Case Studies

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At Veolia we are always striving to deliver innovative ways to turn waste into a resource for our customers throughout the UK. Click below for some examples of our great work in action.


Clarks are regarded as the world’s number one in ‘everyday footwear’. With annual sales in excess of 50 million pairs of shoes, Clarks is a global business, selling shoes in over 75 countries around the world.

Clarks wanted to enhance its environmental performance, improve recycling and increase the rate of diversion from landfill across its Veolia serviced stores in the UK. Their goal for 2012 was to implement co-mingled recycling with the aim of achieving a recycling rate of 80%. At the same time, the company wanted to work towards becoming a zero waste to landfill operation.

Co-mingled recycling was a new concept for Clarks and its stores. A successful result would be reliant upon stores changing their existing practices and adopting the new way of managing their waste.

The Challenge

Veolia faced a space issue with Clarks as the stores had very little space to segregate, store and bulkup its waste for weekly collections. The stores required higher frequency collections, some as often as five times per week.

The Solution

In conjunction with Clarks, the dedicated Veolia Account Manager initially conducted a series of 30 separate waste audits across the country and at various store types. The initial waste analysis identified that up to 95% of store wastes could potentially be recycled as a significant amount of waste comprised of cardboard and polythene. Other wastes included food and food packaging and minimal other general waste.

Clarks and Veolia agreed on a trial run with 30 pilot stores. This approach would also highlight regional variations; store-size related issues, take-up of understanding and would ultimately check the feasibility of the bigger roll-out plan.

Prior to the trial, the 30 stores received regular communication from Clarks about the initiative. Veolia developed an information pack with Clarks and this was distributed to all participating stores.

During the pilot phase, colour coded 1,100 litre mixed recycling bins and 240 litre bins or a bag service for food or general waste, replaced each store’s individual bin system.

This was supported with posters and waste specific information. On-site training was delivered and larger stores also benefited from the on-site presence of a Veolia representative during the first stage of the roll-out process.

As anticipated, recycling rates initially fluctuated across the 30 stores. The Veolia Account Manager investigated and interrogated every result and was able to establish a suitable benchmark across the pilot stores. During the trial period, stores that fell below the required benchmark received additional support.

After a successful three month trial, Clarks were keen to roll the initiative out across all of its Veolia serviced retail outlets. The pilot had delivered a valuable insight into how the stores operated and coped with the new processes. A spreadsheet was developed to highlight the frequency of required collections from the sites. These sites were gradually transferred over to co-mingled collections. The full roll-out took place throughout February 2012.

Diversion from landfill rate for its Veolia serviced stores from 40% to 84% over the six month period. 

Rate of recycling increase from 30% to over 82% across the Veolia serviced stores.

Cost savings represent more than a 30% saving on the previous year


The Result

Throughout the pilot and implementation phase of the co-mingled recycling initiative, Veolia faced many challenges. To deliver the best possible solution for Clarks specific needs, Veolia changed how it worked across the UK to benefit the customer.

Clarks has improved its diversion from landfill rate for its Veolia serviced stores from 40% to 84% over the six month period. They have seen their rate of recycling increase from 30% to over 82% across the Veolia serviced stores.

Cost savings for the brand have been significant too and represent more than a 30% saving on the previous year.