Mercadona and the five keys to a positive impact on the planet

Recognized worldwide for its growth based on sustainability, Mercadona is positioned as the third best-rated Spanish company for its green footprint, and the first in the supermarket sector, according to the latest Spain 100 report by the consultancy Brand Finance.

Achieving this feat has not been an easy task, nor has it been immediate. For several years, Mercadona has developed strict change policies, highlighting five strategies, such as: the reduction of electricity consumption, logistics optimization, the reduction and valorization of waste, food waste and the preservation of biodiversity areas.

Investment in facilities

As everything is born from internal work, the supermarket and online sales chain has made a strong commitment to reducing electricity consumption, investing up to 42 million euros in new photovoltaic installations last year. At the end of 2023, the company had a total of 160,000 operational solar panels. Today, they aim to have a total photovoltaic power of 250 MW, which would mean a self-consumption capacity of 15 percent of the total energy consumed per year. Added to this in 2023 is an investment of 6 million euros in the installation of charging points for electric vehicles, which has allowed the company to have one of the largest public-private charging networks, with more than 3,800 charging points as of last year.

On the other hand, Mercadona fully trusts in its Efficient Store Model (Store 8)), so it is working on improvements in building insulation, LED lighting, more sustainable cooling systems and air conditioning systems, since having automated control allows for lower energy consumption. The set of these and other measures has allowed a 38% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions associated with the company’s processes since 2015.

In terms of logistics optimization, Mercadona is the first company in the sector to carry out tests in Spain with 100% electric tractors, in addition to working with a “young” fleet of trucks, this action has allowed it to,Since 2015, we have stopped emitting more than 85,000 tons of CO2 and achieved a 27% reduction in emissions per pallet transported.

Optimization of processes

Mercadona continues to seek to make its processes more efficient and reduce, where possible, the generation of waste. Currently, they allocate all SANDACH (Animal By-Product Not Intended for Human Consumption) and the by-product generated in the bread production lines to the manufacture of pet food through authorized managers. Along these lines,The company has systems for reusing commercial packaging (such as Logifruit’s green boxes) and recycling waste (such as film and cardboard) generated by its activity, to give them a second “life”.

The brand is committed to reducing food waste through better management of stores and warehouses. To do so, it has developed a computer tool that optimizes orders for fresh products. In addition, it has promoted the donation of food fit for consumption, collaborating with more than 750 social entities throughout the country. The chain also seeks to mitigate the environmental impact of its activities, working in favor of biodiversity and protected areas, including initiatives such as the integration of roofs and vertical gardens in its stores to improve urban sustainability.

Caring for the environment plays a fundamental role for Mercadona, which is constantly working to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that it has the greatest impact on through its activities. It has also been a partner of the United Nations Global Compact since 2011.