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Retail

Sustainability 2022 – Anna Meleshina, Corporate Relations and Sustainability Director, Magnit

In the most recent edition of ESM, as part of our Sustainability 2022 feature, we spoke to a number of top executives working across the global retail and consumer goods landscape about how they are seeking to set a high bar when it comes to sustainability.

Anna Meleshina, Corporate Relations and Sustainability Director, Magnit

During the pandemic, consumers became increasingly conscious of their wellbeing. For that reason, our work in promoting healthy lifestyles among customers and empowering them to take care of themselves – a key pillar within our sustainability strategy – has become even more of a priority.

We have responded to this shift by expanding and qualitatively improving the range of fresh groceries such as vegetables and fruits in our stores, a category that has recently grown at double-digit rates and outpaced overall group revenue growth.

Retail in Russia in its modern form is only a couple of decades old. But during this time the industry has changed dramatically in alignment with the Russian consumer. While previously, low prices and the availability of goods were enough for consumers, now other values ​​have become much more important.

This is especially true for the Millennial and Gen Z generations who value physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, want to support the environment around them, and demand that the brands with which they interact align with these values too. We believe that brand 'responsibility' will become an increasingly important factor in customer loyalty, year-on-year.

Sustainable Development Strategy

In 2020, we adopted an ambitious sustainable development strategy and, for the first time in Russian retail, implemented quantitative KPIs.

Our sustainability goals, which map the five pillars of our sustainability strategy, cannot be achieved without investing, qualitatively changing the processes across our business, or even changing the business model. This is exactly what is happening now in Magnit.

The company has a Sustainable Development Committee at the top management level, and 16 working groups that analyse and revise processes across the five areas of the ESG strategy. We regularly report to the Board of Directors, ensuring change is supported right from the top.

Support For Local Communities

Last year, during the acute phase of the pandemic, we managed to quickly launch projects to support local communities. We provided more than 350,000 free food packages to people who are in the special risk zone. Today, this programme is being implemented in the format of helping local communities in the event of natural disasters.

Projects such as reducing CO2 or converting the private label assortment to more environmental-friendly packaging will take longer, since these require deep analysis and restructuring of business processes, as well as investment. But in general, we are on track to achieve the goals that we have outlined in the strategy.

Read More: Magnit Boosted By Dixy Acquisition, Sees Revenue Up 27.7% In Q3

© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. For more Retail news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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