Making changes to ensure a sustainable future

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The team at CI Coop explains how its new blueprint has been rolled out across all areas of the business

MOST companies have sustainability on their radar these days, but not many can claim to take it as seriously as the CI Coop.

While a lot of businesses will present sustainability strategies at board level, Coop has rolled out its blueprint for a sustainable future to all of its employees. More than 80 managers received training in the strategy, and they then trained their teams, giving over 1,000 Coop colleagues an insight into the importance of sustainability, which included a tool to making ethical decisions.

We had a chat with some of the colleagues at Coop to find out how the sustainability strategy affects them and what changes they’re making to ensure Coop is on the right track.


There are lots of little things we can do in store that, overall, make a big impact on how much energy we use. All the staff are trained in energy-saving procedures, such as always closing the warehouse chiller doors and turning off the lights. It sounds simple, but it’s a behaviour change that can really make a difference. Just pulling down the night blinds on our fridges at the end of the day can save up to 30% in our electricity consumption.

Our new stores have A-grade refrigeration units that save up to 20% energy, first-class LED lighting systems which are 30% more efficient than standard store lighting, solar panels and heat-exchange units that provide hot water from a refrigeration plant. Soon, these features will become regular fixtures in many of our stores.


We have a food-waste-reduction goal set out in our sustainability strategy that states we will reduce food waste by 50% by 2030, and, as a team, we’re working towards it every day. We’ve invested in new retail technology that will improve our ordering accuracy and put in measures to enable us to measure our food waste on these systems. It’s a game-changer when it comes to food waste and hopefully means that our 2030 goal is reachable.


Sometimes it can feel like you’re fighting a losing battle when it comes to sustainability, but it’s great to work somewhere that really cares. For the marketing team, the blueprint for a sustainable future has encouraged us to take into account a broader spectrum of considerations when we’re working. As a team, we use the ethicaldecision-making tool that’s introduced in the strategy before making any major decisions. Does this idea contribute towards our long-term sustainability goals? Will this campaign meet Islanders’ real needs? Is it consistent with our commitment to inclusivity? It’s all about switching up the way you think.


We’re committed to supporting local producers at Coop and when the team was given sustainability training, it became even more clear how important it is. We’ve always been passionate supporters of local produce, but we’re committed to increasing the local spend with producers and suppliers as a proportion of total spend. This is always in the back of our minds whenever we’re looking for new suppliers.


We’ve been committed to reducing the volume of plastic from the customers’ shopping experience for some time, but the sustainability strategy has given us a framework for getting there. We’ve introduced reusable grocery bags for loose produce and we’re reviewing single-use plastic consumption at our meat, fish and dairy counters by carrying out an audit of these areas. Everyone knows we should use less plastic, and the blueprint for a sustainable future has just given us a way to get there.


It’s all well and good training the senior leaders within the business on sustainability, but when we launched our blueprint for a sustainable future, I knew it needed to be shown to more than just 5% of the company. From store colleagues to the marketing team and from IT to operations, everyone has a part to play in making the Coop a more sustainable business. I’m thrilled with how well the strategy has been received and proud to be one of the first Channel Island businesses to train all areas of the business in sustainability.

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