The Warehouse is making sustainable products more accessible and affordable as it seeks to become the country’s most sustainable company.
The initiative is a response to what the discount department-store operator identifies as a growing awareness among New Zealand consumers of sustainability and environmental responsibility and an expectation that businesses will find solutions and take tangible action.
The retailer said it believes it can become New Zealand’s most sustainable company by providing access to products sourced sustainably and delivered at affordable prices.
“Today, more than ever, consumers are rejecting the trade-off between affordability and sustainability. They are asking for both,” said David Benattar, chief sustainability officer at The Warehouse.
“We are working closely with suppliers in our global supply chain to bring affordable essentials to New Zealanders with the extended benefits of better, and certified ingredients, as well as improved and reduced packaging.”
According to the company, more than 5000 products at The Warehouse now carry sustainable attributes which include certified sustainable materials or plastic-free packaging. The retailer has also rolled out more sustainable packaging guidelines to reduce unnecessary plastic usage.
“We are responding to the accelerated consumer needs for affordable and sustainable products and for businesses to demonstrate environmental stewardship,” Benattar said.
Since last year, more than 24 tonnes of soft plastics have been collected from The Warehouse’s Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme across 17 stores.
“Our sustainability impacts start where our products are sourced,” the company said in a statement published online.
The Warehouse has had an ethical sourcing program in place to protect the welfare of workers in its supply chain. In addition, more than 3500 products have been sourced through The Better Cotton Initiative, which trains cotton farmers on efficient water use, better care for the soil, as well as harmful chemicals reduction in their farming.
“Mass retailers don’t just have a responsibility to look after the environment through their own actions, they also have one to provide a demonstrable commitment to teaching other people how to look after the environment and provide the means for them to do that,” said Benattar.