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SPAR Switzerland receives Lean and Green Award from GS1

July 3, 2019 IN THE CATEGORY: Climate, Responsible retailing

  • Jürgen Tomas, SPAR Project lead; Theresa Fuchs, Consultant for Swiss Climate; Beat Huber, Manager SPAR Logistics

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SPAR Switzerland was awarded the 2019 Lean & Green Award at the 14th General Assembly of GS1, a not-for-profit organisation that develops and maintains global standards for business communication.

The award recognises companies that are committed to reducing their CO2 emissions in transport and logistics by at least 20% within five years.

The Lean & Green initiative was launched in the Netherlands in 2008 with the full support of the government and has now been established in 12 countries, including Switzerland, with more than 500 participating companies.

With its commitment to the initiative, SPAR Switzerland is making an important contribution to climate protection over the next five years. It has committed to the following measures, developed with the support of Swiss Climate, to reduce its CO2 emissions by at least 20%:

  • On the St. Gallen-Davos line, goods are transported by truck using the Rhaetian Railway, saving 80 tonnes of CO2 per year
  • A new transport management system has been implemented to significantly reduce empty runs and kilometres, saving 140 tonnes of CO2 each year.
  • The cooling systems of trucks will be optimised (air bulkhead, curtains, etc.) to reduce the cooling loss and save 110 tons of CO2 per year.
  • Thanks to a newly developed hinged roll container, the collection of empty items will be easier, reducing the number of trips needed for this purpose.
  • Truck drivers are given regular training on fuel-efficient driving, which can cut fuel consumption by at least 5%.
  • New alternative drive technologies for trucks are implemented to save even more fuel in the future.
  • At the SPAR headquarters in St. Gallen, renewable and CO2 neutral energy sources are used for heating and hot water.

As one of the founding members of Prisma, SPAR Switzerland is also committed to a sustainable recycling system for all types of packaging. In addition to collection points for PET, PE, batteries and energy-saving lamps, some SPAR Supermarkets also have storage containers for beverage cartons. Thanks to these recycling measures, natural resources are conserved and less CO2 emissions are released.

GS1 is a trade association seeking to support sustainable value creation networks. GS1 Switzerland hosts the Lean & Green initiative in Switzerland and supports the participating companies in implementing their five-year CO2 emission reduction goals. Each company’s targets are checked by an independent certification body and once it has been verified that all goals have been achieved, the company is awarded a Lean & Green star. A total of five stars can be awarded based on the current system.

Source: SPAR Switzerland


SPAR Switzerland has undergone several changes since being founded in 1989. In 2000, the family-owned business was transformed into a holding company with three operating companies: SPAR Handels AG, TopCC AG and SPAR Management AG. The business grew further, combining corporate and independently owned stores, spanning forecourt retailing to large supermarkets.

In early 2016, SPAR Switzerland announced the sale of 60% of shares to SPAR South Africa. The existing management team and shareholders remain involved in the business.