Canadian Tire

Circularity: Operational Waste

Our Commitment

We are committed to transforming our waste into resources as part of the global movement towards circularity.

Reimagining operational waste starts with waste prevention, then shifts to capturing more of our materials for recycling and finding second lives for those recycled materials in our value chains or other markets. To do so, we have embraced more sustainable processes and materials within our operational and production activities, and we are collaborating with partners to find new uses for materials to drive towards a circular economy.

In 2017, we set a goal to divert 90% of our operational waste by the end of 20221. In 2021, we achieved a waste diversion rate of approximately 79%. While we are seeing some promising progress, we anticipate ending 2022 below our ambitious 90% waste reduction target, with the final result to be communicated in 2023. We are continuing to pilot new waste programs and remain committed to working towards our target and developing and implementing innovative waste solutions throughout our operations. In some cases, our efforts to reduce operational waste require multi-year overhauls of buildings, supply chain processes and securing different suppliers. In other cases, our work includes adopting and piloting innovative programs and behavioural nudges in office spaces. Throughout, we adopt ideas and rally engagement from our teams across our enterprise. We believe that when approached wisely, waste has the potential to be transformed from a cost of doing business to a revenue generator.

While Dealer- and franchisee-operated stores are not included in our corporate waste footprint, as we do not control their waste operations, we are actively working to collaborate and share learnings to ensure as much waste is diverted from landfill as possible. We aspire to work together on a collective waste goal in the future.

We also acknowledge that the disposal of product and packaging contributes to consumer waste, and we are working to make more products available that use responsibly sourced and recyclable materials. Our commitment to create circularity for materials in product and packaging consumer waste are addressed in our Circularity: Packaging & Product Waste section.

Our 2021 Operational Waste Profile2

Waste profile and diversion rate for Canadian Tire Corporation in 2021

We Are Here to Make Life in Canada Better by being part of the solution to reduce landfill waste and pollution in Canada and drive economic opportunities for Canadian businesses to lead in the circular economy.

Our Approach


We reduce waste created at the store level

We are continually improving waste reduction practices in our operations, including our stores, by generating hundreds of service and operational optimizations that focus on reducing waste and finding solutions for hard-to-recycle materials.

We diverted an average of just under 73% of operational waste from our stores in 2021 – a roughly 2% improvement since 2020.

Canadian Tire gas station
Sportchek Storefront


We optimize for waste reduction at our distribution centres and corporate offices

In 2021, our distribution centres achieved a waste diversion rate of 89%, diverting over 12,000 tonnes of waste. This diversion rate is the direct result of consistent efforts by our distribution centre staff who diligently capture and properly sort waste material. Common waste materials that are found and managed on-site in our distribution centres include cardboard boxes, pallets and flexible pallet wrap. Less common materials or composite items, such as damaged products that need to be deconstructed before they can be recycled or repurposed, are sent to our Resource Recovery Centre.

Canadian Tire Corporation distribution center

Many of the unsaleable but still usable products damaged in our supply chain are donated to local organizations. Some of our donated products include damaged bags of pet food that go to the Toronto Humane Society, pool chemicals that are given to local community recreational centres, and many other materials that are donated to Habitat for Humanity.

While among our lowest generators of operational waste, we also have programs to manage waste at our corporate offices. Our Central Waste Collection Program, among other initiatives, helps all employees reduce waste in our day-to-day operations.


We champion a culture of waste awareness and prevention

We recognize the importance of educating our employees on waste reduction strategies and empowering them to implement best practices within their individual roles. Through an array of different programs and touchpoints, our teams have been emboldened to reduce waste on the job and at home.

At our head office, the Zero Waste Warriors (ZWW) is an employee-led volunteer group that is determined to drive grassroots change. In 2021, the group worked to foster a culture of sustainability for those working on campus and remotely. The program was soon adopted by employees at our Mark’s stores, where staff voluntarily championed waste optimization projects in their stores. In addition to promoting waste reduction and recycling at their stores, they collaborated with ZWW members across the country to share ideas and best practices.

Our values in action: inclusion is a must

Some of our best and most effective waste reduction ideas come from store staff. We believe inspiration and leadership can come from anyone and anywhere, and the ZWW are evidence of this commitment.

In 2021, we launched a waste training course to help employees identify, sort and reduce waste on the job, and also launched workplace webinars covering environmental sustainability topics geared towards both individual and corporate action.


We innovate and collaborate to create circularity

Through observations and pilot programs, we have benefited from several early learnings that are making improvements in our day-to-day waste management, offering great potential to achieve our goals through scaling. For example, after learning that 47% of our Mark’s store waste consists of “flexible films” such as shrink wrap and polybags used to protect products, we launched Mark’s Polybag Pilot in an effort to better collect and recycle this material at the store level. The ten pilot stores were able to capture 2.5 tonnes of plastic for recycling in the first four months of the project. After the initial success, we began rolling out flexible plastics recycling to all of our Mark’s stores, and we are piloting the use of the recycled materials from these polybags to increase the recycled content in the packaging of some of the products that we design.

Reducing textile waste has also been our focus at the store level. Recognizing that from time to time clothing in our stores is damaged and in unsaleable condition, select Mark’s stores have been taking part in a pilot program with the innovative recycling company, TerraCycle, to prevent fabrics from entering landfills. The pilot stores collected and sent any clothing that arrived in a damaged condition to TerraCycle’s recycling plant. In 2021, we collected over 1,500 kilograms of clothing that were then sent to TerraCycle for fibre and textile recycling.

1 While we endeavour to track and measure all of our operational waste, the scope of our operational waste target does not include waste from Dealer- and franchisee-operated stores, any waste managed directly by CT REIT, our international operations, and 39% of our corporately-operated stores (including Helly Hansen), primarily due to lack of control over those waste programs.

2 Please see our previous footnote for a description of the scope of our operational waste.  Additionally, note that in July 2022, we updated our methodology for calculating our operational waste profile, which is reflected in these waste figures.

3 Our diversion rate is calculated by taking the percentage of waste diverted away from landfills relative to the total waste generated. Diverted waste could be recycled, composted or re-used.

Unless otherwise indicated, information in this ESG Report is provided for the 2021 fiscal year. For further information on our approach to ESG reporting, including our Glossary, which sets out definitions of capitalized terms and acronyms that are not otherwise defined in this page, and our forward-looking information disclaimer, please click here.