Where actions really matter

Success also brings considerable responsibility.

The company Kaufland, one of the leaders in retail business, is well aware of its social responsibility. In compliance with its slogan “It’s actions that matter”, it strives to only alleviate negative the consequences of its enterprises, but also to act positively for society’s sake.

1. Limiting plastics

We increasingly hear from all sides that our planet has been choked with plastic waste, and the consumption of throw-away plastic products has been rising at an alarming rate. Throw-away plastics are not trendy in Kaufland.

In 2019, this company made several important steps, saving almost 78 tonnes of plastic waste in the long-term. Kaufland has set a goal to reduce its consumption of plastics by one-fifth by ending the recycling cycle of plastics, while also limiting their use.

It has decided to eliminate from sale throw-away products from plastics, like straws, glasses, cutlery, dishes, or ear swabs, and replace them with more environmental-friendly alternatives. Our company has also changed the packaging of its own products. It has introduced the designation Packed Responsibly, which means that at least 80 percent of the packaging is recyclable, or has at least a 30-percent share of recycled materials. This spring, Kaufland will launch a trial sale of draught drugstore goods: clients will be able to test it in the Trnavská Cesta shop in Bratislava.

2. Ecology

Currently, most companies are seeking ways to be more eco-friendly and encourage a responsible approach towards the environment. With its “green” shops, Kaufland proves in practice what can be achieved if there is enough will, and it is a clear example of how words about responsibility can turn into real actions. No fuel oil, no gas, no diesel.

As early as in 2013, Kaufland opened the first shop where no natural resources are needed for heating, and ever since, this technology has become a construction standard. The spaces are heated by recuperation, i.e. almost solely with lost heat from cooling systems.

All newly opened and modernised shops are equipped with LED lighting, which has a longer life-cycle than common lightbulbs, consumes much less energy, and produces less carbon-dioxide emissions. Its popular bulletins are also 100-percent recyclable and have the FSC certificate, which marks products from responsible woodland management, and guarantees environment-friendly wood logging.

If we want our clients to behave environmentally-friendly, we have to be a model as well.

Lucia Langová, Kaufland spokesperson

3. Supporting domestic producers

Kaufland is serious in supporting Slovak producers: according to GfK surveys, Kaufland is a clear leader with the biggest average number of Slovak products displayed. To give you a clear idea, there are almost 6,000 of them. Kaufland as a chain with a stable position on the market wants to have good-quality products from domestic suppliers on its counters. Customers are not just sentimental: most of them are aware that this involves support for the Slovak economy and a reduction of the carbon footprint connected to the transport of goods. Clients have been able for more than a year to find 100-percent Slovak beef and pork on the counters, which comes from animals born, bred, killed and processed exclusively in our country. The meat originates from reliable Slovak suppliers, and it undergoes strict checks of several stages.

The product line Out of Love for the Tradition offers original products made according to traditional recipes from exclusively homemade ingredients by suppliers from Slovakia. The company’s strategy is to offer mainly domestic products, so it cooperates in the long term with eight big suppliers who unify around 200 smaller growers. They grow on a total area of 3,845 hectares, 92 hectares of which are greenhouses and cold-frames. Kaufland has been successfully cooperating with fruit and vegetable growers since 2002. Moreover, three years ago, the company launched a project to support small regional suppliers who can only supply their specialties to some shops in their region due their smaller capacity. Customers can find the products of local producers on counters specifically marked “From Our Regions”.

4. Sustainability

Kaufland selects for its range of products those made with people and the environment in mind. In the production of goods by private brands, it puts a large stress on sustainability. Fish and fish products come solely from responsible fishery, and textile cotton products are made of bio-cotton with a GOTS certificate. Under the K-Classic brand, the chain sells cocoa and coffee products with the seal Fairtrade, Fairtrade Cocoa and UTZ, which guarantee that fair conditions have been observed in the whole chain – from growers to consumers. Under the K-Bio brand, Kaufland offers products that have not been genetically modified, or else impacted by chemical fertilisers or spraying throughout the whole process of their production. The retail chain does not forget those who avoid consuming certain types of foodstuffs – be it for health or consciousness reasons. For vegetarians and vegans, Kaufland offers products of its own brand K-take It Veggie, for people with gluten or lactose intolerance, it has the K-free brand.

5. The welfare of society

Kaufland perceives its social responsibility in a wider sense, not just as an alleviation of the impact of its business activities. The retailer actively promotes a healthy diet among schoolchildren, supports voluntary blood donors, and aides those in need or in social isolation.

Last year, Kaufland launched at primary schools around Slovakia the project Fresh Heads, which distributes fruits and vegetables to almost 23,000 pupils every week. During the 2019/2020 school year, 62 partner schools around Slovakia will receive more than 183 tonnes of fruits and vegetables.

Since 2014, the company has joined forces with the Slovak Red Cross. Annually, it points to the importance of blood donation during the Theatre Blood-drop, when it motivates not only its employees but also the wider public to come and donate blood. On World Food Day, Kaufland called on its customers for the sixth consecutive time to contribute to the food collection. Thanks to the help of its customers and to the contribution of Kaufland, 281 tonnes of food have been collected so far, of which 14,200 food packages for families and people in need have been made. Via the project Food Is Help, Kaufland has supported for the third time field social services of the Slovak Red Cross, and contributed to the purchase of 16 specially adjusted vehicles. Thus, the transport service was able to expand to 17 territorial societies of the Slovak Red Cross, and provide assistance where necessary.

Social responsibility and support for sustainability are close to Kaufland’s heart.

“We believe that our actions can inspire the younger generation and others who have the opportunity to contribute to our better future,” Lucia Langová summed up.

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