Managing our environment

HomeChoice Sustainability programme

78 Main Road, Wynberg, Cape Town is the centre and hub of the group’s South African operations. Our journey to becoming one of 11 existing buildings certified a 5* in terms of the Green Building Council of SA (GBCSA) became the catalyst for the group’s sustainability programme. The seven pillars of the group’s sustainability strategy integrate and align with the nine different categories of GBCSA’s scorecard. We demonstrate our sustainability achievements in the image below, with more information found on the YouTube link here.

Most of the sustainability initiatives to date have been focused on our internal stakeholders – employees. Going forward in 2020 we will extend the initiatives to be more inclusive of our external stakeholders, the largest of which are our customers

Conserve water resources

A large portion of the group’s business operations are based in the Western Cape which is currently experiencing a severe drought. The provincial government has imposed water restrictions to reduce the amount of water used. Commercial properties are required to reduce consumption by 45% from the corresponding month in the previous year.

Therefore, much of the group’s sustainability effort has been focused on the implementation of operational plans to reduce water usage in the head office campus and local distribution centre.

All basin taps in the head office toilet facilities are low flow taps to manage and reduce water usage. Hand sanitisers are also provided eliminating the need for water. The collection of groundwater is used for the flushing system in the call centre operational area. This will be extended to the remainder of the head office building in due course. Additional water storage tanks have been installed increasing the water storage capacity so that the building can continue business operations when the water supply is disconnected or restricted.

Encourage a healthy lifestyle

Healthy menu options are provided in the staff restaurant. Sustainable vegetables gardens have been established. The produce is used by the staff restaurant to supplement their daily requirements. The gardens have also created awareness among the staff encouraging them to grow their own vegetables at their homes.

Use energy efficiently

We aim to reduce our energy consumption by 30%.

Motion sensor lighting and low-voltage LEDs have been installed at head office. The call centre and staff restaurant lights operate on a preprogrammed timer to avoid unnecessary usage. The head office campus building management system, through preprogrammed timers, controls the air-conditioning units which automatically adjust to the required ambient temperature and manage usage confined to business hours.

Solar panels will be installed on the roofs of the head office campus and the Cape Town distribution centre to further reduce the group’s energy requirement on the national grid.


Offset our travel emissions

The group relies on transport to procure merchandise from our suppliers and to distribute goods to our customers. Much of the transport is carried out by third-party service providers. We intend to develop a strategy and plans to actively manage a reduction in the usage in energy utilised for transport.

Internally we have a limited requirement for travel, mainly centred around the airline travel for the merchandise team visiting supplier and overseas fashion buying trips.

Engage and educate

Our sustainability programme was launched within the group in June 2017.  A quarterly newsletter keeps employees informed of where the group is on the journey and provides them with practical tips on how to support the achievements of targets

Much of the engagement and education has been focused around the drought currently being experienced in the Western Cape and how staff can save our water.

Encourage active participation

Staff are encouraged to participate and share responsibility for the sustainability strategy. We will introduce the concept of “Eco Warriors” enabling those staff who are passionate about sustainability initiatives to champion the many programmes with their colleagues and increase ownership and pride in our achievements.

Reduce, reuse and recycle

The recycling programme has been very active during the last 12 months, with over 24 000 tonnes of waste recycled at our head office campus. A ‘’wet waste recycling programme” is managed by the staff restaurant business partners, with over six drums of waste recycled every week.

We have introduced a new service provider to assist us in achieving our intent of “zero waste to landfill” by 2020. All waste is separated and sorted on site and either sent for recycling or to landfill. Monthly reports identify the different categories of waste sent for recycling.

Recycling bins are available throughout the head office campus, making it convenient for employees to recycle their waste.