Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Casino Group embraces sustainable practices


French retailer Casino Group has made substantial strides in adopting a myriad of sustainability practices, ranging from encouraging responsible consumption, reducing its environmental footprint, and working with animal rights groups to ensure animal welfare standards are met.

In 2015, Casino Group carried out a study of the most strategic challenges that it faces at the Group level in order to assess and update the CSR continuous improvement programme.
In 2015, Casino Group carried out a study of the most strategic challenges that it faces at the Group level in order to assess and update the CSR continuous improvement programme.
Embedded in all Group activities, CSR priorities act as a driver for employee motivation. They are designed to improve the Group’s social, human resources and environmental impact and thereby enhance its financial performance”, the company reports in its social impact statement. Actually, this win-win longstanding move for both the retailer and the public towards sustainable practices fully meets the consumers' new expectations in terms of responsible consumption and lifestyle.

So be it. Across the group owned by Jean-Charles Naouri, stores are working to reduce their footprint, and have recorded a 2% reduction in electricity consumed in 2017. Production of renewable energy has increased, thanks to solar farms, by 8%. Casino has been actively working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by limiting refrigeration leakage, by improving the air-tightness of existing refrigerators and replacing old machines with new appliances using natural refrigerants. Refrigerants accounts for the bulk of the group’s emissions, at 67%.

Though fuel for transport goods and vehicles account for only 3% of the company’s emissions, steps are being taken to limit these as well. Casino is upgrading its transport fleets in favor of vehicles using eco-friendly fuel such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biomethane, while its subsidiary Franprix is opting for river transport of goods whenever possible.

The focus on sustainability also extends to the product offerings, as Casino has increasingly moved to include more and more organic and responsibly sourced food on its shelves. Since 2015, the group has been offering the ‘Agriplus’ label of produce, guaranteeing that these products are free of residue from pesticides. The Casino Group has also worked to offer fresh and frozen carrots that are grown in the Brittany and Landes areas, using alternative farming methods and using disease-resistant seeds and essential oils in its carrot cultivation.

As part of an ongoing effort to diversify their suppliers, support local businesses, and increase the amount of organic products offered in store, Casino Proximité launched the 1000PRO website in autumn of 2017 to increase the amount of produce grown by local farmers. The site already has several hundred local producers who participate, and aims to increase enrolment to 1,000 local farmers, with the end goal of distributing locally-sourced produce to Casino’s 5,500 convenience stores in France.

Overall, the group boasts 26,700 eco-labelled products through all its chains, as well as 2,400 private-label food products which are sourced through sustainable farming. While Casino, Monoprix, and Franprix have been offering organic products for some time, Casino has also started to roll out organic products in its discount supermarket chain Leader-Price while also adding all-organic ‘scoop and weigh’ counters in Monoprix and Franprix stores. Across the company, organic product offerings have increased by 26%.

Innovations aren’t just limited to agricultural products, however. The Casino group kicked off an initiative in June 2017 with three animal rights non-governmental organisations to develop more effective labeling to better inform customers of the measures taken to ensure a high level of animal welfare on certain products. Together with the Fondation Droit Animal, Ethique et Sciences (LFDA), Compassion in World Farming France (CIWF), and the Association Oeuvre d’Assistance aux Betes d’Abbatoirs (OABA), Casino will move towards identifying priority challenges, formulating progress plans, and ultimately developing a system of animal welfare labels. This new project will build on the Casino Group’s previous advances in securing animal welfare, which includes its creation of the Terre and Saveurs brand 20 years ago as well as its 2013 announcement that it would carry out veterinary audits on animals headed to the slaughterhouse. The Casino Group remains the only supermarket chain in France to do so.

The supermarket group is also proactive when it comes to managing food waste. It’s working on recovering waste generated by stores and collecting recyclables from consumers. To eliminate waste of products with short expiry dates, Casino’s Leader Price is now donating them to local charity organisations. Franprix is working with Phenix, an organisation that helps companies reduce waste, while Leader Price is collaborating with Eqosphere, a group that helps businesses recycle its organic and non-organic waste materials.

Monoprix has been recently recognised with the Grand Prix ESSEC for Responsible Business. Delivered by the ESSEC Business School, Monoprix was awarded the prize in February for its innovative character, implementation of sustainable practices impact, and vision.

“Innovative ideas, such as Shop&Give, a partnership with Les Confitures Re-belles), initiatives pushed to their limits (total stop of the sale of eggs from caged hens), a long-term commitment to agriculture (Monoprix Tous Cultiv’acteurs) and all this with a touch of humour: these are the ingredients of a successful CSR strategy in our eyes,” jury members Anais Enrico and Damien Cacheux said in the award.

“Like an innovation laboratory, Monoprix tries, proposes, and infuses new ideas in order to rethink and develop tomorrow’s consumption.”

Monoprix was not the only Casino Group enterprise to be recognised by ESSEC. The Casino Group earned the ESSEC Prize for Human Resources, for its focus in combatting sexism in workplace situations, while FranPrix was given a special mention for its work in adapting its HR processes with AI.

2017 Annual and Corporate Social Responsibility Performance Report, Casino Group