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Massmart salutes sustainable suppliers

Nestlé was awarded top honours at the fifth annual Massmart Supplier Environmental Awards, which recognise top-performing suppliers that have demonstrated an industry-leading commitment to sustainable supply chain management.

“Nestlé’s Zero Water manufacturing facility in Mossel Bay, Western Cape is an incredible example of outstanding environmental stewardship and sets the company apart as a leader in sustainability. The company saves an impressive 168 million litres of water each year through this zero water intake dairy manufacturing facility,” said Massmart sustainability executive Alexander Haw.

Since 2009, Massmart has worked closely with suppliers to understand and track the progress they are making in ensuring their products are manufactured sustainably.

To date, the group has profiled and benchmarked the environmental practices of more than 2,000 suppliers through focused advocacy surveys and environmental assessments. These cover, among other things: packaging rationalisation, water conservation, operational energy efficiency, environmental product attributes, third-party certification and biodiversity impact mitigation.

“We have always maintained that we want our customers to walk into our stores and trust that we have carefully considered the products on our shelves, and have ensured that they have been produced and sourced sustainably. We know that we cannot do this alone, which is why we work closely with our suppliers to ensure that the products we sell are designed and manufactured in an environmentally-thoughtful manner,” Haw said.

Meet the finalists

To be considered for the awards, suppliers had to have operations located in South Africa, have publicly disclosed information confirming survey feedback and they must not have received environmental sanctions or censure within the past twelve months.

The finalist’s assessment process included an environmental self-assessment survey, stakeholder input from leading environmental NGOs and site visits to verify their survey feedback. The finalists include:

• Backsberg Wines: The only South African Winery, and one of only three in the world, to be carbon neutral;
• Belgotex: South Africa’s first Custom Industrial 6 Green Star rating for its Pietermaritzburg manufacturing plant;
• Coca-Cola Beverages SA: Installed 10.4MW of solar PV capacity, producing 18 million kWh of renewable energy a year;
• Avondale Wines: 55% water-savings achieved per bottle through natural water filtration and computerised irrigation;
• Distell: 25% of like-for-like water use reduced since 2016;
• L’Oreal: 7,294 tonnes of raw materials replaced with recycled materials;
• Mondi: 27% of plantation area reserved for conservation;
• Sappi: 800 MW of renewable power generated on 14 sites in seven countries
• Woodlands Dairy: 53% reduction in water use, saving 19 000 kl of water per month

At the awards ceremony, these suppliers were honoured for their commitment to sustainable supply chain management and Nestlé was named the overall winner for 2018.

“The finalists have been outstanding in their efforts to incorporate sustainable practices in the way that they run their operations and design their products. Although the size and nature of their businesses differ significantly, they have been able to derive benefit through considered, holistic sustainability interventions that have materially lessened their collective footprints,” Haw concluded.

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