Balers revolutionize operations and lower CO2 footprint at Briscoes and Rebel Sports

Sustainability goals set the need for new waste management

Sustainability is at the forefront of Briscoe Group’s operations. Recognizing that cardboard constitutes approximately 50% of their waste, they partnered with Mil-tek to implement powerful balers to their store network. Not only has this reduced the need for double handling of cardboard waste; the new waste management also enhances safety by minimizing trips to the stockyard area, and has reduced weekly cardboard collections with 75%, from an average of four down to one.


Video: How did Briscoes optimize their waste management?

Learn how baling has changed the internal handling of cardboard, and turned it from a time and money-consuming problem into a commodity based on Lean principles.

National wide retailer working towards sustainability goals

Briscoes is a staple in the New Zealand retail landscape with 91 stores across the country, especially renowned for its sub-brands “Briscoe Homeware” and “Rebel Sports”.

Well-aware of footprint as a retail business
Recognizing the significant impact that the retail sector can have on the environment, Briscoes is working heavily towards sustainability goals. A crucial element of Briscoes’ sustainability strategy focuses on diversion of waste from landfills. With that goal as a starting point they embarked on a journey to minimize the environmental footprint set by their Briscoes Homeware and Rebel Sports stores – the two stores share stockyard across the country, so it was an obvious choice to make a joint change in their waste management.

Addressing the challenge with cardboard waste

Recognizing that cardboard constitutes approximately 50% of their waste, the group has taken decisive action to address this particular challenge head-on.

Waste situation before Mil-tek
Traditionally, staff at both Briscoes and Rebel Sports stores would flat pack cardboard on pallets, then have to take that out into the joint stockyard, to then double handle from a pallet into the cage. With the results of impacting store time as well as higher risk of health and safety implications.

Expert advice on which baler model to choose
After careful consideration and collaboration with Mil-tek, it was decided to install one of our hydraulic balers because of its power, small footprint, and user-friendliness. This setup was copied to Briscoes/Rebel Sports joint stockyards nationwide.

Significant reductions in CO2 footprint and waste collection frequency

The stores now benefit from a streamlined system that not only reduces the need for double handling but also enhances health and safety by minimizing trips to the stockyard area.

Now, the store staff at each Briscoes/Rebel Sports have a central location where all cardboard is processed. Still treated like a cage, but now without having a stockpile cardboard. Staff can now just process right in front of the baler – without walking the waste – put cardboard straight in, compact it, and then generate a pallet out of it.

Stores have seen a decrease in waste collection frequency from an average of four per week to as low as once every fortnight. This reduction has not only lowered operational costs but also significantly decreased the CO2 footprint across the Briscoes and Rebel Sports store network.

Baling cardboard allowed improvement in Lean principles

Having introduced bailing allowed Briscoes to improve on their Lean principles, and ensured there was a reduction in unnecessary movement and fewer visits out into the stockroom area, which has a high risk of moving vehicles.

A Win-Win: Cost Neutrality and Environmental Impact

An added benefit of the baling process is the conversion of cardboard into a commodity. While the market value of cardboard may fluctuate, Briscoe Group ensures that the process remains cost-neutral, with the potential for additional financial benefits when market prices are favorable.

The collaboration with Mil-tek has been highlighted as seamless and effective, with Mil-tek playing a crucial role as a waste management partner.

As mentioned, this partnership has enabled the widespread adoption of the balers across Briscoe’s stores, from the far south to the far north of New Zealand, demonstrating a successful model of corporate sustainability in action.

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