Combating food waste
In view of the financial, environmental and societal challenges stemming from food waste, the Group has for several years sought to reduce sources of waste by offering solutions to customers and employees, first by implementing systems designed to reduce spoilage and unsold items, and second through donations.
In 2013, the Group signed the National Pact to Fight Food Wastage set up by the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
Levers in the fight against food waste include:
- continuous improvement of store functioning : by optimising orders, limiting spoilage through training and education of personnel, etc.
- donation of products to associations such as the French Federation of Food Banks (FFBA) when products have short remaining shelf lives. Over 10,500 tonnes of food were given to NGOs in 2016, an increase of 21% compared with 2015, reflecting the impact of these initiatives;
- raising awareness of employees and customers. To improve their awareness, the banners implement customer awareness initiatives in their stores by handing out brochures such as “Great Ways to Reduce Waste” and “Waste Prevention Tips” (Monoprix) and “Combating Food Waste” (Casino).
- joint work with suppliers to extend the shelf life of products, without increasing the health risk : this was done for over 312 Casino, Monoprix, Franprix and Leader Price SKUs in 2016; remove best-by dates on certain categories of products; and optimise packaging of food products with the development of single or portioned offers.
Lastly, many stores are adopting the sorting of non-consumable organic food products (meat, fish, etc.) for reuse in animal feed, biogas or composting.
Promoting responsible products
To educate its customers and suppliers, the Casino Group carries out information and awareness raising campaigns in its stores primarily on responsible shopping, the recycling of used items (bulbs, batteries, small electrical appliances) and food wastage.
Casino was the first retailer to introduce carbon labelling on its private-label products to make its customers aware of the environmental impact of their consumption. Launched in 2008, this labelling was gradually replaced by the environmental index (EI), which features the impact of the full product life cycle on greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and aquatic pollution. This index can be found on Casino and Monoprix private-label products. This process provides the Group with more insight into the environmental impact of products as well as informing and educating customers and encouraging suppliers to implement improvement actions. An Environmental Index calculation tool is deployed among industrial food producers to step up its use.
Reducing the use of plastic bags
To encourage more sustainable consumption and reduce household waste, the Casino Group has since 2003 had a policy of reducing the number of disposable bags provided, offering a range of reusable bags in all its stores. Within the scope of COP21, the Casino Group presented 12 solutions to fight against climate change, including the use of reusable bags, which the Group’s stores proposed.
In France, from 2003 to 2015, the number of free disposable check-out bags distributed by Casino fell by 95%. In Paris, Casino supermarkets and Franprix stores decided to mark the opening day of COP21 by permanently removing all disposable carry bags as a sign of their commitment to protecting the environment. These banners made this choice more than six months before such bags were officially banned in 2016 under the energy transition law.
The Group’s banners in France no longer provide disposable plastic bags, in accordance with regulations.
In other countries, subsidiaries are deploying an increasing variety of actions to encourage a preference for reusable bags (in store displays, loyalty programme incentives, etc.) and reduce the use of disposable plastic bags. In Brazil, GPA has set up a rewards system for customers who do not use plastic bags, offering stylish new reusable bags. In São Paulo, GPA and the other major retailers withdrew all free plastic bags from their stores in May 2015. As part of its “Juntos en Acción” CSR programme, Libertad has rolled out initiatives for reducing the use of plastic bags in its stores, notably by opening a special checkout for its so-called “caja verde” customers. These initiatives have resulted in a 90% reduction in the volume of bags handed out since 2015.