Together for less litter
Our store staff together with employees in the return centres continue to work hard on efficient sorting and therefore, improved recycling. And they’ve achieved a great result, because in 2019 we set a new record with a recycling rate of 83.98 %. Additionally, the total amount of residual waste fell by 547 tonnes in 2019, a decrease of 3.90 % compared to 2018.
Despite growing sales, we managed to recycle even more in 2019: our recycling rate rose by 0.84 % to 83.98 %. In other words, we are recycling 839 out of every 1,000 kilos of business waste. Our total waste production in 2019 showed a minimal increase (+0.14 %) but the amount of residual waste once again showed a decrease of more than 547 tonnes.
Avoiding waste is our first priority. And this is something we're good at, thanks to effective monitoring and our many years of experience. Reuse is the second priority, both for food products (through donations or processing into new products) and non-food products.
Any remaining waste is very diverse, ranging from food waste to materials such as cardboard, glass and metal. That's why we sort it carefully, firstly in our stores, then again thoroughly in our return centres. We remove all recyclable materials and try to find a high-quality way of re-using them.
Donation of food surpluses
Thanks to efficient stock management and good monitoring, in 2019 the percentage of sales of fresh and frozen products was as high as 97.21 %.
We donate a substantial percentage of unsold products to social organisations. Both Colruyt and Bio-Planet and, since last year, OKay have strengthened their ties with the Food Banks: in 2019 they donated 4,262 tonnes of food products. This represents an increase of 29.28% compared to 2018.
Carrying on and doing even better
These great results don’t mean that we’ll rest on our laurels. Every day, we’ll continue in our efforts to maintain and improve this good recycling rate. Our employees constantly get tips to promote a conscious sorting mentality and we continue to look for new internal applications for recycling.
With this initiative, we contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.