Implementing Waste Resource Mapping for a European Online Retailer

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A European online retailer wanted to quantify its Group waste footprint and understand where waste was generated by its operations and in the downstream value chain. The aim was to increase transparency and monitor progress towards the online retailer’s sustainability goals.


The online retailer engaged Anthesis to support the company to quantify its waste footprint. As part of this process, Anthesis identified waste disposal routes by material and location, total packaging placed on the market, and markets with high opportunities for circular textile strategies.

Anthesis also researched the regulatory changes facing the organisation, both on a European and country-specific level, to understand potential impacts. The project resulted in a data gap analysis and recommendations for goal setting for sustainable resources and waste management.

Key services included:

  • Creating a waste resource inventory to identify the types, quantities, sources, and fate of waste generated as well as waste flows and process steps from Group operations and downstream post-consumer end-of-use.
  • Conducting interviews with internal stakeholders to ensure the inventory considered the full scope of waste arisings.
  • Researching the regulatory framework for packaging and textile waste across the EU and the online retailer’s 18 core markets to identify risks, opportunities, and gaps.
  • Benchmarking industry peers’ and leaders’ waste and recycling public targets against the organisation’s current policies and targets, identifying risks, opportunities, policy gaps and any overarching standards that could apply.
  • Conducting a workshop with key stakeholders to facilitate a discussion on the scale and scope of impacts on the business as well as challenges and opportunities presented by the findings.
  • Developing data gap analysis and recommendations to improve waste data and data for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).
  • Developing a waste baseline roadmap with recommendations of quick wins and areas that require urgent action.


Anthesis’ research and waste baseline mapping served as an important first step for the European online retailer to identify sources of waste across both commercial and non-commercial waste streams and identify waste disposal routes and locations.

This exercise supported the online retailer to understand crucial data gaps and next steps, allowing the business to set SMART waste targets as part of its sustainability strategy.