Together for over 83% recycling

All our store staff are fully committed to improving waste sorting using tips they were given during our major sorting campaign. And the results are impressive, as we recycled more business waste in 2018 than ever before. Now the challenge is to keep the momentum going and to reduce residual waste even further, so we're providing even more handy sorting tips.

Putting food waste to good use

We achieved another first in 2018, by reducing the amount of waste we produced (-1.57%), even though the business continued to grow. And we also managed to recycle a record 832 out of every 1,000 kilos of business waste.

Food waste accounts for some of those waste streams and we are constantly improving how we use this waste. Throughout 2018, we donated a record amount of unsold yet still edible products to social organisations: no less than 3,297 tonnes of food that didn't go to waste.

We're also sending less food for incineration; just 9% of the total amount in 2018. As well as being better for the environment, this also means that 91% of food waste is put to good use.

Plastic, cardboard, residual waste … yep, separate

The largest contribution to our ever better recycling results comes from our shop staff. Thanks to the excellent 2016 information campaign for example, our Colruyt shop staff were able to separate fermentable waste from bread waste more efficiently. They managed to reduce residual waste by 500 tonnes. And they are continuing those efforts every day.


Separating waste in Colruyt shop
Even better sorting in Colruyt shops reduced residual waste by 500 tonnes in 2018.

A thorough second check on residual waste

The proportion of residual waste continues to drop thanks to the new sorting installations that we use in our return centres. Employees there sort residual waste from our shops, production and distribution centres, and office buildings thoroughly, and extract the recyclable materials such as plastic, hard plastic, cardboard, wood, metal and glass.


Second check on residual waste
There is another thorough check on all residual waste in the return centres.

Exceeding expectations

In the past, increasing revenues also meant increasing waste. Until last year. For the first time, we were able to reduce the amount of business waste we generated – by 1,277 tonnes. And we are also recycling more and more waste by improving how we sort materials into separate waste streams that are used productively. 

Recycling rate
With a recycling rate of 83.17% in 2018, we’ve exceeded our goal of 80%.

In 2018, we achieved our highest recycling rate ever: 83.17%. In other words, we are recycling 831 out of every 1,000 kilos of business waste – more than achieving our ambition. And we will continue to target a recycle rate of at least 80% in the coming years.

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 (new) employees constantly get tips to promote a conscious sorting mentality and we continue to look for new internal applications for recycling.

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With this initiative, we contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

Responsible consumption & production