Case study: Environment 2017

Case study: Environment 2017

Emmaus, a local social enterprise, housing, training and employing formerly homeless people, are one of the partners helping us develop a circular economy which has the principal of reuse at its core.

Our Environmental Policy describes our commitment to initiatives that enhance Liverpool ONE’s environmental performance. It encompasses aspects of legal compliance, identifies areas where environmental efficiencies could be made, and underpins our efforts to use resources efficiently through the development of a circular economy.

A circular economy seeks to extend the lifetime of the natural resources used to make goods. It aims to ensure that resources used to make one item can be used again: regenerated for another use or purpose. This approach breaks the cycle of making, using, and then disposing of goods, before remaking them again with new natural resources.

For a business like ours, this approach is highly worthwhile as it can reduce volumes of waste helping minimise the costs of disposal. Although a less obvious outcome, we have found that when community organisations are incorporated into our circular economy – when they receive goods to regenerate, reuse, or sell – this has the potential to encourage social development and economic growth.

This can be demonstrated through examples, the first being with local charity, The Reader. No longer being able to the original Reading Trees as part of our events programme, we gave them to the Reader so they could be repaired and reinstalled at their hub in Calderstones Park. By reusing the Reading Trees, The Reader have managed to reduce their costs while gaining an excellent installation as one of their charity’s assets. Given a new lease of life, they will be enjoyed by children and families visiting for years to come, demonstrating the social impact of a circular economy.

However, the best example of our circular economy, and where again the social and economic impact is evident, is in our partnership with local social enterprise, Emmaus. This year, we have continued to work together, establishing a process that avoids tables and chairs – or indeed, any other items no longer being used our retailers – being disposed as general waste. Instead, our waste team will put these goods aside ready for collection by Emmaus’ team of companions (people, often formerly homeless, who are living, training and working in the Emmaus community at Seaforth).

Once these goods have been collected, Emmaus’ companions repair and restore them either for use in their community buildings or so they can be sold in their superstore. The process offers training and learning for Emmaus’ companions and last year generated £2,000, funds that went straight back into Emmaus’ community. Through this cycle, Emmaus can continue their work supporting vulnerable people who want to turn their lives around.

Our developing circular economy, therefore, is already delivering significant benefits for Emmaus and our other community partners. It demonstrates that by diverting goods that can be reused by our community partners, there can be a tremendous economic and social value for all involved. In fact, we estimate that around £700 has been saved in waste disposal fees through our partnership with Emmaus.

We look forward to bringing you more information about the development of our circular economy in the months ahead.

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