Coles Group publishes its full sustainability strategy as single-use plastic tableware is being taken off the shelves
Strategy is based on two pillars “Together to Zero” and “Better Together”
Supports the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Strive for zero emissions, zero waste and zero hunger
Better together with our team, suppliers, customers and the communities in which we live and work
June 30, 2021
Starting tomorrow, the aisles of more than 2,500 Coles supermarkets, express and liquor stores across the country will be redesigned with single-use plastic tableware that is now coming off the shelf. As a result of the move, 1.5 million kilograms of single-use plastic are removed from landfills every year.
The elimination of single-use plastic tableware comes when Coles Group today released its Coles Sustainability Strategy, outlining its plans to work with customers, suppliers, team members and the community to achieve its ambitions based on the two pillars, Together to Zero “concentrate” and “better together”.
In February, the Coles Group committed itself not to sell disposable plastic tableware such as cups, plates, bowls, straws and cutlery in any of its stores from July 1, 2021
Items have now been replaced with a variety of alternatives, including Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified2 dishes such as wooden cutlery and paper plates, as well as reusable options.
The Federal Environment Minister, Hon Sussan Ley, congratulated Coles on the implementation of his sustainability strategy, which includes the removal of single-use plastic dishes.
“It is gratifying to see this initiative from Coles, which reflects the Morrison government’s commitment to increasing plastic recycling, finding alternatives to unnecessary plastic and reducing the impact of plastic on the environment,” said Minister Ley.
“We applaud Coles’ leadership in providing its customers with alternatives to single-use plastic tableware products, which will result in an annual diversion of 1.5 million kilograms of single-use plastic from landfills.”
Pip Kiernan, chairman of Clean Up Australia, said the organization knows this is the change the community wants to see.
“Earlier this year, we surveyed 9,000 of our Clean Up Australia volunteers and 95% of them strongly supported the elimination of problematic single-use plastics. It is encouraging to see Coles making impactful changes to reduce landfill waste and provide customers with options that save the planet, ”she said.
“These items are not recyclable, they are designed to be used and disposed of once, landfilled, and many end up as waste in our environment. Last year our volunteers reported that more than half of all items collected were made of or contained plastic, ”she said.
The Coles Group’s sustainability strategy is aligned with and supports the achievement of nine of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), including hungerlessness, health and well-being, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, reducing inequalities, responsible consumption and production, and climate protection , Life underwater and life on land.
“Together to Zero” was first introduced in March when Coles announced emissions targets, including a commitment to run 100% renewable electricity by the end of Fiscal Year 25, and addresses the Coles Group’s drive to reduce its environmental impact , and outlines your pursuit of zero emissions, zero waste and zero hunger.
Better Together recognizes that by working together, the Coles Group team, suppliers and customers can make a real difference to the communities in which they work and live. It sets the framework to create a team, a community, a procurement, and an agriculture that are better together.
Steven Cain, CEO of Coles Group, said that Cole’s goal to feed all Australians sustainably to help them live healthier and happier lives is in line with and supports the UNSDGs.
“As part of our important new pillars of sustainability – Together to Zero and Better Together – we’ve set out our aspirations and pathways to address the many challenges and opportunities we face,” said Cain.
“Our strategy is to act together now for future generations of Australians. We understand our responsibility to minimize our ecological footprint and to take a leadership role in protecting our planet and the climate. We have identified powerful initiatives in energy use, the circular economy and further improving our sustainable sourcing.
“We don’t work alone. Our relationships with our team members, shareholders, farmers, suppliers, partners, customers and communities drive our sustainability agenda. We want to win together in the best interests of all, also through our Australian First Sourcing Policy.
“We have already made significant strides in our commitment to be 100% renewable by the end of fiscal year 25. We are proud to be the first Australian retailer to announce a power purchase agreement and to have the first of these solar farms fully operational in Corowa, New South Wales. We have landmark renewable energy agreements with Lal Lal Windfarms, CleanCo, ENGIE and Neoen. These combined renewable power contracts provide enough to power more than 750 average-sized supermarkets.
The Coles Group builds on its important community partnerships, including with the food rescue organization SecondBite and the soft plastic recycler REDcycle. Since 2011, Coles has helped SecondBite deliver the equivalent of more than 145 million meals to Australians in need through 1,000+ community organizations. With REDcycle, Coles has enabled the collection of more than 1.5 billion soft plastic parts from customers, which are recycled into furniture, children’s play equipment, streets and even Coles parking lots. “
Summary of the sustainability strategy
As part of the Together to Zero pillar, the Coles Group is committed to:
- Climate action that supports the goals of the Paris Agreement and the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD);
- Achieve net zero emissions by 2050, obtain 100% renewable electricity by the end of the 25 financial year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the value chain;
- a circular economy and resource optimization by supporting and creating end markets for the use of reclaimed materials, including those collected through initiatives such as the REDcycle soft plastic collection program available in all Coles supermarkets;
- Closing the loop by using recycled content in product packaging to create an end market for recycled materials, especially plastic packaging;
- Promote the implementation of the national packaging targets for 2025 and ensure that:
- All Coles branded packaging will be 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025
- Coles branded packaging will have an average of 50% recycled content by 2025
- all Coles branded packaging will bear the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) by 2025;
- Eliminate problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging by 2025 or earlier for all Coles branded products;
- Diverting 85% of the waste from the landfill by fiscal 25; and
- continues its focus on reducing food waste, with the first choice for unsold, edible food being donated to food rescue organizations like SecondBite and Foodbank.
As part of the Better Together pillar, the Coles Group is committed to:
- Make Coles a place where all team members feel they belong so we can all live healthier, happier lives;
- Promote an open and welcoming culture in which everyone feels valued;
- Reaching a gender equitable workforce for the benefit of Coles and the community;
- Recognize and empower people with all possible abilities;
- Promoting the integration of LGBTQI + in the workplace and beyond;
- Providing more opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, suppliers, customers, and communities to engage with business;
- Building strong, resilient communities to help Australians in times of need;
- Delight customers with affordable food and beverage solutions to make it easy, affordable, and enjoyable to shop healthily at Coles, including;
- Coles branded nutritionally enhanced products to meet federal government health partnership goals for salt, saturated fats and sugar;
- continue to ensure that the Coles range of food and beverages are free of artificial colors and flavors;
- Expansion of its range of plant-based and alternative protein products from the Coles brand.
- Focus on marketing and innovation support to grow our key health and lifestyle brands; and o Facilitating healthy choices by using the Health Star Rating on eligible Coles branded products for transparent labeling;
- the responsible sale of alcohol and tobacco;
- Working with farmers, suppliers and industrial partners to have a positive impact on the environment and help our customers make more responsible choices, including by responsibly sourcing seafood in Coles branded products and maintaining a focus on responsibly sourced palm oil, Wood, tea, coffee, cocoa and sugar cane;
- Understand product impact by providing information to customers that will help them shop responsibly;
- play an important role in protecting human rights in Coles operations and in our large and complex supply chains;
- Building sustainable partnerships with farmers and producers; and
- with the aim of protecting animal welfare by sourcing meat and ingredients with higher animal welfare for Coles brand products by:
- Endeavoring to improve its score in the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare;
- continue to meet industry-leading commitments to higher animal welfare standards, such as: B. Coles-branded fresh beef with no added hormones, Coles-branded fresh pork, bacon and ham are made free from sow stalls and without artificial growth promoters, all fresh Coles-branded chickens and fresh turkey are RSPCA approved, all fresh Coles free-range pork Brand is RSPCA approved, all fresh free range chicken from Coles Brand is RSPCA approved, all shell eggs from Coles are cage free; and
- to further expand its share of Coles-branded products with cage-free eggs as ingredients and to have it completed by 2025.
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