Shoprite serious about fighting hunger and joblessness
In the face of a world pandemic which locally put into sharp relief challenges around food security and job losses, the Shoprite Group’s 2020 Sustainability Report showcases the retailer’s extensive efforts to combat both.
In order to build resilient communities and with hunger relief at the heart of its corporate social investment (CSI) programmes, the Group in the last financial year donated surplus food to the value of R95 million, while ploughing a cumulative R26.5 million into community food gardens since starting to support such gardens in 2015.
The Group also invested just over R490 million in training and skills development programmes rolled out to both employees and non-employees. Furthermore its employees enjoy job security as none of its 141 245 employees were retrenched even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues unabated.
Committed to reducing its environmental impact while promoting operational efficiency, the retailer has aligned its goals focused on climate change, water security, sustainable packaging, waste management and responsible sourcing, with that of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The retailer also formulated position statements on climate change and water security in the last year.
“Our approach to the problem of climate change is twofold: In the first instance we try to mitigate its effects by for instance increasing our reliance on renewable energy sources and rolling out energy efficient lighting in our stores. The other way is through adaptation, where we seek to strengthen the resilience and adaptive capacity of our operations and that of the communities in which we operate by ensuring food security through the extensive support of community food gardens, surplus food donations and disaster relief through our fleet of mobile soup kitchens” says Sanjeev Raghubir, the Group’s Sustainability Manager.
“We are extremely proud of the sustainability milestones reached in the last financial year and look forward to doing more to support the communities we serve, to safeguard our environment and to continue to provide job opportunities,” he added.
Read the Sustainability Report to get the complete picture of the Group’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
· 3.5 million training hours of which 2.2. million hours were spent on e-learning training
· 4 759 people graduated with a national qualification
· 5 awards for most recognisable and trusted brand.
· Customers donated more than R1.7 million via the Group’s in-store donation facility, the Act For Change Fund, to the Solidarity Fund
· Reused and recycled 37 312 tons of cardboard
· More than 600 of our trailers are powered by solar panels
· Increased the use of solar energy by 25%
· Converted 938 656 litres of used cooking oil to biodiesel
· Invested R135 million in CSI projects and programmes.
· Served more than 34 million meals to communities in need.
· Grew the number of food gardens supported to 119 Suppliers
· Directed 4.4% of supplier spend to black women-owned businesses.
· Invested a further R9.5 million in a fund, established to support SMEs, bringing the total investment to R94.5 million to date.