Sustainability high on SPAR Austria’s agenda

September 4, 2019 IN THE CATEGORY: Environment, Health, Responsible retailing

SPAR Austria is continuously striving to achieve its sustainable development goals. Key areas of focus include the curtailment of plastics by switching to alternative resource-friendly materials, the sourcing of local organic food products, and the reduction of sugar in SPAR Own Brands. Here we highlight some recent responsible retailing initiatives implemented by SPAR Austria.

Reduction of 695 tonnes of sugar in own brands

Out of SPAR Austria’s entire range of own brand products, 260 have already been reformulated to contain less sugar. The recipes of these products have been reviewed and adapted, and since February 2017, a total of 695 tonnes of sugar has been removed. The category with the largest sugar reduction has been the own brand beverages category, with 320 tonnes removed so far.

In its quest for reducing sugar in food products, SPAR Austria is supported by a scientific medical advisory board and 26 partners of the alliance in favour of a sugar-reduced diet.

SPAR Austria also recently partnered with Vienna-based start-up, NUSSYY, to offer shoppers two varieties of delicious, organic biscuits produced without added sugar – another step in its stated objective of removing 1,000 tonnes of sugar from own brands by 2020.

Coffee-to-Go discount with own cup

As more and more people purchase hot drinks on the go, the use of disposable cups has increased. Every year, billions of these cups end up in the garbage – something INTERSPAR Austria is determined to decrease through providing sustainable options. In line with this, visitors to INTERSPAR restaurants and instore cafés can now bring their own cups when purchasing coffee or tea on the go. Each time a customer brings their own mug, they receive a €0.20 discount on their coffee or tea of choice.

Wooden cutlery in SPAR Gourmet stores

SPAR Austria has introduced free wooden cutlery for all Food-to-Go products sold in SPAR Gourmet stores in Vienna and lower Austria, as well as in INTERSPAR Hypermarkets across the country. By providing a sustainable alternative to plastic cutlery, SPAR Austria is helping drive forward the war on plastic waste.

SPAR Austria Chairman, Gerhard Drexel, said: “As part of our plastic reduction initiative, Save on plastic with SPAR, we now offer forks, knives and spoons made of European birch wood in a paper bag.”

Toothbrush made of renewable raw materials

Another example of SPAR Austria’s focus on avoiding, reducing and recycling plastic, is the introduction of an organic toothbrush under its own brand range, BEAUTY KISS. Produced in a resource-saving way and made out of renewable raw materials, the innovative toothbrush consists of more than 90% bio-based plastic. The handle is made of 97% castor beans bio-based PA polyamide, a material which also makes up 60% of the soft bristles. In addition to this, the carton packaging contains at least 80% recycled material. The organic toothbrush is available in all SPAR, EUROSPAR and INTERSPAR stores throughout the country.

Save on plastic with SPAR

Another great plastic reduction initiative launched by SPAR Austria has been the move to encourage customers to bring their own containers for the packaging of cold cuts, cheese and meat at deli counters. After a successful trial, the initiative was recently rolled-out to all SPAR, EUROSPAR and INTERSPAR stores throughout the country.

SPAR Austria also recently introduced laser-labelled organic mangoes to EUROSPAR and INTERSPAR stores, helping to reduce the use of plastic stickers on fresh produce. This move will save on tonnes of coated plastic labels every year.

Expansion of domestic organic meat range

The demand for organic meat in Austria is increasing. To meet this demand, SPAR Austria has initiated a new SPAR Natur * pur organic project together with more than 500 Austrian farmers and three organisations: BIO AUSTRIA, ARGE Rind and Bioschwein Austria.

SPAR organic farmers need to fulfil many criteria. For example, they need to ensure that their animals have 365 days of access to open air runs, at least 120 days on the pasture, and the best non-GM feed from. In return, SPAR Austria offers the farmers safety and a fair price, as well as a quality supplement for AMA-certified organic beef and pork. High-quality SPAR Natur * pur organic meat is available at service and self-service counters in all SPAR, EUROSPAR and INTERSPAR stores nationwide.

Source: SPAR Austria

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About SPAR Austria

The origins of SPAR in Austria date back to 1954, but the current SPAR AG was created in 1970 when the original founding families joined with other regional wholesalers to form SPAR Austria AG – a 100% privately owned Austrian company.

With licences granted by SPAR International, ASPIAG (Austria SPAR International AG) has developed SPAR in Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, and Northern Italy.