Countdown releases Corporate Responsibility Report

Announces move to new recyclable meat trays and $100,000 contestable fund for food rescue charities

1 December 2016: Countdown has today released its second Corporate Responsibility Report, detailing its progress on community and environmental commitments over the past financial year, 29 June 2015 to 26 June 2016.

Countdown also announced the roll-out of two new initiatives: 100 per cent recyclable meat trays which begin rolling out to stores from today, starting with the North Island, and a $100,000 contestable fund for food rescue charities who are looking to build and grow their capacity to collect and redistribute food that is not fit for sale but can still be eaten.

Countdown’s General Manager Corporate Affairs, James Walker, says, “The last year has seen the company continue to drive down prices for customers, invest locally in new stores and jobs, and support local communities, particularly through food donations from Countdown’s Food Rescue Programme.”

Highlights from the year include:

  • Continuing to lower prices for customers by introducing an additional 1500 products to Countdown’s Price Down programme.
  • Investing $214 million to build ten new stores and upgrade Countdown’s existing store network.
  • A Green Ribbon Award for Resilience to Climate Change for Countdown’s work in increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.
  • Since 2006 Countdown has reduced waste to landfill by 34 per cent and increased recycling by 34 per cent.
  • Launching the Egg Producer Programme for Free Range and Barn, to help manage the currently limited supply of free range and barn eggs in New Zealand and increase availability for customers over time.
  • Donating more than $6 million in kind, cash and customer donations to community initiatives throughout New Zealand.
  • Bringing three new food rescue partners on board in Tauranga, Hamilton and Auckland as part of the Countdown Food Rescue programme.  All Countdown stores now have a food rescue partnership in place, with around $3.5 million of food donated to foodbanks and community groups last year.  A contestable fund of up to $100,000 to support Countdown’s food rescue charity partners was established this year and is now open for applications.
  • Launching the Soft Plastic Recycling initiative in Countdown stores in Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch (and more recently Wellington).  Countdown customers have recycled more than 2000 kgs of soft plastic to date.
  • Helping launch New Zealand’s first online food donation platform, The Foodbank Project. More than 29,000 items have been donated to people in-need.
  • Giving away around 50,000 pieces of fruit each week through Countdown’s Free Fruit for Kids initiative.

“As one of the country’s largest businesses and employers, it’s really important that we play our part to contribute positively to the economy and reduce our environmental impact,” says James Walker.   

For the full report, visit: https://www.countdown.co.nz/community-environment/corporate-responsibility-reports 

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