4.4 Material consumption and waste management
In 2015, DIA continued to employ innovative measures to prevent environmental degradation and promote profitable and sustainable growth in parallel. The company made responsible use of resources by means of sustainability and eco-design criteria, thanks to which its materials consumption fell by 29% to 15.402 million kilograms.
The most significant reductions were evidenced in the paper and board used for advertising leaflets (36%), followed by shopping receipts (16%), plastic shrink wrapping (10%) and the board used for storage boxes (9%).
Eco-design in action: shelf-ready packaging
The DIA Group’s experience and know-how designing shelf-ready packaging translated into quantitative and qualitative improvements in 2015. On the one hand, it streamlined the raw materials used by reducing the size and weight of the board used, eliminating varnishes and reducing the use of ink. On the other hand, the environmental impact was pared back through use of environmentally-friendly materials and the reduction of emissions by means of logistical fine-tuning.
Some of the group’s green-packaging initiatives are reflected in the triennial packaging waste prevention plans presented to Ecoembes, the entity that audits and validates the measures adopted and the implied quantitative improvements.
Reduction of paper consumption
In recent years, DIA has been working on the design and rollout of a business process management suite (BPMS) to integrate various modules related with the development of private-label goods (quality, packaging, sales, etc.); this tool is called Auraportal.
Implementation of Auraportal is enabling DIA to gradually digitalise its documents, delivering massive savings in paper consumption. In Spain, paper consumption was slashed by 19,990 kilograms and in Portugal it was cut by 573 kilograms.
Implementation of Auraportal is enabling a drastic reduction in paper consumption by means of document digitalisation
In addition, DIA Spain has sealed containers throughout its headquarters in Madrid and other workplaces in which its staff place documentation containing confidential information. These containers are emptied monthly by a specialist waste handler which destroys the documents using a serrated mill which shreds them into tiny particles. The resulting shredded paper is then taken by the handler to a recycling plant. This process significantly reduces the related environmental impact. In 2015, 18,310 kilograms of paper deriving from sensitive documents were collected, treated and recycled using this process.
Reduced consumption of plastic film at the warehouse level
In the Portuguese warehouses the company ran a campaign to reduce the consumption of plastic film by replacing it with reusable tape. The result was a 32,289 kilogram reduction in the use of plastic film to 25,205 kilograms.
Awareness about resource consumption
In order to encourage responsible consumption of material resources, DIA organises a number of events to raise employee awareness of the need to use resources rationally and handle waste adequately.
Against this backdrop, DIA Brazil embarked on a project called ‘Sustainable DIA’ encompassing activities, campaigns and policies to promote preservation of environmental, social and economic resources. The first step was the installation of garbage sorting container bins at the national centre. Employees were also provided with glasses to prevent the use of disposable cups.
DIA manages waste following an established hierarchy of priorities, prioritising prevention and avoiding elimination to the extent possible. Implementation of a waste sorting system in order to facilitate waste management helped ensure that all of the group’s plastic, board and paper waste was recycled in 2015. Moreover, 100% of electric devices and a significant 93.97% of scrap were recycled.
As for hazardous waste, the company recycled 73,074 kilograms of batteries and 1,072 kilograms of fluorescent bulbs, representing 100% of the waste generated.
Membership of the Board of Ecoembes
In 2015, DIA took up a seat on the Board of Ecoembes, from which it contributes to the packaging eco-design and recycling effort in Spain.
This entity’s mission is to provide society with a collective response on the part of economic agents to the environmental concerns deriving from the consumption of packaged household products, helping deliver compliance with legally-binding recycling objectives.