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Customers and Suppliers

Enable sustainable supply and consumerism

We want to play a positive role in society through the decisions we take in our supply chain.

Direct farm

Objective: To support and integrate merging farmers into Massmart’s fresh produce supply chain
As a part of our focus on food-producer security and job creation, we have initiated a direct farm programme that aims to provide emerging farmers with market access by integrating them into Massmart’s fresh produce supply chain. Based on Walmart’s direct farm experience in India, the programme provides access to services that include mentoring by larger commercial farmers and training by our NGO partner, Technoserve.

Global Ethical Sourcing

Objective: To partner with private label, direct import and non-branded merchandise suppliers to ensure adherence to Walmart supplier standards
Walmart strives to positively impact global supply chain practices by raising its own standards and partnering with other retailers, brands, NGOs and government leaders to find innovative and sustainable ways to improve working conditions and protect the environment. With this in mind, starting in 2013, Massmart is implementing Walmart’s ethical sourcing programme. Covering the sourcing of private brand, non-branded and direct imported merchandise, the objectives of the programme include: improving working conditions for factory workers around the globe; supporting strong social and environmental conditions in factories; and empowering workers through supplier development and women’s empowerment initiatives.

Packaging rationalisation

Objective: To partner with willing suppliers to identify and implement opportunities to rationalise private label packaging 
Packaging plays a fundamental role in protecting, preserving and transporting products. Packaging also enhances the attractiveness of merchandise, while providing consumers with vital information on the product’s contents. Massmart is intent on identifying opportunities to improve its private label product packaging. With this in mind, Massmart is focused on the following aspects of its

Private Label Packaging:

  1. Optimising Packaging Recyclability: Supporting end-of-life recovery and recycling in packaging design
  2. Minimising Packaging Resource Use: Reducing resource use and costs associated with the manufacture and transportation of its packaging

To ensure on-going improvement Massmart has formalized a sustainable packaging review process that entails the regular packaging workshops and periodic private label packaging audits.

Packaging Rationalisation Guidance Note

Local supplier advocacy

Objective: To share knowledge with willing suppliers to facilitate voluntary achievement of higher environmental and human rights standards in the retail supply chain
Massmart runs an active supplier advocacy process with the objective of encouraging responsible supplier conduct in our supply chain. The advocacy process incorporates a combination of self-assessment surveys, issue-specific workshops, random data verification site visits and sharing of comparative data. For example Massmart’s annul Supplier Environmental Survey consists of a multiple choice questionnaire covering eleven environmental issues and, addresses among other things: water conservation, energy efficiency, biodiversity, packaging rationalisation and third party certification. In the past three years we have distributed the survey to over 900 suppliers and received feedback from over 400. In total we have developed individual environmental profiles for over 750 suppliers. In rolling out the survey we realized that certain issues required a more targeted approach. In the last year we have developed three additional surveys that focus on: Seafood, palm oil and energy efficiency labeling. This has helped us to identify key risks and opportunities in each of these areas and led to the development of seafood and palm oil sourcing policies.

Palm Oil Guidance Note
Seafood Guidance Note

Post-consumer waste recycling: E-waste

Objective: To implement, post-consumer e-waste recycling schemes in major metropolitan areas
Makro implemented its post-consumer E-waste initiative in 2008. In partnership with Desco E-waste Recyclers, we currently operate e-waste collection facilities at 10 Makro stores and estimate that in excess of 350 tons of e-waste have been collected since the project inception. Approximately 98% of the associated components and materials have been diverted from landfill. The remaining 2% that could not be recovered, reused or recycled was safely disposed to landfill. We are grateful to Fujitsu-Siemens, who led the establishment of this programme. Given the success of the scheme, we are now exploring opportunities to involve a more representative spectrum of hi-technology brand owners in the initiative.

Eco label advocacy

Objective: To promote adoption by suppliers of independently verified eco-labels or equivalents
The concept of eco-labelling has recently come to the forefront of environmental and socially sustainable products and retail. Customers are more aware of the need to buy products that promote sustainability and that are not produced by companies that conduct themselves in a manner that is detrimental to humans or the environment. In addition, there is an expectation among Environmental and Social NGO’s that retailers should proactively identify and promote products that carry Eco-labels.

Our position is that, whilst we will not enforce the adoption of eco-labels as a procurement screen, we will proactively facilitate interaction between eco-label owners, our buyers and key suppliers to build awareness of the benefits of participation in viable eco-label programmes. To this end, we have prioritised energy efficiency, marine stewardship and forestry stewardship as immediate focus areas.

Consumer empowerment

Objective: To empower consumers to make responsible consumer choices more frequently
Massmart is committed to encouraging the sale of environmentally sensitive products. To this end, the Eco-Wise brand was developed to help promote eco-labelled products. Eco-wise rewards suppliers who make use of eco-labels by providing an on-pack panel that helps to highlight the specific sustainability attributes of the product. Currently, all of our new Builders Warehouse private label products carry the eco-wise panel.

In addition to our eco-wise programme, we continue to run customer demand-driven environmentally-sensitive product promotions, examples of which include the promotion of recycled office paper, solar-powered garden lighting, solar-geysers, and LED security lighting. A further initiative is our Builders Warehouse and Ellies Green Stand programme, a store within-a-store concept in which energy efficient technologies from Ellies are explained and promoted to customers.

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