Swedish retailer ICA Gruppen has published its sustainability report for the second quarter of the year, highlighting the progress that the company has made with regards to decreasing emissions and food waste.
In particular, the group says that its greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 41% during the period from July 2016 to July 2017, compared to 2006.
The report shows that sales of eco-labelled, organic, and ethically-labelled products in ICA Sweden grew by 8% year-on-year, while new packaging innovations created a longer shelf life for certain products, contributing to lower food waste.
Waste from potatoes in stores is now being used to breed insects, which are then used to feed fish that is sold under ICA Sweden's private label brand.
Additionally, Apotek Hjärtat changed its plastic bags earlier this year. The new bags are made of sugar cane, which produces 85% less CO2 than petroleum-based bags when incinerated.
“By virtue of our size we have a great responsibility, but on top of this we also clearly see that sustainability is a driver of growth," said Per Strömberg, CEO of ICA Gruppen.
"We see it in our figures, and it is also evident in numerous, independent studies. Companies with effective sustainability work are on average more profitable and deliver higher returns to their shareholders.”
Earlier this week, the company announced that its profit for the second quarter of the year rose by 23% to SEK 1.02 billion (€110 million).
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.