Antonio Vaccari claim that sustainability is the core of Italian supermarket chain business.
Esselunga is an Italian supermarket chain headquartered in Limito (MI) which has got 8 bilion euros of revenue and 25 thousands employees. According to Antonio Vaccari, head of the company’s Health, Safety and Environment (HSE), Esselunga’s path towards sustainability begins a long time ago, because it is not just a value but a way of doing business. Since the very beginning, Esselunga has always focused on environment, community topics and territories where it operates. The aim is business as well as create a better future.
In Re-Think, Circular Economy’s Forum, Antonio Vaccari explains that in the 90s Esselunga started the firsts projects to improve their sustainability and in the last years they improved their efforts by approving the first Sustainability Strategic Plan, which started the recently published Sustainability Report. Company’ Sustainability strategy is based on five pillars: Esselunga’s employees, consumers, suppliers, community and environment.
With respect to the environment, the Italian company has got big purposes such as the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, sustainable packaging and waste reduction projects. All this will be achieved in a circular economy perspective, a concept that Esselunga has followed for a long time.
Regarding packaging, the company has innovated a lot since the founding in 1957, but still it has got ambitious goals. It aims that all Esselunga branded packaging will be 100% compostable, recyclable or recycled material by 2025. It is already doing it by involving both upstream suppliers and downstream costumers. Esselunga claims a serious and concrete approach supported by Lca methodology, which enables it to daily ecodesign and to evaluate its choices regarding packaging thanks to specific indicators, including plastic waste, water waste, carbon dioxide emissions and circularity.
Regarding food waste, Esselunga claimed that it has got a fundamental principle that guides its daily business: prevention is better than cure.
“As food company, we have a total control of the production of our main branded products and their sale in our grocery stores.” Antonio Vaccari explains. “Our store manager knows in detail our costumers’ purchase habits, and consequently can punctually schedule our orders. Moreover he is supported by a reorganization system which enables to reduce at the most our waste.”
The head of Esselungas’ Health, Safety and Environment adds that its production sites it has got an efficient organization of industrial process and ingredients and raw materials valorisation that makes it possible to minimize the surplus that may become waste. “Inevitably we have unsold products, which we donate, give as animal feed or recover as energetic source.”
Antonio Vaccari concludes its speech by remaining the company’s long-standing partnership with Food Bank.