Shoprite inks R3.5bn green loan as it invests in projects to reduce its carbon footprint

Shoprite Beaufort West is one of the group’s stores that is benefiting from its renewable energy strategy. Picture: Supplied

Shoprite Beaufort West is one of the group’s stores that is benefiting from its renewable energy strategy. Picture: Supplied

Published Aug 22, 2022


Retailer Shoprite announced on Monday that it had finalised sustainability-linked loans totalling R3.5 billion for investments to expand its key environmental programmes as part of its wider sustainability strategy.

These include a R2 billion loan from Standard Bank, an R800 million sustainability-linked loan and a R700m green loan from RMB for investment in environmental projects.

A further sustainability-linked loan was in the pipeline.

Sanjeev Raghubir, the group sustainability manager at Shoprite, said the loans enabled them to continue on the road to reduce their environmental footprint by using more renewable energy and sustainable packaging, and recycling more waste.

“These environmental programmes are key in our fight against climate change, and we are able to increase the pace and intensity of our actions with these loans,” Raghubir said.

The group said the loans would be used to expand the group’s investment in renewable energy and the increase of energy from renewable sources as a percentage of total electricity consumption, recycling cardboard and plastic, sustainable packaging which included reusable, recyclable and compostable packaging, containing recycled material as well as energy efficiency, including LED lighting, and a monitoring system for refrigeration to reduce energy consumption and waste.

The group said these investments would enable it to expand on the substantial investments it has already made.

In its previous financial year, Shoprite said it had reduced carbon emission intensity by 3.3 percent and water use intensity by 7.5 percent, increased the installed capacity of its solar photovoltaic (PV) systems by 82 percent and reduced electricity consumption by 150 million kWh through its LED lamp replacement project since inception.

It also said that it recycled 46 102 tons of cardboard from stores and distribution centres, and diverted 10 241 tons of plastic waste from landfills. It said it also paid R2.2m in rebates to customers for reusing their Planet bags since inception.

According to Old Mutual’s recent Climate Change Report, South Africa and the continent’s future depends largely on the private sector reducing the impact of climate change and addressing systemic social issues.

The latest Edelman Trust Barometer found that 52 percent of respondents saying they don’t think businesses are doing enough to address climate problems.

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