APAS stimulates sustainability in line with UN goals

Sustainability Stand has shown to the visitors how the supermarket can contribute with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Besides looking for solutions for the industry, the APAS Show 2019 also has shown to the supermarket players how to hack the operation in order to support sustainability. Based on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which were created by the United Nations (UN), the APAS Show demonstrated, in practice, how supermarkets could contribute with actions for reducing food waste, promoting prosperity and well-being and protecting the environment.

The Sustainability Stand’s idea was to show what are the contributions that supermarkets can make, in order to reach the UN’s 2030 Global Agenda goals. As a conventional supermarket replica, each space of the store had signs with sustainable practices that can be applied so the companies can fit in the sustainable development model.

According to the Associação Paulista de Supermercados (APAS) sustainability consultant, Thiago Pietrobon, in order to create a feeling of closeness with the sustainability idea, a regular supermarket scenography was used in the stand. “Normally, these stores are associated with the use of cutting edge technology and gourmet food areas; however, the idea is to show the opposite, that everybody can fit in the sustainable practices”, the executive explains.

Another goal that APAS achieved with the “Super Sustainable” was bringing the sustainability theme to the supermarket’s daily routine and, on the other hand, showing how the customer is also part of the process to achieve the global goals. “We want to acknowledge these managers who are in tune with the sustainability theme so we can offer all the support in developing the sustainable path for each operation”, Pietrobon states.

According to the consultant, three working fronts can make the store more sustainable:

  • Store operation;
  • Associates;
  • Customers.

Working with equipment that save water, energy and, consequently, generate less residues, is connected directly to the good operation practices. However, people who are part of the supermarket team, are associates that need training to understand sustainability.

Customers, on the other hand, have an important role when choosing items that were produced based on traceability. “Sometimes the customers do not know that they are doing something good, but when the buy the meat that comes from a traceability program, they are fighting deforestation”, says Pietrobon.

According with Thiago, it is the same for the fruits and vegetables category that are part in traceability programs, once products with less pesticides have lower impact on the body, soil and the environment. “Not mentioning that when we buy from a local producer, we are locally generating income and bringing a product with more quality to the stores”, Thiago states.

In this project, the APAS maintains a follow-up to the associates that opted to apply these solutions, through a management consulting. “For instance, the associate who wishes to implement a solar power system in the store, receives guidance in how to buy, how to do etc.”, Thiago Pietrobon concludes.

Learn about the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), with which the supermarkets can collaborate.

SDG 2: Zero Hunger and Sustainable Agriculture

One of the UN goals until 2030 is to double the small producers’ participation and the supermarket industry has an essential role in both offering and distributing this produce. In order to be in line with this goal, the APAS associates can request by e-mail the Sustainable Purchase for Supermarkets Code, with a step-by-step guidance. Moreover, the APAS collection action allocates tons of food to charity entities.

SDG 4: Quality Education

The APAS School and the Deli and Bakery Projects contribute as well with the global goal of expanding skills and competencies for employment, work and entrepreneurship. Besides, the Programa Vaga Certa (Assured Position Program) employs many associates in the industry stimulating the High School completion.

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

The supermarket industry can contribute with up to 15% reduction in the volume of treated water used, what generates an economy of more than 1.6 million cubic meters of water each year.

SDG7: Affordable and Clean Energy

The greater the share of renewable energy and energetic efficiency rates, then supermarket lighting tends to reduce the consumption.

SDG8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Since 2017, APAS made available its Purchase Sustainability Protocol, indicating access to information, assuring the UN global goals.

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

APAS contributes with the reduction of negative impact in the environment with 4,000 stores in the whole State of São Paulo that have voluntary handover spots, recyclable material and residues collection venue.

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

The supermarket industry in the state of São Paulo has the potential of recycling approximately 115 thousand tons of residues annually and contribute with sustainable production and consumption. By opening room for selling the new sustainable productive standards, the conscious customers get more options and can play their role in this change.

SDG 13: Climate Action

Eliminating the R22 cooling gas from the stores’ refrigerators is already an option for the supermarkets, especially in new installations. That is another great contribution from the industry for fighting climate changes.

SDG 14: Life Below Water

Until 2025, the UN expects to reduce significantly the current level of sea pollution in relation to the plastic dumped in the ocean. APAS supports the Clean Seas Campaign, created by the UN Environment, which aims at stimulating the conscious use of this material in the operations all over the world.

SDG 15: Life on Land

Avoiding deforestation until 2020 is another goal set by the UN with the help of traceability programs that ensures the preservation of the Amazon biome, which represents more than half of the remaining tropical forests in the region and the greatest biodiversity in the planet.