Biltema's Responsibility and Environmental Goals

Biltema's Responsibility and Environmental Goals

Being a large company, Biltema has a large responsibility. We have the potential to make positive changes by focusing on our product development, production, logistics, and sales. We know that we have a long way to go, but we have ambitious goals and have already implemented several changes of which we are proud. This is ingrained throughout Biltema, from management to product developers and the staff in our stores.

Biltema reducing plastic use by 80%

Our new shopping bags are made from corn and other biomass products.

Biltema's goal is to reduce the use of fossil-fuel derived plastics in packaging and logistics by 80 percent. In less than two years. We are doing this for both environmental and commercial reasons.

Biltema has initiated a project called Plastic Hunters, which aims to systematically eliminate all unnecessary plastic. Biltema is starting to gradually find alternatives to disposable plastic products, such as bioplastics, which are derived from renewable biomass sources.

We are replacing our plastic shopping bags with more eco-friendly, biodegradable alternatives. Our new shopping bags are made from corn and other biomass products. Plastic in packaging is also gradually being phased out. And plastic in many products is being replaced by other materials.

”There is also a commercial reason for eliminating unnecessary plastic: it saves us money. Improving the environment while also saving money seems like a wise business idea,” says Group CEO Knut R. Svenningsen.

Plastic hunters – 80% reduction in plastic use

As part of our already comprehensive environmental work, such as eco-friendly goods transport and recycling, we are now introducing an ever stricter environmental policy.

  • We are replacing all disposable products with new alternatives made from 100% renewable materials.
  • We are replacing our plastic shopping bags with more eco-friendly, biodegradable alternatives.
  • We are significantly reducing the amount of plastic in packaging used during transport.
  • We are actively working to reduce the proportion of plastic packages and are replacing them with more eco-friendly alternatives.
  • We recycle all cardboard and plastic used in our stores and warehouses. Biltema's warehousing company will also be reducing the use of plastic wrap by 90%.

 

To give a simpler view of our goals, we´ve created ECO-meters for each of our focus-areas. The black arrow indicates our current status and savings compared to previous years, while the red arrow shows our targets.

Biltema's environmentally-friendly buildings

Biltema is continually building new stores and will increase the pace of this. Always with the environment and sustainability as cornerstones.

Building with care, being aware and cost-efficient calls for high-class building contractors. Consequently Biltema collaborates with local construction companies with craftsmen of the highest quality, who can accomplish projects such as a new, large Biltema megastore.

The choice of construction material is made with care, with only long-term sustainable materials being used, to reduce maintenance and renovation needs later on.

Biltema constructs so-called inert buildings. Special concrete is used to construct the walls and roof. This means that changes in weather are not perceptible indoors, which results in a comfortable climate for our customers and employees. In addition, an extra-thick layer of insulation is laid on the roof. This helps the store to not be affected by weather changes and is useful when it comes to fire safety.

The concrete walls also break down vehicle exhaust emissions. And the concrete keeps itself clean since the material is resistant to algae, moss, dirt, and graffiti.

The floors of Biltema's stores are made from granite, a natural material that only needs to be cleaned with a rotating brush and clean water. No chemicals are required.

Lighting is presence-based. This means the lighting system is only activated when someone is in the building. The light bulbs are all LEDs. This has allowed us to save hundreds of thousands of kilowatt hours.

The windows in our stores are self-cleaning. This reduces the need to wash them. And reduces the use of chemicals.

Biltema is constantly identifying new, smart solutions together with competent construction companies in order to make the construction of our stores more efficient. This results in stores that are even more inviting, eco-smart, and sustainable.

The Biltema Train – reduced CO2 emissions

Biltema is investing heavily in rail transport for environmental reasons. That's why the Biltema Train will now run daily.

Since the end of May, a train from Biltema's large warehouse in Halmstad departs at 21:30 each weekday fully-laden with products destined for stores in Norway. More than half of all goods to Norway will be transported by rail. This is equal to around 80 trucks. Every week.

The reduction in carbon dioxide is estimated at almost 90 percent. Or 5,100 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. Rail transport between the warehouse in Halmstad and Norway began on a trial basis last year. Initially, five stores received goods via the train, which departed a couple of times per week. Owing to the success of the trial, it has been progressively expanded. From this summer, 31 Biltema stores in Norway will receive their deliveries by rail.

And there are plans to introduce additional rail transport across Norway.

To give a simpler view of our goals, we´ve created ECO-meters for each of our focus-areas. The black arrow indicates our current status and savings compared to previous years, while the red arrow shows our targets.

Electronic waste

All electronic waste must be disposed of in a way that is not harmful to the environment. Biltema goes to great lengths to ensure that electronic waste is recycled in an eco-friendly manner. You can hand in all discarded products included in our range to Biltema. Free of charge!

At all of our stores we sort all waste, including electronic waste, in the most optimal manner.

  • Plastics
  • Batteries
  • Oils and liquids
  • Fluorescent tubes and bulbs.
  • Cardboard and paperboard
  • Residual waste

 

Questions and answers about Biltema Environment

What´s our ambition?
Our goal is to reduce all unnecessary plastic used in packaging and transport by 80%

When?
This is possible within the next couple of years.

Is it realistic?
Yes. With our efforts and determination we strongly believe that we´ll keep our promise, and reach our goal.

Why?
We have a major responsibility to the environment. A responsibility we carry with great ambition. And our first step is to reduce plastic connected to our products, such as packaging, transport and shopping bags.

Are we reducing plastic in our products, packaging, and transport or other?
Yes, yes, yes and yes. 

Who is responsible for meeting these targets?
This is a collective responsibility in the Biltema-group, and team-work is a key factor in succeeding. We have made bigger organizational changes so that our product-development team can focus even more strongly on quality and sustainability. Plastic Hunters is making sure that we stay on target.

Who is Plastic Hunters?
Led by our Quality manager, Karin Bandrup, this our internal ”taskforce”. Plastic Hunters is designated to help our company keep our environmental promise, and quality-proof that our products are in line with both regulation and sustainability, as well as minimizing the negative impact on the environment through our products. 

How are the shops involved? What measures and actions are they taking?
The foundation is our Return-policy: ”if you can buy it here, you can throw it here.” Which means that our shops recycle according to local and national regulation. This includes plastic, batteries, electrical appliances, chemicals, lightbulbs, tube lights, paper/cardboard and general waste related to the daily operations. The shops are encouraged to bring their feedback on unnecessary plastic in packaging, and any other relevant measures we as a group can take to do even better for the environment.

What are the benefits of changing our plastic bags?
We want to show that we´re serious about our commitment. This includes that we are now introducing a better option for our customers. Choosing this option you can take part in making it more environmentally friendly to throw away an eco-bag, compared to a regular plastic bag. Choosing this bag over the old plastic bag, we collectively reduce CO2 emission due to the composition of the material and it being limited in CO2 emission when recycled.

What are the overall financial benefits?
We decrease the amount of plastic, therefore also the amount we purchase for own use. We reduce the time spent on prepping pallets with stretch film. And we get logistics more efficient with personnel, enabling our goods to be shipped out to shops more rapidly. In our products we decrease the amount of cost spent on plastic in packaging. This also makes it possible to ship more products at a time and compressing the volume used in each shipping.

What´s the ”Eco-meter”? Where does the data come from? How do we measure it?
The Eco-meter shows the progress and development in our environmental endeavors and efforts. This is based on data from our purchase-offices and suppliers in Europe and Asia, as well as from our logistics company when it involves any form of transport.