World Environment Day: sustainability initiateves
On World Environment Day, we share meaningful initiatives undertaken by global SPAR country organisations in the area of plastic and food waste reduction, alongside their active engagement in community clean-ups. These initiatives exemplify SPAR’s commitment to sustainable practices and environmental conservation.
Food waste reduction
SPAR Austria continues to pioneer innovative ways to reduce food waste. Although only 1% of the food offered instore goes unsold, the retailer is looking to bring this down further by using data and AI for goods ordering and supply chain management. In cooperation with the company’s IT unit, Microsoft, and other partners, SPAR Austria has developed a solution that enables more targeted order suggestions and demand forecasts for all SPAR, EUROSPAR, and INTERSPAR stores. The new system offers a prediction accuracy of over 90%, meaning that the right amount is available in the right store at the right time, thus further reducing food waste.
SPAR’s international partnership with social impact company Too Good To Go, has saved 3.5 million meals from going to waste in 14 countries. Since the launch of the partnership in 2020, over 3,000 SPAR stores have actively been curbing food waste with the innovative digital solution. This has supported Too Good To Go’s recent global milestone of having saved 200 million meals.
BWG Foods, operator of the SPAR brand in Ireland, has been working with FoodCloud Hubs to redistribute excess food to those in need. FoodCloud Hubs connects businesses such as SPAR to local charities such as Meals on Wheels, After Schools Clubs and Homeless Shelters providing them with great quality food that would have otherwise been assigned to waste, despite it being perfect for consumption.
SPAR tackles food waste through a collaboration with the digital platforms Gander, and WhyWaste. These partnerships are another milestone in our strategy of using digital solutions to achieve a reduction in food waste within the food retail sector.
Community clean-up initiatives
For the sixth time in a row, SPAR Slovenia supported the Ljubljanica river cleaning campaign organised by the Vivera Association for Underwater Activities in cooperation with the Slovenian Diving Association (SPZ) and the City Municipality of Ljubljana. Ninety divers, fishermen, firefighters, environmentalists and citizens of Ljubljana and its surroundings came together to clean the river, removing nearly a ton of waste, including motorcycles, trolleys, and road signs.
As a retailer deeply engaged with the local community, SPAR Zimbabwe demonstrates its commitment to environmental stewardship by organising monthly clean-ups on the first Friday of each month. SPAR actively engages community members to participate in this initiative, dedicating a two-hour timeframe to clean designated areas. In collaboration with a local bottled water company, SPAR ensures that volunteers are provided with refreshments, while a local bin bag supplier donates the bags for the clean-up activities. Following each cleaning day, the number of bags is counted – the retailer has the objective of collecting 15,000 tonnes of litter in 2023, surpassing the 10,000 tonnes gathered during the previous year.
Through the introduction of reusable tarpaulins to cover shipments of products from the warehouse to stores via roll cages, SPAR Hungary will reduce the use of plastic film by over 59 tons per year. The stores collect the tarpaulins and return them to the warehouse to be used for the next delivery. The country organisation launched these tarpaulins at the end of December 2022.
Last year, SPAR Italy partner Maiora renewed its partnership with Legambiente by supporting its ‘Tartalove’ project to safeguard the Caretta Caretta sea turtle that risks disappearing from the seas due to professional fishing, nautical traffic, and polluted water. Maiora introduced 100% biodegradable shopping bags in all its stores with information about Legambiente’s recovery centres in the Centre-South of the country and its turtle care activities. The Italian SPAR partner has been supporting environmental protection issues for years, involving its employees and consumers through partnerships with qualified environmental voluntary organisations.
Source: SPAR International