As a global retailer, SPAR can make a significant contribution towards reducing negative environmental impacts related to waste. Our SPAR Partners have launched numerous initiatives focused on reducing food waste, removing excessive packaging, developing durable and sustainable packaging and increasing recycling capabilities.
Tackling Food Waste
In understanding that food waste has a significant impact on the environment, SPAR’s dedicated initiatives and projects target this issue at all levels – from production right through to consumption. A significant focus is placed on making investments and creating partnerships that reduce waste along the supply chain and tackle this issue instore.
SPAR is committed to on-going projects that seek to reduce post-harvest losses, improve cold chains and shorten the supply chain where possible. This has resulted in SPAR leading the way in not only supporting local farmers and producers but also significantly reducing waste of fresh products from source to store. The further increase of investments in real-time management systems combined with automated ordering systems has resulted in significant improvements being made in reducing food waste as ordering volumes are optimised.
Creative food waste schemes in SPAR stores provide consumers with the high-quality products they expect but significantly reduce food waste for both fresh and long-life products. Innovative solutions and partnerships have prompted retailers to embrace digital tools to tackle food waste – allowing them to connect directly with consumers to offer products nearing their sell-by date at reduced prices. Alongside such solutions, donating food and discounting products remain core strategies in SPAR’s operations.
As part of our commitment to reducing plastic waste, SPAR is continuously redesigning packaging and introducing new environmentally friendly solutions. With this being applicable to both single-use plastic products and SPAR Own Brand products, we aim to ensure our efforts are aligned with the circular economy across SPAR markets.
With the focus of the circular economy on reducing, reusing and recycling, SPAR’s drive to redesign packaging has gained increased importance. Across SPAR markets, our partners are working hard to ensure unnecessary packaging and non-recyclable materials are removed from SPAR Own Brand products wherever possible. Key considerations are to ensure packaging solutions reduce CO2 emissions at the production phase and reduce energy consumption during recycling processes. With the goal of reducing waste, close cooperation across industries and stakeholders is a priority for SPAR.
Beyond removing single-use plastics instore, there is a strong tendency to offer reusable products and solutions. This is being driven in not only self-service and food-to-go stations but across SPAR’s resalable and non-resalable product departments.
SPAR Partners have significantly stepped-up their recycling initiatives – working with and educating customers on ways to reduce negative environmental impacts through tailored recycling programmes. Our recycling efforts provide win-win situations for all parties involved, tackling environmental issues to the benefit of local communities. This is reflected in our Distribution Centre (DC) operations, where excess packaging materials are separated and recycled before delivery to stores. Close cooperation between the DCs and stores further ensures recycling opportunities are maximised as tertiary packaging is collected from stores and returned to the DC.