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.

​Costa Coffee


Costa Coffee is the UK’s largest coffee chain with over 1,500 stores nationwide in locations that include the high street, airports and train stations. A subsidiary of the Whitbread Group, the company has experienced double digit growth in recent years and has a goal to double global sales to £2bn by 2018.

The Challenge

Costa Coffee wanted to improve its landfill diversion rate in line with the Whitbread Group with the ultimate aim of becoming a zero waste to landfill organisation by 2017. In 2012/13, Costa Coffee set a target to divert 40% of waste from landfill. For 2013/14 their landfill diversion target has been revised to 65%.

Costa’s high street presence often results in stores being serviced by local authorities or pre-existing contracts. That said, Veolia faced a number of challenges across the 500 stores it services. Most notable was the fact that retail space was at a premium, giving little room for on-site internal and external recycling bins. The stores are also fast-paced environments, so any in-store segregation would have to be as simple and manageable as possible.
 

The Solution

Veolia conducted a series of waste audits to identify and analyse areas for improvement throughout the waste streams. A trial of 50 stores identified that organic wastes such as coffee grounds and food waste could be separated from general waste and sent for treatment. This was achieved through a new ‘Two Stream’ waste solution which separated food and coffee grounds waste from mixed recycling items. All organic waste was collected daily and taken for treatment.

Food waste is diverted to Anaerobic Digestion and coffee grounds are used as a biomass fuel in the generation of electricity.

Paper, card, plastic and cans are separated at Veolia’s Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs), baled and sent for reprocessing into new materials. This maximised the use of space and ensured Costa would not have to perform too much waste separation themselves.

A poster campaign and store literature were created to aid take-up of the new service. The advanced till system in each store was also used to send reminder alerts to all employees, thus ensuring a regular flow of information.
 

Average a diversion from landfill rate of over 90%

7,000 tonnes of waste was diverted away from landfill in 2012

Costa equity stores serviced through Veolia under the ‘Two Stream’ solution, generated cost savings in the region of 13%.


 

The Result

Costa Coffee significantly over-achieved its landfill diversion target for 2012/13. By February 2013, the ‘Two Stream’ solution had contributed to an increased rate of 59% diversion from landfill - a significant improvement from 29% at the beginning of 2012.

Sites serviced directly by Veolia have made even greater improvements. They now average a diversion from landfill rate of over 90%. In total, around 7,000 tonnes of waste was diverted away from landfill in 2012, almost double the quantity diverted during 2011.

What’s more, the Costa equity stores serviced through Veolia under the ‘Two Stream’ solution, generated cost savings in the region of 13%.