissions, in the meantime, we’ve teamed up with TRAILAR. Read about our partnership: New Year, New Fleet: Investing responsibly with TRAILAR technology | Currys PLC.
We are also targeting reductions through improved driver training, the use of telematics and our ‘in-cab’ driver alert system and implementing ISO50001. This project is one of the many things we are doing to help us reduce our carbon emissions.
And if you’d like more detail, our environmental policy covers the impact of our operations, products and services - including everything to do with energy and greenhouse gas emissions, materials and resources, our suppliers, our customers, legislative compliance and risk.