DIA’s policy regarding secondary and tertiary packaging is underpinned by principles of eco-design. On the one hand, the company emphasises the use of single-material packaging. This makes it easier to separate the various fractions at the store or warehouse, in turn optimising packaging handling for reuse, recycling or recovery.
On the other hand, DIA is working on packaging design with a view to using more sustainable packaging, minimising the amount of packaging material used and optimising logistics by adapting the size of packages so as to make better use of space in transport.
In this respect, DIA always takes part in the annual Ecoembes-sponsored initiatives to prevent packaging waste (business prevention plans, or PEP in Spanish).
In line with its pledge to reduce the environmental impact of all its processes and activities, DIA focuses heavily on minimising and managing waste properly.
In this sphere, the company undertook an initiative in 2012 to optimise the classification and separation of waste. The aim was to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and promote reusage or recovery of waste generated by the business (in the pilot project stage).
Last year, the company recovered more than a thousand tonnes of paper and cardboard, plastic and other waste materials, such as metal and scrap.
Promoting responsible behaviour
DIA is fully aware of its responsibility to promote best environmental practices among its customers and employees.
To illustrate, the company systemically includes information on the labels of DIA products and packaging regarding where to dispose of the packaging after use of the product.
It has also placed battery collection bins for customers and employees at all its stores (as well as its offices and warehouse).
Awareness of customers in all markets of the responsible use of plastic bags and the need to recycle products
In addition to this continuous campaign, DIA, in cooperation with the Spanish Red Cross and the Entreculturas Foundation, joined a new charity campaign in 2012 aimed at encouraging the public to donate used mobile phones to raise funds for environmental, education and development projects. Initially, the company installed recycling bins at a total of 170 stores, the Madrid headquarters and the warehouse in Arroyomolinos (Madrid). Once collected, the phones are sent to a specialised centre where they are classified according to their condition, with the profits going to these two organisations.
DIA has always been committed to reducing the use of plastic bags, resorting to a variety of measures:
- Charging for plastic bags, in order to encourage rational use: customers only use the number of bags they really need
- Offering larger, reusable bags instead of throwaway bags, helping to reduce the number of bags used:
- more goods fit into a single bag
- the same bag can used over and over
- Informing customers about bag reuse, placing the related information on the bag itself
DIA also provides customers with alternatives to plastic bags, such as reusable raffia bags, in some cases backed by advertising campaigns. Once such campaign was carried out in Brazil in 2012 under the slogan: “Choose reusable bags. Plant the issue and harvest a better planet”.
Reducing its carbon footprint and learning from best practices
DIA has joined thje CO2Me Project, aimed at assessing the key strategic factors related to calculating the carbon footprint and the offset of greenhouse gas emissions, learning about existing carbon footprint and emission offset approaches, evaluating the pros and cons of the main standards and their future, and proposing regulations that adapt to a sector or country’s actual situation, integrating the strategic factors identified in the previous stage.
Project start, advised by the CO2Me Project, to minimise DIA’s carbon footprint
The CO2Me Project wants to create a network in which players in the agri-food industry can share knowledge and discuss the results of carbon footprint and emission offset projects conducted in the sector in Spain, focusing especially on calculation and disclosure to consumers.
By participating in the CO2Me Project, DIA is taking an active stance with respect to new regulations governing the carbon footprint, emission offset and CSR. Through the various stages of the study, it will get more detailed information on the carbon footprint and the offset of GHG, making its environmental endeavours more visible.
The initiative provides a unique opportunity to engage the rest of the agents involved and to participate in the development and implementation of a future framework in Spain. It will also allow DIA to learn about the results and leading carbon footprint initiatives in the industry in Spain.
In 2012, DIA helped co-finance the initiative with the rest of the sponsors. Staff in environment-related positions attended all the CO2Me Project working meetings. In this way, DIA contributed its experience and put forward ideas for development.
Encouraging employees to diminish their carbon footprint
DIA France took part in “National Sustainability Week” organised by the French Ministry for Sustainable Development to show its commitment and publicise its internal actions through awareness campaigns. It set up an interactive terminal on the corporate website, in collaboration with Le Geste Environnemental, to calculate users’ daily carbon emissions per journey by car.
DIA´s French subsidiary also assessed its carbon footprint in 2012 in order to seek out ways to reduce pollutant emissions from its activity and reduce the amount of raw materials and fuels its uses. It also implemented a printer toner collection and recycling system at its central offices and at all of its stores.
Meanwhile, in Spain, efforts focused on disseminating and utilising networks such as amovens.com, compartir.org, carpooling.es or blablacar.com under the slogan “Car pooling = + Saving and – Pollution”. These webs put people in contact with others travelling the same route towards the same destination and at the same time. The objective is to reduce fuel costs, pollutant gases and acoustic pollution, and help address traffic and parking issues.
DIA is rewarded again in 2012 for its involvement in climate change
In 2012, DIA was once again singled out among Spanish companies for its climate change commitment as a result of ECODES’ “Piensaenclima” (Think climate) initiative, in collaboration with the Biodiversidad Foundation and Climate Counts.
The “Piensaenclima” initiative provides clear, understandable and objective information to enable consumers and citizens to recognise the work of climate-change conscious companies before making purchasing decisions. By the same token, it induces those who do not pay attention to this globally recognised problem to change their environmental behaviour.
A total of 22 indicators were used to gauge different patterns of behaviour of the 46 companies analysed; e.g. whether they fully measure their carbon emissions; whether they have and stated a clear commitment to combating climate change; whether they reduce their environmental impact clearly and decisively; or whether they disclose, publicly and on a regular basis, their targets, actions and reductions.
DIA has raised its score and now ranks fifth in the retail industry. The analysis is based solely on climate change criteria. The criteria do not evaluate other environmental or social issues, or reflect companies’ economic or financial factors. Accordingly, the rating should not be construed as the measurement of a company’s social responsibility or the quality of its performance.
Detailed results of the analysis, along with information on the methodology and dissemination materials, are available on the initiative´s website.