Dive Brief:

  • A week after Earth Day, Best Buy’s Reverse Logistics Center in Chino, California earned the company’s first Total Resource Use and Efficiency certification for zero waste. Green Business Certification manages the TRUE certification as well as the LEED certification for buildings.
  • The electronics retailer said Wednesday that its facility diverted 99.67% of its solid waste from landfills over the previous year. The TRUE certification process helps guide facilities to reach zero waste targets, increase resource efficiency and cut their carbon footprint.
  • The milestone is part of Best Buy’s broader environmental initiatives. The electronics retailer aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 75% and lessen its customers’ carbon emissions by 20% by 2030. The company said it has also signed the Climate Pledge to become carbon neutral company-wide by 2040.

Dive Insight:

Best Buy’s sustainability efforts come at a time when the retail sector is facing increased scrutiny on environmental practices, including in the returns process and through government regulations. Best Buy, which claims to be the nation’s largest collector of e-waste, is among other retailers that have been touting climate positive initiatives amidst heightened pressure from eco-conscious consumers and organizations to respond to their environmental impact.

Best Buy noted that it has collected and recycled more than 2 billion pounds worth of customers’ tech since 2009. Outside of the Reverse Logistics Center, the company said it aims to divert 85% of its waste across its operations.

“The Chino facility achieved this milestone by identifying waste streams and finding ways to make it easier for employees to recycle,” the company said in the release. “During the process, we used data gathered by Rubicon — a software platform that provides smart waste and recycling solutions — to create a baseline for our waste diversion efforts, then pinpoint opportunities to achieve our goal.”

Besides reducing waste at its Reverse Logistics Center facility, Best Buy has also tested innovations in other areas of the business. Earlier this month, the electronics retailer debuted a paid membership program, which boasts perks such as free standard shipping and delivery, free installation for most products and unlimited Geek Squad technical support.

Last November, Best Buy also cut the shoppable area by half at four Minneapolis stores to test a new concept for turning stores into fulfillment hubs.