Environmentally-friendly criteria to foster savings and recycling
The efficient use of natural resources and the reduction and elimination of harmful waste and gases are of crucial importance to DIA. Driven by the conviction that efficient environmental management is a source of competitive advantage, DIA continued to apply eco-design criteria to its product packaging, while fostering reuse and recycling over the use of landfills.
4.3.1. Eco-design in action: shelf-ready packaging
With the aim of reducing the environmental impact of its goods throughout the entire product life cycle, DIA uses environmentally-friendly criteria when designing product packaging. All of its product packaging is therefore designed to simultaneously serve the dual purpose of shipping/handling and display, with the sole exception of packaging for frozen goods (these products are not displayed in their original packaging in order to prevent additional energy consumption and the inefficient use of store space.
This not only reduces the volume of packaging materials used and, accordingly, waste generated, it also lowers shipping and handling costs. Moreover, the ability to place products optimally on store shelves makes it easier for customers to access them.
The DIA Group’s experience and know-how designing shelf-ready packaging once again translated into quantitative and qualitative improvements in 2013 when factoring in the reduced use of resources and the diminished environmental impact as a result of these initiatives.
The company managed to reduce the volume of raw materials used to make its product packaging in two ways: (i) by reducing the size and grammage of the packaging board used; (ii) by simplifying designs and finishings in order to eliminate varnishes and reduce ink usage.
More environmentally-friendly packaging means using less harmful materials and reducing packaging volume. To this end, DIA remains committed to using packaging made from a single material, prioritising board over plastic, so that this board can be reused, recycled and recovered. By tailoring packaging volumes for logistics streamlining purposes, the company managed to cut shipment numbers, with a corresponding beneficial impact on carbon emissions.
Some of the group’s green-packaging initiatives are reflected in the biennial packaging waste prevention plans presented to Ecoembes, the non-profit organisation that handles the recovery and recycling of plastic containers, cans, Tetra Briks, and paper and board packaging in all of Spain. Ecoembes audits and validates the initiatives taken and measures the resulting improvements in quantitative terms.
4.3.2. Reuse and recycling versus landfill
End-to-end waste management, which was trialled at one warehouse in 2012, was implemented in all the Spanish warehouses in 2013.
This initiative increases the percentage of waste that is ultimately reused, recycled or recovered, while reducing the percentage that ends up in a landfill.
Elsewhere, the implementation of a confidential documentation destruction system in the head offices is increasing the percentage of paper recovered for recycling purposes.
Implementation of a waste sorting system in order to facilitate waste management meant that all of the group’s plastic, board and paper waste was recycled in 2013. In addition, high percentages of its scrap (94%), toner (82%) and timber waste (64%) were recycled or reused, thereby preventing the use of landfills.
4.3.3. Promoting environmentally-responsible behaviour
DIA encourages its customers and employees to pursue best environmental practices by encouraging the rational use of plastic bags and systemically including information on private-label product packaging about how to dispose of its products after their product use. It has also placed battery recycling bins for customers and employees in all its stores, offices and warehouses.
In order to encourage the recycling of mobile handsets, the company has been collaborating with the Red Cross and Entreculturas Foundations since 2012 by placing recycling bins in 170 stores, 18 warehouses and the head offices. Once collected, the used phones are sent to a specialised centre where they are classified according to their condition; and profits generated are donated to these two organisations’ environmental, educational and developmental projects. A total of 1,849 mobiles were collected under this initiative last year.
DIA has always been committed to reducing the use of plastic bags, resorting to a variety of measures:
Charging customers for plastic bags to encourage them to only use the bags they really need
Offering shoppers larger, reusable bags, further helping to reduce the number of bags used
Informing customers about bag reuse, placing useful information on the bags themselves
Además, DIA ha puesto a disposición de sus clientes productos alternativos a la bolsa de plástico como la bolsa de rafia reutilizable.
Participation in the CO2Me Project
DIA has signed up for the CO2Me platform, a network of food sector players and climate-change experts who share carbon footprint related know-how and experiences and tackle the strategic implications of carbon footprints and emission offsetting at subject-specific seminars and forums.
By participating in the CO2Me Project, DIA is taking an active stance with respect to new regulations governing the carbon footprint, emission offsetting and CSR. The various stages of this study will yield more detailed information on the carbon footprint and offset of greenhouse gas emissions, thereby injecting visibility into the company’s environmental efforts. DIA has already confirmed its participation in the second phase of this project.
Environmental work by country
DIA’s subsidiaries all work to raise awareness of the importance of protecting the environment.
DIA Brazil participated actively in both World Environment Day and World Water Day in 2013. The campaign it organised to mark the former was designed to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable consumption and preservation of our natural resources in order to guarantee future generations’ ability to meet their needs. The second campaign was targeted a raising awareness of the need to use water responsibly and included tips for saving water.
DIA France continued to work to raise customer and employee awareness of the need to recycle. The DIA stores also participated in an educational and charitable project concerning lamp recycling in collaboration with Recyclum. During the last quarter of the year the company ran a special used-lamp and tube collection drive in its stores as well as placing boxes and bags for customer battery recycling in its establishments. The team also began to recover the batteries used in its forklifts in its warehouses.