SPAR Netherlands hosts waste-free convention

March 4, 2019 IN THE CATEGORY: Environment, Responsible retailing

SPAR Netherlands celebrated its annual convention in Utrecht on 13 February. At this yearly event, SPAR retailers, their teams and suppliers come together to showcase their latest products and services. This year’s edition put a keen focus on responsible retailing with the goal of organising a waste-free event.

At SPAR, sustainability is a well-ingrained part of the business and there is an ongoing search for retail solutions that are environmentally friendly. This year, SPAR Netherlands raised the bar by holding a ‘circular’ event meaning that nothing was wasted – no materials, products or energy.

Waste-free measures

To see through its goal of having a waste-free convention, SPAR Netherlands implemented a number of creative solutions, finding sustainable alternatives to disposable items and making use of LED lighting throughout the event location.

A large recycling point was set up where different types of waste could be disposed of (paper, compost, plastic and general waste), and creative up-cycling ideas were put in place. For example, the flooring will be re-used to produce garden furniture and the plastic that was collected throughout the event will be used to produce trophies for a new SPAR independent retailer focused competition which will recognise the most sustainable store. Additionally, the stands used at the expo part of the event were all made of pallet wood and are fully reusable.

Finally, the leftover food from the expo was used to prepare dinner for SPAR central office staff, independent retailers and suppliers. Products that weren’t used in the dinner menu, as well as any remaining meals, were collected by the Food Bank and distributed to those in need.

This ambitious project was made possible by working in partnership with De Verspillingsfabriek (The Surplus Food Factory), Hutten Catering, and DeFabrique event location management – a perfect example of SPAR’s strategy of working ‘better together’.

Photo credits: Ton Schoenmakers,

Source: SPAR Netherlands

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About SPAR Netherlands

SPAR was founded in the Netherlands in 1932 by the Dutch wholesaler, Adriaan van Well and 16 independent retailers. It was established as a voluntary chain of grocers under the name “DESPAR”. By the end of the 1950s, SPAR was the largest food organisation in the Netherlands. Today SPAR Netherlands operates more than 260 stores across the country, covering a retail selling area of 94,547 m2.

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