Halfords has a rich heritage as a destination for cycling and motoring service, maintenance and repair. Through its full estate, Halfords is responsible for millions of repairs each year and therefore plays an important role in enhancing the longevity of products and mitigating the impact of a linear economy. We will expand these strengths to offer this industry-leading service in the emerging electric mobility market, to reduce the impact of full-product replacements by upskilling our store colleagues in service and repairs – leading to a better customer experience and reduced environmental impact.
In the next year, we will explore options for sustainable sourcing and waste-management solutions for rubber-based products, including tyres, tubes and car mats, which represent a high proportion of sales within our business.
Our firm commitments to consumer rights and great customer service mean we receive a significant volume of returned goods that can often be repurposed with minimal repair. This provides us with both a commercial and environmental opportunity to maximise the value of our returns, and so in FY22 we will pilot the reselling of reconditioned products for discounted prices, helping to extend the lifecycle of these products and ultimately reduce the use of virgin materials. Specifically we will trial a pilot of selling second-hand bikes exploring the opportunity within this market.
During the year, we have significantly improved our ability to report on packaging data, responding to heightened consumer awareness and anticipation of more stringent legislation. We are using this improved dataset visibility to establish metrics and targets that will help to evolve our packaging portfolio, with recyclability our primary focus, and longer term, looking to reduce our use of virgin plastic within our supply chain. Currently, 71% of our retail packaging is known to be widely recyclable, meaning we have a further 29% to aim for. We appreciate that recyclability does not always lead to recycling, so we will join other leading retailers and brands by introducing clear instructions via on-pack recycling labels to raise awareness of end-of-life packaging options.
Through our packaging data improvements, we have greater visibility on the amount of packaging we use in our pre-store logistics. Approximately 38% of our packaging is commercial and industrial, and we aim to make significant reductions to this packaging usage. Where the packaging is deemed essential, we aim to improve on the current 75% recycling rate through our waste management processes. We are committed to transparency on the end destination of this packaging within a two-year period, to ensure that our waste has the lowest possible environmental impact and reduces the use of virgin materials.
Halfords remains a popular destination for the end-of-life domestic and car batteries, and we want to expand this service to a more difficult, dangerous and expensive type – Lithium Ion – which is the current go-to for electric mobility products. As the market-leader, Halfords has a critical role to play in finding recycling and waste management solutions for a fast-growing consumable item.