Countdown growing business while protecting the environment

PAC.NZ and its partners are taking a collaborative approach to efficiencies across the entire packaging industry. All embrace packaging as essential to society but increasingly companies are voluntarily agreeing to work towards a vision where all production, distribution and consumption contributes to a more sustainable society. PAC.NZ encourages its members to consider the three pillars of sustainability in all decision making - environmental impacts, economic considerations and social responsibilities.

Countdown is among the corporates taking a lead on sustainability. Seven years ago, the supermarket giant planned to grow its shop space significantly, but did not want to do this at the expense of the environment.

The boldest target it set itself was to bring carbon emissions back to its 2006 level of 140,000 tonnes, irrespective of business growth. It needed to achieve roughly a 40 per cent reduction to meet this target and are on track to achieve this.

The number of stores has increased to 171, serviced from four distribution centres and three meat and seafood processing plants and sustainability remains one of the biggest challenges.

A little under a decade ago, Countdown sent more material to landfill than to recycling. That figure has been turned on its head and twice as much is recycled now, compared to what is dumped. Waste going to landfill is down over 40 per cent with improvements being made on this annually.

Countdown recycles where it can or works with its suppliers to develop reusable packaging such as produce crates and meat containers to remove one time use packaging altogether.