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Our environment

Case study:
Improving the traceability and transparency in seafood supply chains is key to ensuring that the products we source come from well managed and sustainable origins.

In 2012 we embarked on a sustainable seafood programme to advocate for the adoption of sustainable fishery management practices and to ensure that we did not source seafood from unsustainable or illegal fisheries. Last year we, in addition to our existing supplier marine advocacy programmes, initiated genetic identity testing of our Private Label and national brand seafood product ranges. Not only does this initiative enable us to identify and correct instances of inadvertent product mislabelling, but it also provides a reliable tool to validate supplier information and promote responsible sourcing practices amongst our supplier base.
Working with our buyers and suppliers, we have completed over 34 seafood product tests and hosted two feedback sessions with suppliers to highlight findings and develop appropriate action plans.

While this project is still in its infancy, we are excited by the opportunities it affords us to significantly improve seafood supply chain transparency, facilitate closer supplier engagement and help us ensure that we offer our customers products that come from well managed and sustainable fisheries.
Minimise The Group Environmental Footprint
Operational waste recycling
We continue to prioritise the recycling of paper, plastic and board at our stores and DCs. This initiative assists with reducing the burden on constrained landfill availability in South Africa and is aligned to Governments’ objective to reduce packaging and paper waste.
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We are pleased to report that the percentage of our stores actively sorting and recycling their waste increased from 89% to 95% in 2017, while the number of stores tracking and reporting on waste diversion increased from 36% to 72%. During the period we reduced our overall waste generation by over 10,000 tonnes and recycled 16,500 tonnes of paper, plastic and board from our stores and DCs. We also piloted waste composting at selected Makro stores, while 41 Makro, Game and Jumbo stores in Gauteng and Western Cape, participated in a ‘Waste to Energy’ trial, collectively diverting 218 tonnes of organic waste from landfill.

Beyond driving operational paper, board and plastic recycling, our objective in 2018 is to expand programmes through which non-recyclable waste is diverted from landfill and identify solutions for facilities situated in areas in which waste recycling does not currently occur.

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Water conservation
One of our environmental priorities remains minimising our water usage across our stores and DCs, particularly in light of the severe drought affecting some of the areas in which we operate.
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Along with standard water saving measures such as the installation of water saving taps, fixtures and dual flush toilets, we have implemented two unique water conservation measures at standalone stores. These involve the capture and reuse of rainwater from store roofs and condensate from refrigeration plants. In 2017, we expanded these water-harvesting systems to a further two Makro and Builders Warehouse stores bringing the total to 88 participating stores. We also installed an additional seven independent water meters at stores with garden centres, further improving our ability to monitor and reduce water consumption at these facilities. We estimate that through all these initiatives we collectively saved approximately 21 million litres of water in 2017.

In response to the water shortages in the Western and Eastern Cape we are independently tracking water resources in these catchments and have taken the decision to initiate added water saving measures, including:

  • Discontinuing all non-critical water use;
  • Investing in atmospheric water generating units, capable of producing up to 5,000 litres of water a day, at high priority sites; and
  • Transitioning to approved safe waterless cleaning and sanitation alternatives where appropriate.
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Energy efficiency
We continue to focus on optimising energy efficiency across our stores and DCs. This helps us drive down operational costs and electricity-related emissions, which represent a significant portion of our green house gas (GHG) emissions.
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In 2017, we installed energy efficient lighting in a further eight stores. We also increased, by eight, the number of stores making use of intelligent building management systems and daylight harvesting modules.

Group store energy intensity increased by 16% to 213.1 kWh/m2 , due primarily to our inclusion of more accurate energy consumption data for our Rhino stores. Improvements in energy efficiency were observed across our Masswarehouse, Massbuild and Masscash Divisions. As previously reported, in 2013 we developed an energy efficiency roadmap that required a 10% improvement in energy efficiency based on our 2010 store footprint. As we approach our 2020 energy efficiency goal we are currently performing 20% better than our target, having avoided the consumption of 50,000 MWh of energy in 2017 alone.

In 2017, we generated more than 1.9 million kWh of solar energy, while bringing a further two new solar plants online at our Builders Warehouse Northriding and our new Makro Riversands stores. These projects bring our total Group renewable energy generating capacity to approximately three million kWh per year, making us the largest producer of on-site renewable energy of any retailer in Africa. A further three solar plants are scheduled for construction during the course of 2018, the first of which will come online at Makro Springfield in February 2018.

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Climate change and reporting
We have, since 2007, participated in a number of global disclosure and reporting initiatives including the CDP, the FTSE/JSE Responsible Investment Index and the Global Reporting Initiative. In 2017, we scored in the A– band of the CDP’s scorecard for climate change, the highest of South Africa’s big five retailers.
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We remain a participant in the FTSE/JSE responsible Investment index, having first been admitted at inception of the index in 2004. While we are currently on the Top 30 reserve list, it is our objective to once again be included in the top 30 Leadership Index following our FTSE/JSE Responsible Investment Index Review scheduled for the first quarter of 2018.

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Environmental Performance Indictors