As part of our Sustainability 2023 report, ESM caught up with industry leaders across a host of leading retail and consumer goods firms to discuss their ESG achievements to date, efforts made to tackle Scope 3 emissions, and what the current cost-of-living crisis means for sustainability – both for themselves and their consumer base.
Céline Coulibre-Duménil, Group CSR Director, Auchan Retail
Consumers are facing two crises – inflation is one, of course, but they are also more concretely affected by climate change. It is up to us, as a retailer, to help the shoppers answer these two sides of the coin: price pressure and climate pressure.
Over the past two years, we have mobilised the entire Auchan organisation on climate issues. We have defined our objectives with all the countries and all the teams. We also launched dedicated training sessions to ensure that climate, our impact on it, and the solutions we have are top of mind for our managers and employees.
Our logistics, stores, and product businesses have worked at both an international level and together at a local level because they are key to this transformation.
To meet the challenge of reducing our Scope 3 emissions, we must mainly work on reducing emissions from meat products by selecting products that do not contribute to deforestation and offering plant-based alternatives to our customers. Therefore, we must engage our entire ecosystem of suppliers, customers and stores.
This consumption transition is under way, and we are developing our private-label products to help customers consume better, including ‘better life’ or ‘less sugar’ product ranges that fully integrate these issues. In addition, we are accelerating partnerships with the agricultural world to co-define products that meet quality, value-sharing and environmental requirements.
Collaboration is key when addressing sustainability matters. We must develop these exchanges in the business sphere – with governments, especially – on issues such as regenerative agriculture, access to green energy, and plastic pollution.
Regulatory constraints make it possible to move forward, but a better understanding of the ability of companies to integrate these changes is essential.
This article first appeared in ESM’s November/December 2022 edition.
© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.