The Shoprite Group’s positive impact in the countries and communities in which it operates have seen it subsidise staple products to the value of R141 million. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi African News Agency (ANA)

DURBAN - The Shoprite Group’s positive impact in the countries and communities in which it operates have seen it subsidise staple products to the value of R141 million, donate surplus food and goods to the value of R60.4 million and serve more than 20 million meals to communities in need in the 2019 financial year.

These are the results of just a few of the numerous initiatives outlined in the Group’s 2019 Sustainability Report, which documents the continued alignment of its sustainability work with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. 

As the largest retailer in Africa, the group recognises the important role it plays in the countries and communities in which it operates. 

The company said, "This role extends beyond living our purpose of being Africa’s most accessible and affordable retailer to include developing and supporting its employees, customers and their communities". 

The group harnesses its size, expertise and technology and distribution infrastructure to bring about meaningful change for its people, customers, communities and suppliers while making every effort to reduce its environmental footprint.

The company said, "As the largest retailer in Africa, the Shoprite Group recognises the important role it plays in the countries and communities in which it operates. It therefore supports interventions that are likely to bring about transformative change". 

These efforts are covered extensively in the Sustainability Report, the highlights of which are centred around:

People

1. The group employs 147 268 people in 15 African countries and created 3 175 new jobs in the last financial year.
2. It trained over 155 000 people in the last year including unemployed youth.
3. It funded 298 tertiary bursaries to the value of R16.3 million in the 2018 academic year.

Customers

1. It delivered on its promise of affordable prices, with more than 9 600 items selling at prices lower than they were the previous year.
2. It sold 53 million R5 deli meals and subsidised staple products to the value of R141 million, including 58 million loaves of bread.

Communities

1. The group donated surplus food and goods to the value of R60.4 million to registered charity beneficiaries and served more than 20 million meals to communities in need.
2. Many of its 90 food garden projects, of which 39 were established in the past financial year, were provided with market access to generate additional income.

Suppliers

1. The group works with 19 398 suppliers across almost 30 countries and took on 576 new suppliers during the year.
2. It spent 8.51 percent of its supplier spend on black-owned suppliers and 4.66 percent on black, woman-owned suppliers in the financial year.

Planet

1. The group reused and recycled 36 439 tons of cardboard and recycled 3 995 tons of plastic across its operations.
2. It saved 32 million kWh of electricity by using energy efficient lighting thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 562 tCO2e.
3. The group reduced its water usage intensity by 8.7 percent across its Western Cape operations.
4. The Shoprite Group is guided by its desire to #ActForChange and supports interventions that are likely to bring about transformative change. 

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE