Italian supermarket Esselunga has published its third sustainability report, titled 'Abbiamo a cuore il futuro (We care about the future)'.
The report includes the results and initiatives from the group, including renewing attention to customers, people, the environment, suppliers, and the wider community.
Sustainability Efforts At Esselunga
On the environmental front, the group achieved its 30% emission reduction target four years ahead of schedule.
Esselunga installed a new high-efficiency tri-generation plant at the Biandrate Distribution Centre, capable of producing electricity, heat, and chilled water.
80% of the group's branded products with packaging come in recycled, recyclable, or compostable material and the group collected 4 million PET bottles for a total of over 90 tons of waste avoided.
To keep faith with one of its fundamental values in transparency, Esselunga tested blockchain technology on cocoa, a raw material present in many branded products, to guarantee the total traceability of the product.
During the year, it maintained the FSSC 22000 certification (Food Safety System Certification) for all its production plants and also obtained certification for the Biandrate distribution center.
In addition, it has obtained organic certification for the new e-commerce platforms and the new Chiari Distribution Center.
Despite the difficulties generated by the pandemic, the training plan for employees continued also through the use of digital tools, for a total of over 483,000 hours provided and 22,480 people trained.
The group's welfare plan was enriched and the Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs) established by the United Nations were signed to promote gender equality and women's emancipation within the retailer.
Presence In The Community
Esselunga reaffirmed its commitment to Italian suppliers, with over 80% of its branded products produced in Italy.
In 2021, the Supplier Code of Conduct was drawn up for the first time, which must be signed by all suppliers by the end of 2022 to guarantee workers fair conditions and operate in full respect of the environment, legality, and transparency.
Furthermore, an important strand of the Sustainable Fishing project involved suppliers of fresh farmed salmon in Norway, who are committed to ensuring the sustainability of farms located in the fjords.
Numerous initiatives have also been undertaken to support communities, both nationally and internationally.
The chain's collaboration with the Food Bank, which began more than 15 years ago, made it possible to systematically and safely donate food surpluses, with over 3.56 million meals donated for a value of approximately €7.57 million in 2021.
Finally, after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, Esselunga immediately activated by offering aid to the communities affected by the conflict through a fundraiser launched in collaboration with the Italian Red Cross, which made it possible to collect and distribute €2.6 million..
Esselunga also donated food and basic necessities for a total of over €500,000.