Sustainable and circular use of raw materials

As a retailer, we use raw materials to produce products and materials and to run our shops and operations. But raw materials are in danger of becoming scarce because of the growing population and increasing prosperity in the world. That is why we need to deal with it in a sustainable and circular way.

You can read exactly what we mean by raw materials in our definitions.

How does Colruyt Group deal with raw materials sustainably?

1 Less waste, more recycling

A lot of valuable raw materials end up in the waste. For example, 1.3 billion tonnes of food are lost in the world every year, or a third of the total food production. We want to avoid that at all costs. We are committed to reducing our residual waste and avoiding food loss.

We do this by making our range of products, packaging and services more circular and upgrading our waste streams. To this end, we work according to the principles of the circular economy, recycling and reusing the available raw materials again and again. And waste will be a thing of the past.

By 2050, we will take a 100% circular approach to construction and building materials under our own management. First, we take an inventory of:

  • the proportion of reusable and recyclable construction and building materials
  • the percentage of recycled raw materials in construction and building materials
  • the amount of construction and building materials that are effectively reused.

Afterwards, we define quantified objectives and action plans for continuous improvements toward 2050.

What are the principles of the circular economy?

  • Refuse and rethink: avoid the use of raw materials and rethink products so that fewer raw materials are needed.
  • Reduce: use only what is necessary and reduce the amount of raw materials.
  • Recircle: maximise the use of raw materials by bringing them back into circulation, e.g. through repair, refurbishment or the second-hand circuit.
  • Recycle: recycling and reuse of materials.
  • Recover: recovering energy from materials.

2 Positive impact in origin regions

Excessive demand for raw materials not only leads to major ecological challenges, including deforestation and water scarcity, but often also to poor working conditions. Therefore, a responsible sourcing of raw materials is the second part of our approach.

As a retailer, we can help steer the demand for sustainable raw materials. We want to use our economic engine to create a positive social and ecological spiral wherever we source our raw materials and products. We have three levers to promote this:

Our objectives and initiatives

Less waste

From 2021 onwards, we will reduce our tonnage of waste per million euros of turnover annually.

Recycling residual streams

From 2021 we will recycle at least 85% of our residual streams. 2023 was a record year.

Status 2023

Goal from 2021

All packaging

By 2030, all packaging in our stores will be recyclable or reusable. By 2025, all household packaging of our private-label products should be reusable or recyclable.

PET packaging

By 2025 our PET beverage containers should consist of 50% recycled PET.

Status 2022

Goal 2025

Initiatives about 'Packaging'

Environmental impact

We identify building and furnishing materials with the greatest environmental impact.


We aspire to reuse and recycle building and furnishing materials when possible.

100% circular

By 2050, we will take a 100% circular approach to construction and furnishing materials under our own management.

Initiatives about 'Circular construction'