- With this action, the company will no longer use 3,000 tonnes of plastic per year, thus driving the circular economy and reducing its environmental impact.
- By 2025, Mercadona will have reduced the plastic on its shelves by 25%, use recyclable packaging, and recycle all its plastic waste.
- The chain implements its Strategy 6.25 to reduce plastic and manage its waste and will adapt all its stores to the Store 6.25 model in 2021.
Mercadona, true to its commitment to saying “Yes to continuing to take care of the planet”, has been implementing Strategy 6.25 for two years to reduce plastic and properly manage its waste through six specific actions to be completed by 2025.
Mercadona has completed the second action under the strategy to eliminate single-use disposable plastics throughout the chain, replacing them with items made from sustainable materials. The new items are made from environmentally friendly materials such as cardboard, wood, sugar cane, and reusable plastic, which can be washed in a dishwasher after each use.
The new Mercadona household items are also recyclable, which is another commitment under Strategy 6.25: to ensure that all waste can be recycled and given a second life. To help the “Bosses” (customers) recycle, the packaging of new household items will include a pictogram indicating the corresponding bin for disposal. In this way, the company is driving the circular economy by offering its “Bosses” a range of efficient and sustainable products.
With the culmination of this second action, Mercadona will no longer use 3,000 tonnes of plastic each year, equivalent to 120 lorries.
Details of the store mural with the new household products.
The company will invest more than €140 million in Strategy 6.25, a step forward in its commitment to continue taking care of the planet
Strategy 6.25, which has the triple objective of reducing plastic by 25% by 2025, making all packaging recyclable, and recycling all plastic waste generated on its premises, is being implemented through 6 actions that involve making changes to several company processes, from redesigning future packaging in collaboration with suppliers to adapting stores and logistics, managing waste, etc. The company plans to invest a total of €140 million over the next four years to achieve all the strategy milestones.
The first strategy milestone was achieved in January: eliminating single-use plastic bags from all sections of its physical stores and its delivery and online services. The chain now provides customers with compostable bags made from potato starch, which are disposed of in the organic material bins, as indicated on the pictogram printed on the bags to help customers to separate and recycle their waste. This symbol has also been added to all other bags at the checkout, where Mercadona has already been offering three reusable and sustainable options for some time. Completing this first action under Strategy 6.25 will reduce plastic use by 3,200 tonnes each year.
The company has adopted several initiatives to reduce plastic in its packaging (action 3 of the strategy), such as eliminating and replacing plastic with other materials, in addition to reducing, reusing, and incorporating recyclable materials to use fewer virgin materials and drive the circular economy.
The chain began to implement this strategy in 2019, involving all company employees in the challenge of Continuing to Take Care of the Planet and making various processes in the assembly line more sustainable.
The company has a task force responsible for coordinating all the action areas of Strategy 6.25, formed by employees from the company’s different processes, including Stores, Prescription, IT, Purchasing, Logistics, Finance, External Relations, and Construction.
Mercadona has already adapted 72 stores in Spain and Portugal to the Store 6.25 model, which will be rolled out to the entire chain in 2021
The aim of these stores, where the strategy's progress can already be observed, is to listen to feedback from customers and employees regarding all the actions that are being carried out by the company. More than 5,000 opinions and suggestions have been received during this time from customers and employees, who are helping to improve the implementation of the various actions established to reduce plastic and drive the circular economy.
Mercadona will provide more information on Strategy 6.25 in the ‘Let’s Take Care of the Planet’ section of its corporate website, where “The Boss” can also find content on recycling, sustainability, and Mercadona’s commitment to the environment.
A sustainable social action policy integrated into Mercadona’s CSR strategy
As part of its commitment to give back to society, Mercadona has created a Social Responsibility Plan, which addresses social and ethical issues through various sustainable lines of action that reinforce its commitment to grow together with society. Under this policy, Mercadona works with and makes daily donations to more than 290 soup kitchens, 60 food banks, and other welfare organisations throughout Spain and Portugal. It also participates in food collection initiatives organised by these organisations. In fact, in 2020, the company donated a total of 17,000 tonnes of food to these entities and organisations (15,800 tonnes in Spain and 1,200 tonnes in Portugal). These amounts have been increasing since the company made the decision to strengthen its processes for donating essential products to its existing partner Soup Kitchens and Food Banks. Mercadona also collaborates closely with 32 foundations and occupational centres to decorate its stores with mosaic murals created by more than 1,000 people with varying degrees of disability.
Environmental sustainability is another strategic pillar of Mercadona’s Social Responsibility Plan. In this regard, Mercadona has its own Environmental Management System based on the principles of the Circular Economy and focused on the optimisation of logistics, energy efficiency, waste management, sustainable production, and reducing plastic. Mercadona is also working on the Sustainable Urban Distribution Project and improving air quality in cities by using lorries and vans powered by cleaner and more efficient technologies.
With the sustainable mobility of “The Boss” in mind, the company already has 1,350 parking spaces with electric vehicle charging stations located in the car parks of over 500 stores. Mercadona started installing electric vehicle charging stations in 2017 with the implementation of the New Efficient Store Model and plans to continue increasing their numbers throughout 2021.
Since 2011, Mercadona has been a member of the United Nations Global Compact for defending fundamental values in areas of Human Rights, Employment Standards, Environment, and the Fight Against Corruption.