SPAR in the UK’s sustainability initiatives

June 6, 2023 IN THE CATEGORY: Community, Environment, Responsible retailing

SPAR in the UK is committed to promoting sustainability across its business operations. In line with this commitment, the company has implemented initiatives designed to make an impact in key areas such as food waste reduction, community clean-ups, plastic reduction, and tree planting. These efforts demonstrate SPAR in the UK's commitment to fostering a more sustainable future.

Food waste reduction

Food waste reduction is an area where SPAR in the UK has a particular focus. All SPAR stores manage stock with a view to reducing waste. One tool welcomed by customers is through working with business partners Too Good To Go and Gander which make the collection of price-reduced groceries nearing the end of their shelf life easy. SPAR throughout the UK has saved over 650,000 meals through this collaboration with Too Good To Go and Gander.

Clean-up initiatives

SPAR retailers took part in and sponsored coastal clean-ups to clear beaches of waste last summer. A number of SPAR stores along the UK coastlines organised and participated in community coastal clean-ups as part of the Million Mile Clean initiative. Collaborating with Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), an environmental marine company that organises coastal clean-ups, the Million Mile Clean is an initiative that brings communities together and cleans several miles of the coast.

Plastic reduction

SPAR UK is a member of The WRAP UK Plastics Pact, a collaborative initiative launched in 2018 that brings together businesses from across the entire plastics value chain, including the convenience sector, with UK governments and NGOs to tackle the scourge of plastic waste. It aims to create a circular economy for plastics, capturing their value by keeping them in the economy and out of the natural environment.

By joining The UK Plastics Pact, SPAR UK is committing to defined targets. SPAR has access to expert advice and support through business planning workshops, enabling the group to achieve these targets. It also provides them with technical advice on alternatives to hard-to-recycle plastics. This demonstrates SPAR’s clear commitment to reducing its use of plastics and ensuring a more sustainable future.

Tree planting

SPAR wholesaler and convenience store retailer, A.F. Blakemore & Son Ltd, launched a new app in April 2023 called Plant & Win, where SPAR shoppers in Wales, central England and the Southeast can play to plant trees and win a host of exciting prizes. Partnering with the environmental charity One Tree Planted, a tree will be planted in the UK for every Plant & Win app download, also helping A.F. Blakemore fulfil its sustainability goals.

Source: SPAR UK

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The UK became a SPAR member in 1956 when SPAR International granted the SPAR licence to a group of independent wholesalers. As a result, there are now five regional partners in the UK. A central office in London provides national marketing and buying services for the group.

SPAR has led the highly competitive convenience market in the UK for many years. Always innovative, the five regional partners continue to grow the brand. SPAR UK comprises independently owned licensed retailers and company-owned stores. These include forecourts, airports, train stations, city centres, and local neighbourhood stores.

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